Ferrari has always been one to defy conventional thinking and proceedings, and it does so again this time. Although having blatantly told the world that it was not in the business of producing an SUV, it is slowly backtracking on that statement and trying to justify an entry in the segment nonetheless. With so many persistent rumours about an upcoming Ferrari SUV, and the SUV segment being extremely lucrative, Ferrari will likely have to swallow their pride, and produce what could be a very profitable car for its shareholders.
Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne said yesterday, in a second quarter press conference that: “I think that if we allow the Ferrari engineers to reinvent the concept of a vehicle that has some utilitarian features, I think the answer is, it will probably happen, but it will happen Ferrari style. And Ferrari has been known historically for being able to redefine and define automotive segments. But I don’t want it to be a UV – I want it to be what Ferrari thinks is appropriate. But no decision has been made yet.”
This makes the entire question of Ferrari producing an SUV seem like a matter of semantics, which is truly a waste of time. The competition is working tirelessly to put their luxury-SUVs on the road, and the market is becoming saturated quickly. After Porsche had devised the lucrative Cayenne and subsequently the more accessible but equally prosperous Macan, the hype-train of luxury sports utility vehicles was ploughing at full speed. Lamborghini has been teasing the stunning Urus for a while now, and pre-orders have already been made public. Maserati came up with the Levante, Bentley awed us all with the pristine Bentayga, and Jaguar presented us the sleek F-Pace. Meanwhile Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin will not risk missing out on this bankable segment of the market, and are nearing the final stages of development for their cars. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been spotted testing multiple times now, and Aston Martin is working on the final stage of its production plant that will produce their upcoming DBX. So, sport coupe producers and high-end luxury sedan makers deciding to venture into the world of SUVs is no longer uncommon. Yet, the move from Ferrari is still bewildering. Only two years ago former Ferrari CEO Amadeo Felisa assured us that it just wasn’t going to be happen: “It’s not that we’re not planning an SUV for now — we’re not planning one at all”.
Only last month, Ferrari’s head of commerce, Enrico Galliera, was quoted saying: “We are not producing an SUV, because an SUV is not a sports car – it can be fast, but it’s not a sports car. We are not producing a four-door because, while a four-door can be fast, it’s not a sports car”. Adding: “Ferrari has to remain consistent, doing what we know to do, which is delivering cars that are able to deliver emotion. Sports cars.”
It seems as though there is a general lack of consensus within Ferrari about the controversial SUV. The clock is ticking for the Italian manufacturer, as its rivals have already long made up their minds.