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Ferrari is “dead serious” about building an SUV

By Cameron Kirby, 10 Oct 2017 News

Ferrari is dead serious about building an SUV

Sergio Marchionne has changed his tune since the prospect of a high-riding Ferrari was first discussed.

A FERRARI SUV is no longer a matter of speculation – it’s now inevitable.

The revelation comes as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters at the New York Stock Exchange that Maranello’s portfolio of vehicles is set to expand with a new high-riding model.

Marchionne referred to a potential Ferrari crossover as an ‘FUV’, and said the company has moved beyond merely considering building an SUV to actively deciding on production numbers – a process which will reportedly take about 30 months.

“We’re dead serious about this,” Marchionne explained.

“We need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.”

The comments are in stark contrast to August this year, when Marchionne said a Ferrari SUV would “probably happen”, or in 2016 when he famously said “you have to shoot me first”.

However, the commercial reality is that SUVs are now a fixture across the full spectrum of the motoring world. Bentley, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are all currently producing, or in the process of producing, high-end SUVs with strong sales figures to boot. Even Aston Martin is getting in on the game with its DBX.

It’s likely a Ferrari SUV wouldn’t have any trouble selling, no matter how much it annoys brand purists.

Ferrari’s decision to keep numbers limited to boost exclusivity is a smart strategy, giving them a chance to test the waters with a tight-knit group of customers with their first high-riding product. It’s also a strategy that’s been a central part of the company’s business model for decades, and has worked well to keep its sports cars desirable throughout their production runs.

Wheels’ sister site in the UK, Car, reports the internal project code for the ‘FUV’ is F16X, with a similar design to the GTC4Lusso four-seater.

Speculation suggests a Ferrari SUV will retain sporty coupe styling, with eight cylinders under the bonnet instead of the classic V12.