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.
How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.
Facelifted Kia Cerato pricing and features
Popular hatch and sedan ditch manual gearbox, score updated styling and tech
Kia says small cars here to stay with launch of new Cerato
Damien Meredith talks about the new Cerato, longer warranties and taking on Toyota with a HiLux competitor
Volkswagen Arteon pricing and features
Brand introduces Shooting Brake variant for first time ever