An early tester for Ferrari's Purosangue SUV has been spotted within the confines of the Italian firm's Maranello headquarters.
It may look like a GTC4 Lusso that's just escaped the panel beaters from hell, but the extra large wheel gap confirms the test vehicle has the raised suspension of an SUV.
Ferrari's new CEO Louis Camilleri in September revealed the Purosangue name for the SUV, Italian for “thoroughbred,” and said the vehicle won't reach the market in 2020 like his predecessor, the late Sergio Marchionne, had envisaged. Camilleri stressed that the controversial addition to Ferrari's lineup needs to be absolutely “perfect,” meaning it's development won't be rushed.
Underpinning the SUV will be a new front mid-engine platform Ferrari is developing for its future grand touring models, like replacements for the Portofino, GTC4 Lusso and 812 Superfast. The platform will complement a new mid-engine architecture also in the works.
Both platforms will incorporate hybrid technology but the front mid-engine platform will also allow for the possibility of a non-electrified all-wheel-drive system and two rows of seats for a maximum of four seats. The front mid-engine platform will also feature a transaxle transmission, specifically a dual-clutch unit, for better weight balance and packaging.
The engine in this tester sounds turbocharged, suggesting it is a version of the 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 fitted to the GTC4 Lusso T. Count on horsepower coming close to the GTC4 Lusso T's 610 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Plug-in hybrid technology will also feature and may be standard on the Purosangue.
It isn't clear what the SUV will look like but we've previously heard it will feature five doors (four doors plus a hatch). The rear doors are expected to be suicide-style doors similar to those used on the Mazda RX-8 sports car, which would allow Ferrari’s design team to preserve a sporty coupe-like side view.
Since we're only at the test mule stage, it could be another six months to a year before the first prototypes wearing the Purosangue's body hit the road. The reveal should take place in late 2020 or early the following year.
The Purosangue is just one of 15 models Ferrari will introduce by the end of 2022. The plans include development of a V-6 engine as well as a mid-engine car to sit above the 812 Superfast. This won't be a limited edition like the LaFerrari but a permanent fixture in the lineup.