Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 race car from the 2001 Formula 1 World ChampionshipEnlarge Photo
Ferrari chairman and Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne assured loyalists that Ferrari's forthcoming SUV will behave and drive as a proper Ferrari should—and it's coming sooner than we expected. Auto Express reported on Tuesday that Marchionne plans for the Ferrari Utility Vehicle (FUV) to launch no later than 2020.
Marchionne told media last October that Ferrari was beyond the consideration stage for an SUV model and said production capacity would be decided in the next 30 months. Now, it seems Ferrari is full steam ahead on what could be its most polarizing model yet. However, the Ferrari and FCA chief executive dismissed the idea of a truck-like vehicle completely.
"It will look like whatever a Ferrari utility vehicle needs to look like," Marchionne said. "But it has to drive like a Ferrari."
Performance will be key and Ferrari aims to introduce the world's fastest SUV with its forthcoming vehicle. Right now, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio holds that title, but the Lamborghini Urus will likely have something to say about that before too long. Marchionne did not name the Urus specifically, but said, "I don’t think Ferrari fears Alfa. It will do its best to build the fastest SUV."
The Urus also delivers off-road capability with Neve (Snow), Sabbia (Sand), and Terra (Earth) modes. It is not known if the Ferrari SUV will be an off-roader as well.
The executive firmed up the SUV's launch for late 2019 but also said early 2020 is a possibility after noting he recently viewed prototypes of the Ferrari SUV just last week in Europe. Again, he reassured the FUV will be more than an SUV with a prancing horse on the grille. After all, this is the same executive who proclaimed "you have to shoot me first" before giving a Ferrari SUV the green light.
The SUV will likely be a cog in a potential plan to boost Ferrari's sales beyond 7,000 cars annually and will likely be one of Marchionne's final decisions as the man in charge. He will step down as FCA CEO in 2019 and exit Ferrari shortly thereafter in 2021.