Vehicles | May 8, 2023 11:56 am

Ferrari’s SUV Bet Has Paid Off, And Then Some

Despite being late to the party, demand for the Purosangue has been “unprecedented”

The Ferrari Purosangue SUV in silver sitting next to an old Italian villa
Whether you call the Purosangue an SUV or a four-door car, there's one title all can agree on: cash cow.

Porsche has been gorging itself on SUV profits for more than two decades, and many other luxury automakers in that exclusive tier and above have gladly joined them. Ferrari was one of the main holdouts in this trend of offering a family-friendly four-door alongside a lineup of finely-tuned sports cars, until this September when they unveiled the Purosangue (Italian for “thoroughbred”). Ferrari calls it their first “four-door, four-seater car,” but c’mon — it’s an SUV. 

Deliveries of the Ferrari Purosangue are about to begin in this second quarter of 2023, so the questions arise: Will being late to the party throw water on the release? And will the starting price — around $400,000, making it more expensive than even Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan SUV — deter buyers from picking up the bulkiest model to wear the Prancing Horse badge? 

According to the latest corporate news out of Maranello, the need for space, not speed, appears to be insatiable. In a breakdown of its strong first-quarter financial results for 2023, the Italian automaker noted a 9.7% increase in shipments and a 27% increase in profits compared to the same time last year, but the real takeaway is what’s to come later this year when the SUV is added to the mix.

“Our order book already extends into 2025 with an award-winning product portfolio,” said Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna. “We have decided to reopen orders for the Purosangue, suspended due to an initial unprecedented demand.”

Not even Ferrari could have predicted the number of people willing to open up their bank accounts for the Purosangue. As Reuters explained, while the first customers will be getting their vehicles delivered soon, if you want to order one now that the automaker is accepting inquiries for the SUV again, the earliest you’ll be able to get one is 2026. 

“We were caught by positive surprise for these strong interest,” Vigna said when presenting the quarter’s results, per Reuters. 

Don’t expect the historic sports car maker to go all-in on high-end commuters, though. While Porsche and even direct Italian competitor Lamborghini have no qualms about SUV output (in their first quarter this year, more than 58% of Porsche and over 60% of Lamborghini deliveries were sport-utility models), Ferrari is pledging to pump the brakes on sales — at least for now. Vigna said the company will keep Purosangue shipments under 20% of the total output. 

But once upon a time, Ferrari said it would never, ever build an SUV. Now they’re getting ready to ship one to customers. So once the cash starts flowing in earnest, don’t be surprised if they change their tune on production levels, too.