According to Britain’s Car Magazine, Ferrari has approved development of its first-ever SUV, a vehicle the company had promised to never build. While the news isn’t official, a Ferrari SUV won’t be without precedent. Since 2011, Ferrari has sold the FF (renamed GTC4Lusso), an all-wheel drive supercar with a hatchback and fold-down seats. Car Magazine says the new SUV would replace that model in 2020.
It’s also believable since Ferrari became a publicly-traded company in 2015 and separated from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Despite Ferrari’s independence, FCA shareholders and Piero Ferrari (Enzo’s last surviving son) control 90 percent of the Italian automaker. FCA and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne wants more popular SUVs and crossovers to boost sales, and as Ferrari is still a cash cow for FCA, a Ferrari SUV would strike oil.
Plus, the competition among ultra-luxury SUVs is heating up. Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini will release 12-cylinder SUVs by the decade’s end, while the 187-mph Bentley Bentayga is the world’s fastest SUV. Mercedes-Benz sells a 621-horsepower army truck, the AMG G65, for more than $220,000. At the sub-$100,000 level, the Maserati Levante, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and Jaguar F-Pace are all sleek, fast SUVs from traditional sports car companies. Porsche started the craze with its 2003 Cayenne, and now the automaker sells two SUVs that are more popular than its legendary 911.