2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Ferrari fans. A new 296 GTB has just been released, Charles Leclerc is leading the Formula 1 World Championship, and now, the very first Ferrari SUV is on its way. But it’s not all sunshine and daisies, especially where the latter’s powertrain is concerned.
Back in 2018, Ferrari controversially confirmed they would jump on the SUV bandwagon with their very own high-performance crossover, which has been tentatively named the Purosangue (Italian for ‘pure-blooded’ or ‘thoroughbred’, and named after a noble Italian horse breed).
Ferrari has previously been quite tight-lipped about the Purosangue’s development, and only a scant few spy shots of the car have broken cover. Last week, however, Chief Executive Benedetto Vigna shone some more light on the Purosangue project, and while he wouldn’t talk price or production figures, he did confirm that it will be powered by a V12 engine.
“We’ve tested several options, it was clear that the V12, for the performance and driving experience it could provide, was the right option for the market,” Vigna said during a sales call, as reported by Reuters.
It’s a departure from form for Ferrari, who’s previously been trying to focus on smaller, less polluting powertrains as well as electrification with plug-in hybrid models. It begs the question: has Ferrari missed the sustainability memo? Or are they just being as stubborn as old man Enzo?
The Purosangue’s engine will likely be a derivation of Ferrari’s excellent F140 V12, which has been in production since 2002 and was first used in the Enzo Ferrari. Road & Track reckon the teased engine’s intake plenum looks a lot like that of the 812 Competizione’s V12.
“Outputs for the new (likely 6.5L) V12 are still to be confirmed [but] rumours suggest upwards of 610kW – making it one of the most powerful SUVs on sale, if not the most powerful fuelled by petrol,” Drive reports.
Crucially, this means it’s got more cylinders than what will be its biggest rival – Lamborghini’s Urus SUV – which ‘only’ has a twin-turbo V8.
But it’s a somewhat head-scratching choice to keep using a V12 when many other luxury and performance brands (Lotus, Maserati, McLaren and Porsche just to name a few) are moving towards smaller engine configurations, displacements and electrification.
Don’t get us wrong: we think V12s are great. They sound great, they look great, and they have many qualities that make them well-suited to performance and luxury car applications. We can’t help but feel, however, that plonking a V12 in the Purosangue somewhat undoes some of the good work Ferrari has been doing with introducing plug-in hybrid powertrains and the like.
Drive also speculations that the Purosangue will be available with plug-in hybrid power, using either the 296 GTB’s new 3.0L twin-turbo V6, or one of Ferrari’s familiar 3.9 or 4.0L twin-turbo V8s, such as the one that powers the SF90 Stradale. There’s also talk of an all-electric model, though this isn’t expected to arrive until around 2024 or 2025.
So perhaps the V12 is just a ‘stop-gap’ until Ferrari can get their act together when it comes to proper electrification? Either way, we’re still not sure.
Of course, Ferrari’s latest F1 car, the F1-75, is powered by a 1.6L turbo V6 with a hybrid powertrain consisting of both kinetic and thermal energy recovery systems (the often-discussed MGU-K and MGU-H respectively). So at least there’s progress being made on that front.