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Ferrari resolutely avoids using the term “SUV” to describe its new Purosangue, and to be fair it doesn’t really look like one.

Unveiled after an extended teaser campaign, the prancing horse’s new family four-seater looks more like a streamlined sportback-coupé perched on a raised chassis, and the Italian firm classifies the car as a GT (grand tourer). It’s just a GT that has an SUV-like 185mm ride height, weighs just over two tonnes and has all-wheel drive.

However you label it, Ferrari’s first four-door car is the Italian brand’s long-awaited answer to high-performance SUVs like the Lamborghini Urus and Aston-Martin DBX, and the prancing horse enters the realm with the highest power figure of 533kW.

That trumps both the 490kW Urus Performante and the 520kW DBX 707. Unlike its turbocharged rivals, the source of this Ferrari’s firepower is a normally aspirated 6.5l engine, the most powerful V12 in the history of the Maranello firm.

Along with 716Nm of torque, which is fed to both axles via an eight-speed automatic, the high-revving engine (max power is produced at 7,750rpm) slings this Ferrari from 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.3 seconds and on to a top speed of more than 310km/h.

Some might see the Purosangue (which is pronounced “pooro-sungway” and means “thoroughbred” in Italian) as Ferrari selling its soul, but the company says customers have been asking for such a car for many years and the end result delivers on the brand’s sporting promise. Apart from its thrilling straight-line speed and V12 sound (though Ferrari didn’t fire up the engine for us to hear at the unveiling), it is built to deliver the marque’s typical driving dynamics.

The Purosangue has a mid-front-mounted engine with the gearbox at the rear in a sporty transaxle layout that delivers the 49%/51% weight distribution Ferrari deems optimal.

The power is harnessed by all-wheel drive and a suite of electronics including rear-wheel steering, active suspension and torque vectoring. The new Ferrari Active Suspension Technology (FAST) automatically stiffens to reduce body roll and pitching under respective cornering and braking, while an ABS “Evo” system maximises traction on low-grip surfaces.

It has various driving modes that can be set by the “Manettino” rotary switch on the steering wheel.

With its low-profile tyres (255/35 R22 front and 315/30 R23 rear) the Purosangue is no off-road car for climbing hills in the mud, but the elevated ground clearance makes it suitable for driving in snow or not-too-rough gravel.

It is the most versatile and family-friendly Ferrari to date with its roomy four-seater cabin, large 473l boot and rear seats that electrically fold down to accommodate items such as mountain bikes. All doors are power operated and the back ones open rearward. There is no option of a three-seater rear bench, so all occupants get the sports car experience in bucket seats.

All this practicality is wrapped by a suitably striking shape, as one expects from the prancing horse. There are a few styling tropes inspired by other Ferraris including rear lights borrowed from the recently launched 296, but the Purosangue largely forges its own design path. This includes its curvy sportback-style side profile and SUV-style wheel arch covers.

The headlights are almost hidden low in the nose and the front view is dominated by slim daytime-running lights with air intakes above and below. The bottom intake channels air to the brake cooling system and the top one feeds the front aerobridge, a suspended wing mounted ahead of the A-pillar that helps reduce drag. It’s part of a complex system of aerodynamics that includes a prominent rear diffuser.

SUVs like the Urus and Porsche Cayenne have gone on to become their respective brands’ biggest sellers, but the Purosangue will be a niche vehicle representing no more than 20% of Ferrari’s production volume. Ferrari has been inundated with pre-orders for the car, even at its €390,000 price tag. 

The local price and launch date have not been confirmed.

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