The storied brand’s first four-door is surprisingly useful, charmingly quirky, and predictably brilliant.
The Ferrari Purosangue has been grinding out internet viewing records since its September 2022 debut and it’s easy to understand why. Higher off the ground, with four doors and enough space for people and luggage that it’s suitable on long trips, it’s fair to say there’s never been a car like this in Ferrari’s 75-year history.
The engine remains special despite the departures elsewhere, of course. It’s a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12, packing 715 horsepower and 528 pound-feet of torque, while an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive help it zip to 62 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds. The top speed is just a hair over 192 miles per hour.
I was able to test the Purosangue for the first time in in the mountains around Pinzolo, Italy, nearly 150 miles north of Ferrari’s home in Maranello, and I can already tell you it’s a thrill, just from the playful rear end alone. That’s clear from a look at the video first drive, although I forgive you if the majestic sound of that 12-cylinder Ferrari engine and the stunning woods and valleys of northern Italy distract you.
Editor’s Note: This review was produced by Motor1.com Italy and has been translated from Italian to English. Edits have been made for style and clarity, and units have been translated from metric to standard where required. All currency conversions are accurate as of publication. For the original version of this story, click here.
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Is a Ferrari that sits higher off the ground on par with other Ferraris? Maranello engineers answered this question by making the driver feel the same sensations they’d experience in any other Ferrari, regardless of the car’s height, weight, or overall dimensions.
But more on that in a moment, because first, it’s useful to recall some numbers: the Purosangue is 62.6 inches tall at roof level, which is less than rivals like the Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Porsche Cayenne, or even this Ferrari’s countrymen, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Maserati Levante. Ground clearance doesn’t climb much beyond those of a typical sports sedan, either, with 7.3 inches. That’s a whole 2.3 inches more than a BMW M5 CS.
As for weight, the Purosangue tips the scales at 4,481 pounds dry (4,806 pounds with its various fluids), or 258 pounds less than the slightly larger Urus Performante. The Ferrari distributes that weight almost perfectly, too, with 49 percent on the front axle and 51 percent on the back.
The Purosangue is the first Ferrari in history to have rear doors – they open rearward and up at a 79-degree angle and use electric motors. The functionality is dramatic for passersby and convenient for getting passengers in and out of the two electrically adjustable, heated, ventilated bucket seats. The seatbacks fold down to increase cargo capacity, which starts at 16.7 cubic feet. Unsurprisingly, this Ferrari has the largest trunk in the brand’s history.
In the front, the Purosangue stands out due to the lack of a central infotainment screen – all the information goes to the twin 10.2-inch displays, one of which lives in front of the driver and the other in front of the passenger. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work via the touch-capacitive buttons on the steering wheel, which aren’t always user-friendly.
The increased ground clearance of the Purosangue relative to other Ferraris made the engineers in Maranello work hard to manage the car’s roll, and the result is an innovative new suspension setup. Rather than traditional anti-roll bars, Multimatic’s True Active Spool Valve system uses 48-volt motors at each corner to control and change the height of the suspension 30 times per second, with a working range of around eight-tenths of an inch, thus governing body roll when cornering, pitching when accelerating and braking, and shock absorption on road irregularities.
This active suspension arrangement lets the car be predictable as possible, with excellent grip, with neutral balance while cornering. The system works great – it gives excellent support to the front end on corner entry, keeping the car "flat" when going into corners and then lets the rear end "sweep" on the way out, because of how much confidence the rear end transmits when it goes into support. Really, before driving it I didn't think I could make a car of this size oversteer as much as it did.
This chassis balance gave me a beastly confidence, which at that point let the goose-bump emotions given by the engine flow freely. The 6.5-liter’s 725 hp is incredibly exploitable; the first throttle response is immediate, and from that moment on, you have the pedal connected to your mind, the engine responding to every little movement of your foot and generating a noticeable reaction on the road, as well.
Thanks also to the dual-clutch gearbox, which for the first time on V12 Ferraris has eight gears to go with a closer ratio than previous Ferrari DCTs. There’s also a new power transfer unit in front of the engine that’s activated when the rear axle needs backup, representing an evolution of the all-wheel-drive scheme of the Ferrari FF and GTC4 Lusso.
The result is that you can drive the Purosangue with impressive determination and knowing it will respond in ways that are always pleasantly rounded, balanced, and with surprising agility for the type of car. And that’ll happen even while keeping the pace very high on slippery roads like the ones I drove in the mountains of Trentino.
And if you go a bit further up the mountain, as I did, there’s snow. There’s now a more conservative drive mode on the Ferrari’s famous Mannettino switch, which you can also press to select a third suspension setting: soft.
The satisfaction you get from driving the Purosangue goes beyond numbers. It’s rare to feel so in tune with the mechanics of a car, but that’s what I experienced in this new Ferrari, thanks in part to the clarity of the steering. It’s less direct than in other Ferraris.
The brakes are problematic, though, and there could be more configurability in driving modes. In more relaxed driving it is a bit difficult to adjust modulate the stoppers without scrambling the other passengers a bit, just as there are fast but not aggressive driving situations where I wish I could have left the suspension in Hard and at the same time had the softer delivery and more relaxed shifting of the Manettino's Comfort mode.
The price of the Ferrari Purosangue starts at $398,350 in the US, and to maintain exclusivity, the Purosangue will be at most 20 percent of all Ferraris produced in a year (just over 2,500 units, based on current productivity).
Drawing on the options list, however, it doesn't take much to even surpass the $480,000 mark by leaps and bounds, double the price of a rival like the Lamborghini Urus. Regardless, requests from Ferrari loyalists worldwide exceed availability, and there is already talk of a waiting list, as far as orders are concerned, of almost 3 years.
|2023 Ferrari Purosangue
|715 Horsepower / 528 Pound-Feet
|Speed 0-62 MPH
|4,482 Pounds (dry weight)
|16.7 Cubic Feet