Henry Catchpole drives the new V12 in the mountains of northern Italy to try to decipher exactly what the Purosangue is all about. In the end he decides that all that really matters is not boot space or leg room or the fantastic new Burmester stereo, it’s whether it still has the feel of a Ferrari. Is it just an example of badge engineering or is there real substance to it?
The spec sheet would certainly seem to suggest that it’s the latter. A monstrous 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 makes the Purosangue unique in the segment and it sounds utterly glorious – particularly when hammering through the avalanche tunnels running alongside a frozen mountain lake. On days like these…
But it’s not just the engine which is interesting, there is also the new active suspension. Developed by Multimatic, the True Active Spool Valve technology has (in theory) allowed Ferrari to tune the ride of the car independent of the handling. This means that for every stage of the Manettino there are also up to three options for the firmness of the suspension. It’s clever stuff and rather beautiful when you see what’s hiding in the arches.
Finally in this episode of The Driver’s Seat, there is a quick look back at Ferrari’s history because although this is the first production four door in the company’s history, there was a concept in 1980 called the Ferrari Pinin that was designed by Pininfarina and had Enzo Ferrari’s blessing. What’s more, there is a nice link between that four door concept and the new production car.
We hope you all enjoy watching this review. Let us know in the comments down below what you think of the new Purosangue. Is it the perfect blend of 812 Superfast and Audi RS6 or will it be seen as a curiosity in years to come?
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Hagerty Video Transcript
– This is the Purosangue, Ferrari’s first four door. But I have no intention of being a backseat driver today. This is the Valdaone and the Lago di Malga Boazzo, Caught mid-morph between spring at its base and winter up high, the road has the color pallet of a ice cream cone on view from afar. But with its frozen waterfalls (energetic classical music) and crystal clear air, it is simply stunning.
As soon as I knew we were coming up towards the Dolomites, I started looking for roads. And I wanted something that wasn’t just all hairpins like the Stelvio. I love these tunnels. They’re just, fantastic. What a piece of road. I’ve been trying to think how to approach this review because there’s an awful lot to say about the Purosangue. We could start with the practicalities, perhaps. Because this obviously is the most practical Ferrari to date. We can say things like the fact
That this is only available as a full four seater, and you do get fantastic looking bucket seats in the back that are every bit as good as these ones up front. There’s precisely 473 liters of luggage space if you are interested in the numbers. But the rear seats do fall down if you want to try and fit a bike in or something. In terms of the cockpit, it follows the general theme introduced in the Roma and SF90. There have been little changes,
But I still didn’t find it the most responsive and user-friendly in terms of the haptic switches. What is new is the rotary control and the dash for the climate control and seats. There’s a bit of theater. And actually it’s easier to use than I thought it might be. Those electric rear doors.
Being electric seems a little bit odd to me but they do make ingress and egress a bit easier. And again, they’re a bit of theater for this first four door Ferrari. Then there’s the Burmester stereo with 21 speakers and ribbon tweeters, and it does sound fantastic. Absolutely brilliant.
All in all, if you want to use your 300,000 pound Purosangue for the school run at the end of (indistinct) or take it on a medium size shopping spree at Fortnum’s with friends, then it’s got you covered. But what I really wanted to know about this was well
Does it live up to its name, Purosangue Thoroughbred? More importantly is it a car that, I would’ve been excited about age 13? Yes That’s me. A small Ferrari fanatic, a teenage tifoso and what I would’ve cared about but I still care about is whether this car for all its extra doors
And greater ground clearance is still a proper Ferrari at its core. Have they just produced something that people can drive around and has the badge on that isn’t really a driver’s car? That’s what I wanna find out. The First thing says that this definitely has an engine worthy
Of a Ferrari that naturally aspirated v12. I can’t believe they put it in this car really but it’s quite a statement of intent and they said that this is the only engine that the Purosangue will have. It’s not gonna get a v8. It is a V12 car and what a V12
Six and a half liters 65 degrees between the banks 725 horsepower. But there are two really important things that I was hoping would’ve been improved and have been are the torque and the sound you see in the GTC 4 Lusso. I always thought that it was just a bit too torque light
In this Ferrari has really worked to improve the torque of the engine, so it has 528 pounds foot of torque and 80% of that so about 420 pounds foot is available from just 2,100 RPM and it just makes the whole car feel more muscular. The Purosangue’s engine is designated as the F140 IA
And its specific torque curve was achieved by completely redesigning the intake manifold in the plannings. The entire exhaust system with its equal length headers was also changed to match the work done on the intake side. Elsewhere special attention was paid to the lubrication of the engine with particular focus
On new piston rings and the semi bearings. Then there’s the sound and yes, I get it it’s meant to be more practical, more every day. It should be able to reach around relatively quietly but I always felt that GTC4 Lusso was just a bit too demure.
You didn’t really know you got that big V12 up the front the whole time with this there’s no doubting it at all. What an engine. It is ferocious and it’s matched to this new eight speed DCT box. Same ratios as in the 296 GTB apparently.
So nice short ratios down low to help the acceleration. 3.3 to 62, this will do as ever it’s a brilliant Ferrari transmission being a DCT not an auto towing. It’s out with this car. You have to get something else, get an estate or something if you want to carry an awful lot
Of luggage and tell a horse box. This is all about the horses under the bonnet. That then is a big emotional box ticked. The heart of the car is very much Ferrari and your ears will not feel shortchanged. But what about your eyes, the look of the Purosangue? Well, it definitely gets attention
Because it’s just very striking and it’s very muscular. It’s big definitely, but then you see it from outside and sometimes it looks smaller and it’s got a lot of arrow detail going on as well from those sort of eye sockets. A bit like the 720s around the daytime running lights
And then that sort of big wide almost little grin splitting it across the front as well. Get down the side and you’ve got those floating wheel arches which Ferrari has actually patented and it just give it a a really curious, intriguing look at the back while you’ve got no rear wiper because
Of the way they’ve put that sort of convex screen in there. Bit like a Citron CX for anyone that remembers one of those overall, it’s not elegant but it is a head turner and Ferrari is clearly managed to incorporate the easier access higher driving position than some
Of the increased grand clearance of a slightly loftier vehicle without going the whole SUV hog. Now earlier on I didn’t perhaps tell the entire truth or perhaps I wasn’t specific enough because I said that this was Ferrari’s first four-door Ferrari and I should have said it’s the first production four-door because there was
This, which is the Ferrari Pinin. It was Pininfarina’s 50th birthday present to itself and it had the blessing of none other than Enzo Ferrari himself. It’s a curious looking thing. I think you’ll agree it does sort of foreshadow this a bit particularly with the interior I think and all the
The digital screens front and rear that that has and obviously this has as well never came to production perhaps looks were a bit too challenging for people. Also, I think there was a worry about build quality instead of going up against other luxury manufacturers
You could perhaps get away with sort of more when you’re just producing fast sports cars. But one of these show cars did get bought and then it got bought again and eventually somebody decided, well we’ll put some running gear in this. So they took the running gear, I think
Out of a 412 and popped it underneath. Now there’s a nice little end to this as well because the company that did the fitment of all that running gear was none other than a little outfit just outside the front gates of Ferrari itself called Marinello Purosangue. It’s somehow nice to know
That Enzo Ferrari gave his blessing to a four door or even if it never reached production. Anyway, let’s put the history books away and pick up the engineering manuals again with reference to this car’s handling. It weighs a chunky 2033 kilos dry but the chassis is 4% lighter
Than that of the smaller GTC 4 lusso while also being 30% stiffer torsionally and 25% stiffer in flex. Meanwhile, the clever four-wheel drive system first seen on the FF is retained taking drive off the front of the crank and passing it through a two speed gear box to the front wheels when required.
The car is fundamentally rear wheel drive until it needs to send power to those front wheels and it does feel definitely really rear biased. The steering’s not quite as sharp as other Ferrari but actually again, I think that works well. We’ve also got the individual rear wheel steer
Which was first seen on the 812 Competizione but the really big news with this is the active dampers. They use technology called true active spool valve which was developed by Multimatic. Each damper has a liquid cooled 48 volt brush less motor attached to a recirculating ball screw.
This can then either slow down or actually accelerate the damper stem. Depending on what the control module neatly wrapped around the lower part of the damper tells it to do. There are still traditional hydraulic damper valves both as backup and because apparently it adds some smoothness to the overall operation.
Why go to all this trouble? Well, in addition to negating the need for traditional anti-roll bars, the claim is that it gives more precise control of vertical roll and pitch movements. It means there should be better wheel control over rough surfaces while also maintaining body control.
To this extent, there are now up to three options for the ride independent of the handling mode you’re in. There are five stages on the manettino It’s ice wet comfort sport and then ESC off. As soon as you turn into sport, you feel that edge arrive
That edge that you would recognize if you’d driven a more well outwardly sporting Ferrari and the wheelbase seems to just shrink And you start to chuck this car around in a way that you Wouldn’t think possible. It is incredibly agile is car. You can still feel the weight at times and actually
I think it’s almost better just to slacking the dampers off one notch, maybe back down to their medium setting. It just makes the car feel slightly happier. I definitely don’t think you need to go all the way to soft and it just gives it a slightly nicer flow.
Perhaps works better with these winter tires. The seasonal rubber obviously limited outright performance but also meant the balance was easier to explore and it does feel very playful. Things I’m not quite sure about with those dampers well just under breaking because it keeps it so flat it
Reduces that pitch and at times I felt the pedal can just feel a bit, a little bit numb perhaps. There’s nothing wrong with the stopping power but it’s just a slightly disconcerting feeling and while the body control is impressive, the ride was marginally less so.
I just didn’t feel that in more relaxed driving the Purosangue we delivered quite the costing comfort. I was perhaps expecting. It’s certainly no range overall roles riding on air. However, if I had to choose with a Ferrari I would prefer it that way round precision before poshness. It really is ,so fun
On a road like this, which is I thought might be a little bit narrow for it, but actually You really can enjoy it in the Purosangue. I’d be lying if I said I got to the end of my day with Ferrari’s first four-door production car and completely understood what or why.
I do however get why they’ve said it’s not an SUV like a Bentayga or DBX. It doesn’t look or feel like it’s come from that sort of mold and while it has hill descent I wouldn’t want to take it off road. Is it practical?
Sort of, but it’s not a load like a, like an RS six either. And then there’s the why. The curious thing is that Ferrari isn’t doing this for mass production. It’s not trying to get masses, more sales. They’ll only ever produce enough of these to cater for 20% of its overall production
So it doesn’t seem to be a sales booster or money spinner like the Porsche Cayenne or Lamborghini Urus. Perhaps I’m missing something, but what really matters to me is that it’s not diluting the brand mostly because of that magnificent V12 engine under the bonnet and that means if you find yourself
On a road like this, it won’t disappoint you. If I was 10 years old sitting in one of those backseats and this was my first experience of a Ferrari, I’d definitely be impressed. I would think it lived up to the legend. This is definitely a Ferrari.