Test drive: Ferrari Purosangue
Ferrari has created a niche market segment with its fantastic Purosangue
published : 24 Apr 2023 at 09:00
newspaper section: Life
writer: Jedd Sreshthaputra
The Purosangue is the first Ferrari in its 75-year history to come with four doors, four seats and will compete against other exotic crossovers like the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga or even the super luxurious Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The name Purosangue comes from the Italian word for thoroughbred, and it reflects the company's desire to create a vehicle that is both luxurious and high-performing.
Life was invited to participate in the global press test drive event last month in Pinzolo, a town in northern Italy's Trentino region. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty, skiing and hiking trails, and other outdoor activities. Pinzolo also has a large Ferrari test track where it thoroughly tests its vehicles, including the Purosangue.
The Purosangue has unique styling that continues Ferrari's sporty DNA, with a roofline that slopes all the way to the back. Ferrari says this design gives the Purosangue a sporty and aerodynamic appearance while still providing plenty of space for passengers and cargo.
The Purosangue doesn't have a front grille. The front end consists of two shells that create a suspended disc form with a slot that houses the camera and parking sensors, so that they are integrated seamlessly into the car's shape.
The cabin profile is characterised by the slanted windscreen and the A-pillar arches flowing into the rear spoiler beneath which are two very distinctive crests.
Specific forged wheels were designed for the Purosangue based on the same aero concept as those on the SF90 Stradale, in which radial elements on the outer channel facilitate hot air extraction from the wheel arch.
The Purosangue has a naturally-aspirated V12 engine that revs up to 8,250rpm and produces 725hp, which is higher than any other in the segment, while offering that addictive Ferrari engine soundtrack.
According to Ferrari, the engine is capable of producing as much as 80% of its maximum 716Nm torque at low revs. This makes it super flexible when driving in day-to-day traffic conditions.
The mid-front-mounted engine is connected to a rear-mounted gearbox to create a sporty transaxle layout. The Power Transfer Unit is coupled in front of the engine to provide a unique 4x4 transmission. This delivers exactly the 49:51 weight distribution that Maranello's engineers say is optimal for a 2 tonne mid-front-engined sports car.
The Purosangue is capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in a mere 3.3sec, and has a claimed top speed of 312kph.
The Purosangue's aero development focused on the underbody and rear diffuser. New solutions include synergy between the front bumper and wheel arch trim, which generates an air curtain that aerodynamically seals the front wheels, preventing turbulent transverse air flows being generated.
Ferrari has also given the Purosangue the very latest iterations of the vehicle dynamic control systems introduced on its most powerful and exclusive sports cars, including independent four-wheel steering and ABS "evo" with the 6-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor.
Making its world debut is the new Ferrari active suspension system. Ferrari says this very effectively controls body roll in corners as well as the tyre contact patch over high-frequency bumps to deliver the same performance and handling response as in one of the marque's sports cars.
The all-new chassis has a carbon fibre roof as standard to keep weight down and lower the centre of gravity. Redesigning the bodyshell from scratch also meant the designers could incorporate rear-hinged back doors (welcome doors) to make ingress and egress easier while keeping the car as compact as possible.
The Purosangue's interior architecture is based on the dual cockpit dashboard concept and its extremely elegant. When the doors are opened, a surprisingly generous amount of space is revealed, along with loads of elegance and modernity. The rear-hinged back doors are stylish and offer easy entry and exit, but the auto-opening mechanism doesn't come with a safety sensor so it could be easy to accidentally hit objects close to the vehicle.
The driver's cockpit is inspired by the SF90 Stradale with an entirely digital interface and it is almost exactly mirrored on the passenger side. A 10.2-inch display provides all the information required to help participate in the driving experience.
The cabin has four generous heated electric seats that will comfortably accommodate four adults. The boot is the largest ever seen on a Ferrari and the rear seats fold to increase the luggage space. Naturally enough, the Purosangue has a more commanding driving position than other Ferraris, but the configuration is the same as other Ferrari models.
The Burmester 3D High-End Surround Sound System also makes its debut in a Ferrari vehicle as standard equipment. This audio system delivers ultimate performance from low to high frequencies and 3D sound, plus additional pre-sets that all in offer an immersive, exciting and high-quality sound experience.
Driving the Purosangue
Ferrari chose Pinzolo, a town about a two-hour drive from Milan, for the test drive. At the top of the mountain, one of the most well-known ski resorts in the area was covered in snow. After a good night's sleep, we began with a few hundred kilometres of very nice routes along a narrow road through many small towns with breathtaking views and many corners, followed by a hill climb session before stopping for lunch at Chalet Rocce Rosse for photography and video content, and finishing with a highway drive at higher speeds.
I couldn't ask for more.
In the metal, the Purosangue looks much better compared to photo images. The design reminded me of the Roma, which is good in the way that Ferrari continues the strong DNA from the successful sport model. The overall design looks simple, while every luxury detail does its own job perfectly.
I was a little worried about how complicated it would be to drive a supercar crossover. The Purosangue offers something very easy and simple when it comes to the steering wheel. Yes, it looks complicated at first, but within a few seconds you know that everything you need is under your two hands and 10 digits.
The paddle shift located behind the steering wheel is big enough that you won't miss it. All required buttons are set comfortably and ready to be used within perfect reach and touch. The reverse gear button is well-designed and is separate from the steering wheel.
The Purosangue's adaptive suspension technology has four settings: Sport, Comfort, Wet, Ice and ESC Off.
It has been designed for everyday use and is a good family car for vacation. I can imagine driving into the mountains to a camping site in northern Thailand like Doi Chang with a little off-roading or going to the Surf School at Khaolak, Phangnga, where you must drive through sand before arriving at the resort.
It has options for bikes and ski racks too. This clearly shows that your supercar can now travel further than just ordinary roads.
Comfort mode is quiet and smoothens out road bumps to the point where you feel as if you're floating above the tarmac. In Sport, you can manually lower the suspension and be ready for high speeds.
This Sport mode offers an entirely different attitude. You now get the screaming Ferrari engine sound. When you select Sport and Hard, you will feel every single stone and bump in the road, as well as an innate connection. Trust me, you may consider having fun on the race track with the Purosangue as well.
Braking power is impressive, with carbon discs providing powerful stopping performance, along with a superb pedal feel. And there's also a comprehensive intelligent safety package as well. It includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Brake System, Auto High Beam, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Drowsiness and Attention, and rear-view parking camera.
In reality, driving a supercar doesn't really mean that you have to be aggressive all the time. While Comfort mode is good for everyday driving, it has plenty of settings for various conditions to produce the most entertaining drive. And of course, with ESC switched off, skilled drivers will definitely enjoy the Purosangue at its best.
Many refer to the Purosangue as an SUV, which is not quite the right word -- this is a supercar with a crossover attitude. For the first time, driving a Ferrari on an adventure trail is a dream come true.
Pros: Attractive design, V12 engine, four seats and carbon-ceramic brakes
Cons: No safety sensor for rear-hinged back doors, wide body not ideal for narrow streets and car parks