Enzo Ferrari, founder of the famed Italian car company that bears his name, is often quoted as having said, “We will never do four doors,” meaning, the brand wouldn’t compromise its two-door sports car heritage by producing something more family friendly. Well, now it has, creating an all-wheel-drive, jacked-up four-door, the Purosangue. It’s the prancing horse brand’s answer to the sport utility vehicle craze, and a seeming vaffanculo to Enzo’s stated creedo. Just don’t call it an SUV.
“We try not to have an SUV, but more of a sporty proportion with elegance and luxurious aspects,” Filippo Degli Esposti, a Ferrari designer, tells me as we peruse the vehicle. “We try to give a passionate feeling of being in a sports car, but with all the environment of being in a luxury car.”
Car designers are often given to this kind of hyperbole. But after a day of driving the Purosangue—the name means thoroughbred—hundreds of kilometers through the towns, hills, valleys, and twisty bits of the actively snowy Italian Alps, I found plenty to admire. Like the recent Roma grand tourer (GT), which was released in 2019 and previewed a new design language for the brand’s more luxurious vehicles, the Purosangue boasts a clean, uncluttered, and harmonious appearance. But it is also surprisingly capable—more so than recent four-seat, all-wheel-drive Ferrari standouts like the FF and GTC4lusso.
This is due in no small part to the inclusion of those aforementioned rear doors, the first time such portals have ever been included in one of the brand’s vehicles. Of course, even these are rendered in typical Ferrari style, which is to say, elegant, unique, and performance oriented. They are hinged at the rear, like a classic “Suicide Door” Lincoln Continental. So they open and close, with a power assist for each direction, from the middle of the car.
This not only allows easier and more graceful access to the heated/cooled/massaging and remarkably adult-sized rear buckets—perfect if you’re wearing a skirt, or loading a kiddie seat, or just plagued with sciatica. It also hides the opening, maintaining more of a coupe-like profile. Moreover, it permits use of a smaller door, keeping the wheelbase shorter, which makes the car nimbler.