Report: Ferrari IS Planning an SUV ""
Posted on: July 7, 2017

2017 Ferrari California T Handling Speciale

As more and more high-end auto brands—Porsche, Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin—are seduced by the fat profits to be scooped up by selling an SUV, the question increasingly has been: Will there ever be a Ferrari SUV? Not long ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles supremo—and Ferrari CEO—Sergio Marchionne answered that question in dramatic fashion when he said, “You have to shoot me first.” Now, however, a report in Britain’s Car magazine says Ferrari is in fact readying an SUV, code-named Project F16X. Maybe Marchionne should get himself some bulletproof sweaters.

The report claims the vehicle will be paired with the follow-up to the GTC4Lusso, which is due out in 2020. The Lusso already is all-wheel drive, and the F16X would take things a step further with a higher ride height and a four-door “coupe” body—one with rear-hinged back doors and no B-pillar. While the GTC4 would continue to offer a V-12, the SUV variant is said to use V-8 or hybrid powertrains.

What about Marchionne’s protestations? Well, it could be that guns were drawn in a recent board meeting, but it’s probably the math that proved more compelling. The Prancing Horse four-by-four could take the brand’s production from the current 8000 to 16,000 and, priced from around $300,000, would seriously swell the bottom line. Ferrari now trades as an independent company, and while the fact that its stock price has more than doubled in the past year and a half would seem to mitigate outside pressure to pump up profits, when has Wall Street ever been satisfied with “enough” growth when it could have more?

That leaves the sticky issue of how to explain the about-face. The best answer is not to do so. With the term “SUV”—and even “crossover”—so ill-defined, Ferrari can simply call the new model something else. Marchionne may want to follow the advice of another highly quotable auto-industry titan, Henry Ford II, who famously said, “Never complain, never explain.”

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