There’s no hotter segment in vehicles these days than SUVs.
And for luxury brands, they’re especially hot. In 2016, we saw new SUVs arrive from Jaguar, Maserati, and Bentley. In 2017, Lamborghini will join the party. Rolls-Royce won’t be far off.
Conspicuous in all this for its absence is Ferrari. The Italian automaker doesn’t even build a four-door, much less a truck. The closest you can get is the GTC4 Lusso (formerly the FF), and all-wheel-drive two-door hatchback.
That hasn’t stopped people from suggesting that Ferrari should do an SUV. Heck, if Porsche can do one, why not the Prancing Stallion?
After Ferrari announced fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, which beat analysts’ expectations, CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed the SUV question — understandably, as the company is now moving toward selling 10,000 vehicles annually, after keeping it around 7,000 for many years. An SUV would likely be a big hit.
But would it be a proper Ferrari?
Marchionne doesn’t think so:
[T]here are … opportunities that we’re now exploring in terms of launching products that can be sold side by side with the traditional lineup of cars that we have today, that would effectively round out the offering of Ferrari and not be offensive in terms of contravening some historical routes, one of which is the fact that we have never produced an SUV in our life. And so we keep on getting phenomenal pressure, pressures from the outside about doing one, because everybody knows that if Ferrari did an SUV it could sell it. That may be probably true. I struggle with trying to picture a car that can be sold by Ferrari that does not have the driving dynamics of one of our passenger cars. So … we have to be sufficiently disciplined not to bastardize the brand and take it to places that it’s never been, and where the DNA gets effectively obliterated by the technical requirements of the car.
So there you have it. No Ferrari SUV. It wouldn’t be a real Ferrari.