For years, Ferrari bosses derided the idea of the firm ever building an SUV. In 2016, current boss Sergio Marchionne said "you'd have to shoot me first" when quizzed about whether we'd ever see a Ferrari 4x4. In 2014, former boss Luca di Montezemolo said Ferrari would never build either a four-door model or a crossover. 

Now, the firm has U-turned. Unable to resist the booming global market for SUVs any longer, it is now developing its first crossover SUV, with CAR Magazine revealing the model – codenamed F16X – will launch in 2021.

Developed from an all-aluminium platform to be shared with the GTC4Lusso replacement, the new Ferrari SUV will use a hybrid V8 engine rather than a thirsty V12 and offer full five-door practicality for passengers. CAR is speculating there is no central B-pillar, to aid access to the roomy cabin, and that the vehicle will also use rear 'suicide' doors.

Prices? Upwards of €300,000, or £265,000. Despite this, demand is expected to be ultra-high: Ferrari insiders predict the new F16X Ferrari SUV could double annual sales to around 16,000 units a year. Which is surely good enough reason for the Italian sports car firm to bow to the inevitable.

By the early 2020s, it will have plenty of luxury-brand rivals, too: the Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan for starters, plus maybe an ultra-premium new Range Rover halo car to take on that other luxury brand success story, the Bentley Bentayga. Like it or not, SUVs are the future for the world's most valuable car brands...

Source: CAR Magazine

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