There's a reason SUVs are everywhere. People want them. People want the functionality they offer. People like the high-riding image. As such, you can now find an SUV in pretty much every size and price segment, from entry-level subcompacts to ultra-luxurious super-SUVs. Soon, that will even include Ferrari and some people aren't happy about that.
You might say Chris Harris is in the anti-SUV camp, especially when it comes to opulent, six-figure people movers. In a recent Top Gear video interview, the Top Gear TV presenter didn't mince words about his disdain for such vehicles, and apparently, the people who buy them. Referring specifically to the forthcoming Ferrari Purosangue, he comments that "every wealthy tasteless person's going to want one, and there's a lot of those about." Ouch, Harris. Very ouch.
Gallery: Ferrari Purosangue SUV test mule spy photos
To be fair, his attack isn't purely aimed at Ferrari. He also laments the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Bentley Bentayga as being "unnecessary" though that leads us to ask a critical question. Is a Porsche 911 GT3 RS necessary? Is a Ferrari SF90 Stradale necessary? If the criteria for building vehicles is based solely on necessity, then a four-seat Purosangue SUV makes far more sense than a two-seat hypercar with gobs of horsepower that could never be used on a public road. Fortunately, open-minded enthusiasts understand necessity isn't always part of the equation, and passion isn't relegated to a specific genre.
That said, Harris makes a very interesting case in defense of the Purosangue. The late Enzo Ferrari considered road-going production cars as a necessity to fund Ferrari's racing efforts. In that respect, offering a Ferrari SUV at a time when SUVs are in demand makes perfect sense from a financial standpoint. More income means more investment on the racing side, but then Harris later contradicts himself in the clip by chastising automakers for building vehicles people want to buy. It's almost as if these manufacturers are trying to make money by creating a product that people ask for. Imagine that.
Curiously, Harris goes on to admit that, despite his dislike of SUVs he actually owns one. In the video he reveals he has a Mercedes-Benz G-Class that he uses for towing, and in that role, he says it's brilliant. He also admits to being quite embarrassed when buying it, but why? SUVs do have a legitimate function in the automotive landscape, and not everybody can afford multiple vehicles to enjoy specific aspects of motoring. Like it or not, the all-in-one nature of an SUV has mass appeal. There's nothing wrong with that.
Yes, the sheer number of SUVs offered by automakers is rather ridiculous at this point. But can anyone blame Ferrari for offering a high-end SUV with legitimate functionality to its "tasteless" buyers who already have Prancing Horses in the garage?