It seems no automaker is immune from the incredible popularity of SUVs or the relentless march towards electrification these days, and now even Ferrari has confirmed it will soon be producing its own SUV as well as an all-electric supercar to challenge Tesla’s lead in that part of the industry.
As Ferrari has now been spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), it’s been free to pursue an expansion of its lineup and to grow its sales without compromising the brand’s exclusivity. Although known exclusively as a producer of super-fast sports cars and roadsters, Sergio Marchionne, who heads both Ferrari and FCA, told reporters at this year’s Detroit Auto Show that Ferrari will be producing its first-ever SUV by late 2019 or 2020, and that it will be “the fastest on the market.”
Marchionne also said, “If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first. People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar. I’m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.”
There’s no getting away from the fact Elon Musk and Tesla have defined the luxury electric vehicle market with the Model S and the Tesla Roadster so far, but a battery-powered Ferrari would seriously challenge Tesla’s supremacy in that part of the market.
It’s actually a huge turnaround by Marchionne and the Italian supercar brand as only two years ago the CEO said that a Ferrari without an internal combustion engine would be what he described as, “an almost obscene concept.”
But despite the undoubted advantage the Ferrari name will have over most serious rivals in the electric car market, the evocative Italian manufacturer faces the same challenges as every other company when it comes to range. Marchionne admitted, “You’re going to go real fast but how long do you last? We have seen that in Formula E, you have to change your car in the race. We need a lot more work to be done before we can make that a legitimate answer, motorized sports cars.”
No indication was given as to the time scale for producing an all-electric Ferrari, but it will have to get a move on as McLaren is already testing electric-only prototypes. And as for a supercar SUV, Lamborghini has already stolen a march on Ferrari with the unveiling of the Urus. – AFP Relaxnews