Jay Leno Drives the First Purosangue in America, Accidentally Calls It an SUV

David Lee's Ferrari Purosangue 12 photos
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
David Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari PurosangueDavid Lee's Ferrari Purosangue
Ferrari collector David Lee was the first in America to get his hands on the not-an-SUV Purosangue. He brought the car to Jay Leno's Garage to share his experience with it. Jay Leno accidentally labels it as an SUV, even though Ferrari informed us from the very start, screaming from the top of their lungs: "It is not an SUV!" Or is it?
Ferrari Utility Vehicle. That is what Ferrari claims the Purosangue is. They told us right from the start: "We are not building an SUV," as the "SUV" lettering stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. But that doesn't sound that far from the truth, either.

So, Ferrari tags the Purosangue as an FUV. That is what the Maranello-based brand says about the car that probably has the highest ground clearance that has ever existed in their lineup. The Purosangue sits tall at 180 millimeters (7.0 inches) above the ground and can get an additional 30-millimeter (1.18-inch) lift, available for low-speed usage only. The numbers put the Purosangue, which is Italian for "purebred," in a league of its own. It is, indeed, a new species. One that can be tamed because it is especially designed for families.

It is also the first-ever Ferrari-branded four-door, four-seat model, and no matter how the Italian marque calls it, it still drops as a rival for Lamborghini's Urus or Aston Martin's DBX, brands that would have sworn they would never consider an SUV a decade ago.

But the times have changed, and you can't survive in the industry rolling out sports coupes and convertibles forever, no matter how exciting and exclusive they may be. Ferrari desperately needed the not-an-SUV Purosangue SUV despite purists slamming the brand for it.

David Lee's Ferrari Purosangue
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
While they lament the brands departing their values and DNA, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce are enjoying the glory provided by their brand-new high-riders. Everyone found it hard to believe when they announced the arrival of their own SUVS, and then, these cars really came to life.

Arriving fashionably late at the party, the Purosangue sounds like a Ferrari, but it doesn't look like a Ferrari. It's got a high ground clearance, it's got four doors, and it comes with either four or five seats. Ferrari put suicide doors on it to make ingress and egress easy, which is a confirmation that the Purosangue is every inch a purebred family car. However, Ferrari likes the sound of "suicide doors" just as much as the sound of "SUV." So, that is why the brand elegantly refers to them as “Welcome doors.”

During the first production run, Ferrari will only build 1,000 examples. If you're willing to buy one, they are already sold out. But Ferrari collector David Lee was among the first in the world to place an order and the first in America to get his Purosangue.

The Hong-Kong-born businessman is surely on Ferrari's top favorite customers' list. He owns a private garage in San Gabriel Valley, California, which is full of super-exclusive and super-expensive Ferrari models. Lee has the largest private collection of Ferraris in the world, estimated at over $50 million. He is trying to keep the limit set at 30 cars. He owns a 288 GTO, a LaFerrari Aperta, a Dino and, of course, the first Purosangue customer car in America.

David Lee's Ferrari Purosangue
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
Now, he is showing the Purosangue off to Jay Leno. The only SUV that Jay Leno owns is his 1968 Ford Bronco. David Lee's Ferrari is painted in Giallo Modena, which is a head-turning shade of yellow that the owner pronounces "Gilo Modina." He specced his Ferrari with $150,000 worth of options. That is as much as two Corvette Stingrays, which start at $68,000. And you're still left with money for a holiday in Europe this summer.

The Purosangue is powered by the naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine, which pumps out 715 horsepower (725 metric horsepower) and 528 pound-feet (716 Newton meters) of torque, redlining above 8,000 rpm and making the not-an-SUV model flash from zero to hero (0 to 62 mph or 0 to 100 kph) in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 193 mph (310 kph).

Halfway between a sports car and a luxury car, the Purosangue is, indeed, a Ferrari, regardless of the FUV/not-an-SUV label. It is a driver's car, but also a gentleman's car, Leno says. He likes the steering wheel with leather and carbon fiber inserts and the seating position because it is unlike in most full-size SUVs.

The FUV/not-an-SUV Ferrari eats up the road ahead while those on board enjoy all the comfort creatures in what might be the quietest Ferrari ever to hit the road. But once the Manettino goes into Sport mode, the theatrical sound of the V12 kicks in, reminding everyone on board that it is a Ferrari they are dealing with. Or better said, an FUV...

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