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No, the Purosangue isn’t (technically) Ferrari’s first four-door four-seater

The original four-door Ferrari

A Ferrari Purosangue

The Ferrari Purosangue shocked a lot of people when it made its 2023 debut. A company that built its reputation on high-end sports coupes comes out with an ultra-expensive, ultra-slick SUV with four doors and something resembling legroom in the back. On its website, Ferrari even bills the Purosangue as “the first ever four-door, four-seater car in Ferrari’s history.” But the whole thing isn’t quite as big a leap as Ferrari is making out, and it isn’t the only time the prancing horse badge has been affixed to a four-door, four-seat vehicle.

While the Purosangue is indeed the only four-door, four-seat production car that Ferrari has ever built — the legendary automaker has dabbled with the concept before. One example of a Ferrari Sedan exists, and although it’s just a concept, the vehicle is privately owned and does crop up in an auction house once every few years.

The Ferrari Pinin was unveiled in 1980, and marked the 50th anniversary of coachbuilder and long-term Ferrari collaborator Pininfarina. While you may expect wedge shapes, mid-engine configurations, and flip-up headlights from a Ferrari the Pinin was a lot closer in appearance to a family car than it was to a high-performance exotic. The exterior is essentially a polished-up, yet generic, sedan. Inside, there’s plenty of tan leather and carpet. None of this was that different from what Audi, Mercedes, BMW, and numerous other companies were doing at the time and still do today. While there were some sleek notes to it, you could totally see someone’s mother picking them up from school in the mid-90s in one of these things.

Family car on the outside, Ferrari on the inside

The 1980 Ferrari Pinin concept

However, despite its surprising looks, under the hood it was very much a Ferrari. The Prancing Horse’s infamous 5-liter flat 12 engine was installed in the Pinin, allowing the hood to slope lower than it otherwise would. The flat-12 was accompanied by four Weber three-barrel downdraft carburetors, and its power was routed through a manual five-speed transmission. Oddly enough, Enzo Ferrari was a huge fan of it, and a production run of the Ferrari sedan was strongly considered. That never came to pass, but if you’re lucky and rich, you could still get your hands on one, or the one to be specific.

The world’s only Ferrari Pinin seems to show up at auction every few years, last cropping up in 2015 with an asking price of $830,000. That price will have undoubtedly increased, but it’s still far from the most expensive Ferrari on the market. Though it is arguably the most unique. Given that former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo swore that there would never be a four-door Ferrari, and the prancing horse puts a lot of effort into protecting its image, it’s quite a shock that it wasn’t reacquired and then tucked away in the dark corner of a warehouse somewhere. Obviously, that attitude has since changed, as Ferrari now has an SUV. But the Purosangue isn’t quite as unique as Ferrari is trying to make out.

Dave McQuilling
Dave has spent pretty much his entire career as a journalist; this has included jobs at newspapers, TV stations, on the…
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