Detroit: Ferrari Planning Electric Supercar, Says SUV Will Be 'Fastest on the Market'

CEO Sergio Marchionne sounds as confident as ever about the future of Ferrari.

A detailed view of the XXXXXXX during tthe 25th edition of InterClassics Maastricht held at MECC Halls on January 11, 2018 in Maastricht, Netherlands. Exhibitors and participants will be showing classic cars, engines, restoration equipment and supplies, new and used accessories, interiors, maintenance materials, literature, models, objects of art with the theme "classic race cars" plus club stands and museum representation.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

As the electric vehicle arms race marches on with manufacturers duking it out over which brand can have the longest range, the lowest price, or the quickest acceleration, there’s a different kind of EV race happening in the upper automotive echelon. It’s the race to see which premium brand can bring an all-electric supercar to market first. Ferrari says it'll take that title.

Yes, there’s the Tesla Model S sedan which one could argue could be considered a supercar in its upper trims, but it’s not a supercar in the Ferrari sense of the word. Ferrari’s definition of a supercar is an elite, exotic, and probably red two-seater made for the track and suitable for the street. Something in the vein of the F40 or the LaFerrari.

“If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,” Marchionne said at the Detroit auto show according to Bloomberg. We think Porsche might have something to say about that. “People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I’m not trying to minimize what Elon [Musk] did but I think it’s doable by all of us,” said Marchionne.

We’re not sure if Marchionne is referring to the Model S or the new Roadster when he talks about a Tesla supercar, but it sounds like he’s eager to beat Tesla and everybody else to the punch. Ferrari is already in the holy trinity of hybrid hypercars with the LaFerrari among the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918, but no car has achieved the performance, influence, or sex appeal that those cars have running on electricity alone.

That wasn’t the only thing Marchionne wanted to talk about in Detroit. He also gave a brief, but important update on the upcoming Ferrari SUV which, last we heard, should come out around 2020. Marchionne said the “FUV” will be “the fastest on the market” in a less-than-subtle swipe at the 2019 Lamborghini Urus which has a claimed top speed of 189 mph.

Can Ferrari, a brand famous for making sports cars with gas engines, hang on to its exclusive image as it becomes a brand that makes EVs and crossovers?