The times, they are definitely a-changin’. The crossover craze has had a wide and heavy influence on the automotive industry, and it seems that no area of the market is immune to the siren song of the tall standing, rear-hatch-having, SUV-style vehicle type. Even, Ferrari, the high-class purveyor of Italian sports cars, could get in on the money-making action that is the SUV.

Recently, on an earnings call reported on by Business Insider and other outlets, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the Ferrari utility vehicle of some sort would “probably happen, but it will happen Ferrari style.” When we heard this, we did a full body-cringe because it just doesn’t seem right. Marchionne said not too long ago that he deserved to be shot if that happened. He further clarified that statement during the earnings call.

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
The Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is the closest thing Ferrari currently sells to a crossover. 

“I would deserve to be shot, if we didn’t allow Ferrari engineers to reinvent the vehicle to have some utilitarian [features], to travel through uncharted territory,” Marchionne said. He then went on to explain that the company will not follow Porsche’s example and make something like the Cayenne. “We couldn’t. That would be obscene. I’m terrified of losing our exclusivity.”

Still, according to Marchionne, the crossover and SUV space is simply “too big and too inviting” not to enter into it with a Ferrari-branded vehicle. According to CAR Magazine, the Ferrari crossover SUV has been dubbed Project F16X and will use either a V8 gasoline engine or a hybrid powertrain. It will also likely cost somewhere in the ballpark of $354,000. CAR Magazine also notes that Ferrari insiders don’t call it a SUV, instead, they call it a FUV (Ferrari Utility Vehicle) whatever that means. All you need to know is that Ferrari is indeed working on one, and that it’s a little scary for the brand.

Only time will tell what the Ferrari Project F16X will look like.

The real issue for Ferrari is its exclusivity. Unless they come up with a genius vehicle and make sure not to go mainstream with it, the company will lose its brand recognition. Once it goes mainstream, you’ll see the Prancing Horse logo everywhere, and that would essentially destroy what the brand has spent decades building in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

We’re glad to hear Marchionne voice his displeasure with the prospect of the company building an SUV, but we wonder how the company will navigate this treacherous path. Obviously, there are people pushing for a Ferrari SUV, and if the sales from that model would help fund further amazing sports car projects, we can see the sense in making it. However, the moment a Ferrari SUV appears, a part of the brand dies and can never be brought back.