A Ferrari SUV Isn’t That Drastic – Remember when you could buy an authentic Fiat 500 with the Ferrari badge?
While you’re reading this, Ferrari engineers are working hard to prepare for the 2022 launch of the company’s very first SUV, the Purosangue. Although Maranello is late for the luxury SUV party, the decision to put a Ferrari badge on a high all-wheel drive car is a bold move from a brand known for its supercars and racing machines.
But maybe not this bold. Because in 2009 Ferrari applied its iconic prancing horse emblem to the back of a front-wheel drive city car.
The Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and it was, unsurprisingly, ridiculously expensive. Like, expensive Porsche Cayman or BMW 1M. The UK list price when it finally arrived in showrooms was £ 37,500 ($ 52,800) which, adjusted or inflation, works out to around £ 46,700 ($ 65,800) in today’s money. For a Fiat 500.
Okay, so technically it was based on an Abarth 500 Essesse, but it was just a Fiat with the wick up. In 2009, the base Abarth 500 produced 135 hp and the £ 16,100 ($ 22,700) Essesse increased that figure to 160 hp. But despite costing more than double, the Tributo Ferrari only boosted horsepower up to 180bhp thanks to new pistons and a remapped ECU.
Related: Abarth Made A Unique 1000 SP Roadster Based On Alfa Romeo’s 4C
However, you also had various alloy rims mimicking those of Ferrari’s 360 Challenge Stradale, beautiful carbon fiber Sabelt bucket seats, big Brembo brakes and a handful of Ferrari logos on the sill plates, the key ring. and the trunk lid.
You also get a Ferrari level exclusivity. Only 500 were built, including 152 right-hand drive cars, and the combination of that rarity and the Ferrari connection means you’ll still pay handsomely for a Tributo 10 years later.
We found a couple of these for sale in the UK, both for just under £ 28,000 ($ 39,400). Which, when you think about it, isn’t bad depreciation. Ferrari specialist Simon Furlonger has a 33,000 mile red car, but we rather fancy the unusual Giallo Modena car in Classic vintage cars and prestige. The dealer claims this is one of six painted yellow, and it comes with the original Tributo leather luggage kit.
Zero to 62 mph took just under 7 seconds in a Tributo, which isn’t slow, but it’s not fast either. Even a dingy old Ferrari Mondial, currently about the only other way to buy a Ferrari for under $ 40,000, could get you in trouble because of the lights. If it didn’t collapse, it is. The Tributo might not be a real Ferrari, but it should be a lot less painful to own.