Maybe Ferrari Needs a Minivan

January 5th, 2011

Prius crash

The great blog-o-sphere of all things automotive seems to have three things on its collective mind: the new Ferrari, cool minivans and Toyota’s arrogant claim that the Prius will become the best-selling nameplate in America.

The first two I’ll get to in a moment.

Regarding the Toyota claim, I guess the cautious humility of the post-”unintended acceleration” recalls has given way to a balls-out quest for U.S. domination. As much as I’d hate to see that happen, I can imagine it coming true if Prius turns into a complete line of hybrid vehicles.

With plans to display a Prius minivan/MPV/thing at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, we might have to brace for the coming onslaught of all-things Prius. Becoming the top-selling nameplate in America, though, would mean dethroning the Ford F-Series from its 34-year winning streak.

That’s about as likely as Ferrari building a minivan…

As great as the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti might be, it doesn’t exactly appeal to a mass audience. Since the aging supercar is due for replacement, it makes sense for Ferrari to replace it with something that has a little more marketability.

While a minivan is probably out of the question, apparently a two-door AWD shooting brake wagon is not. There are spy shots at Jalopnik and an admittedly good-looking rendering pictured here, courtesy of AutoExpress. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but a Ferrari estate actually makes sense, or at least more sense than a sedan or SUV. Or minivan.

The New York Times has an article about the rise of minivans and the eternal desire of automakers to brand them as “cool.” The marketing folks in charge of the new Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna have certainly tried to persuade us into believing that vans are hip, and judging by their sales numbers so far, may be having some success.

If they really want to make us believe minivans are cool, though, they might take some suggestions from the folks at Gawker, who have a fun take on the topic.

I, however, maintain that minvans won’t be cool until Ferrari makes one. Maybe next year.

In the next decade, do you think a Prius line could dethrone the Ford F-Series as the top selling nameplate in America?

-tgriffith

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