This svelte little number is Ferrari’s latest ultra-modern addition to its Icona range of special editions inspired by its own classics. It’s a bit like the Rolling Stones reworking one of their 1960s classics by moulding it around pop-indie, only the results from Maranello are actually quite good.
So cutting-edge that it’s a miracle it doesn’t just slice right through to Japan, the subtly-detailed but immensely purposeful wedge created by Chief Design Officer Flavio Manzoni and his staff is a showcase of everything the illustrious Prancing Horse is about – except batteries or electric motors.
That’s right, the Daytona SP3 – named to celebrate the crushing 1-2-3 victory in the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours race – is all traditional internal combustion muscle. And there’s quite a lot of it. Somehow mashed into the minimal volume within the wide but low and tight bodywork is the 6.5-litre V12 from the 812 Competizione, only more powerful. Palms already sweating? Good.
To get this wholly unnecessary and therefore extremely exciting extra power, Ferrari has redesigned the pistons, applied super-low-friction diamond-like carbon coatings to the piston pins, chopped three per cent out the weight off the crankshaft and rebalanced it for optimum performance. It still revs to 9500rpm with peak power arriving at 9250rpm. Peak torque is 514lb ft but this is no wafty motorway armchair; you’ll have to hit 7250rpm to achieve it.
Top speed was always going to be north of the big two-ton, and it rests at 211mph. Getting there is the work of but a moment, with 0-62mph dispatched in 2.85 seconds and 124mph made to look silly in just 7.4 seconds. Fuel efficiency is… probably not a priority.
Despite a conspicuous absence of big, lairy spoilers, the aero performance is pretty intense, too. Ditching the hybrid gubbins that has previously been attached to this block in the LaFerrari, the SP3’s waist has been tugged in to make room for sorta-F1-ish barge boards. Also direct from F1 is the new, highly temperature-resistant carbon around the sculpted rear end, which deals with what sounds like it might be the kind of heat-wash you’d only normally get while standing 0.3mm from the sun.
As a result, the SP3 will produce a handy 230kg of downforce at 130mph to add to its 1485 dry weight. That’s about 15 per cent (minus driver and fluids weights) extra pressure to help the tyres maintain grip in the fastest corners of your chosen international-standard race circuit. An 86-litre fuel tank somehow fits and should lessen the need to stop at every filling station.
It’s an incredible thing to look at. The highlight is probably the derrière, which looks – in the best possible way – like something Daft Punk would have worn on their heads. Futuristic but still retro, there’s no possible way you’d miss this in a line of traffic.
Elsewhere there’s the latest Side-Slip Angle Control (or SCC, because SSAC invites rude jokes), which for the first time on a mid-engined Ferrari incorporates the firm’s Dynamic Enhancer. If you’re not au fait with it, it helps trim the car’s yaw angle for even sharper nosery and an addictive apex-swatting directness. A 44/56 weight distribution hits a fairly ideal mid-engined balance.
The price? Don’t be silly, you can’t buy one. Only Ferrari’s “top clients and collectors” have been approached, and you can bet the small limited production run has long since sold out. It’d be nice to see one on the road, though. Here’s hoping.
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