- Ferrari revealed the Daytona SP3 during an event at the Mugello racetrack in Italy today; it's the latest in an ongoing series of "Icona" ultra-limited-edition cars.
- The Daytona SP3 has the iconic look of the sports-prototype racers that won the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours and features Ferrari's equally iconic naturally aspirated mid-mounted 829-hp V-12.
- Only a few clients and collectors will be able to buy this Ferrari, and very likely at a seven-figure price.
There is no such thing as a commonplace Ferrari, but some are definitely more special than others. The Italian company reserves its best efforts for the limited-run "Icona" specials that sit high up in its hierarchy, the cars that only the brand's most loyal (and wealthy) customers are allowed to buy. The Daytona SP3, which has just been unveiled at Ferrari's Finali Mondiali event at the Mugello circuit in Italy, is the latest of these—and it looks absolutely stunning.
The combination of the words "Ferrari" and "Daytona" is likely to turn thoughts to the 365GTB/4 coupe and GTS/4 Spider from the late Sixties. Both of these were commonly known as Daytonas, a name inspired by Ferrari’s famous 1-2-3 finish at the 1967 Daytona 24-hour race, but the title was never official—and that car had its engine at the front. The new, fully sanctioned Daytona has been inspired by the famous victory, specifically the trio of sports prototypes that took the podium places: a 330P3/4, a 330P4, and a 412P.
The car's design pays obvious tribute to the muscular contours of those sports-car racers, and the SP3 shares their mid-engine layout with a mighty V-12 mounted behind the passenger compartment.
The engine is based on the 6.5-liter unit fitted to the 812 Competizione, but with a new induction and exhaust system for its changed position within the car. Internal upgrades include titanium con rods. Piston pins, camshafts and sliding finger valve followers have all been treated with what is described as a Diamond Like Carbon treatment to reduce friction. Together with other modifications to the direct injection fueling system—with twin pumps supplying four separate fuel rails—the Daytona’s engine now produces 829 horsepower, 10 hp more than the Competizione. That makes it the most powerful Ferrari road-car combustion engine. Drive reaches the rear wheels through a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox.
Although clearly inspired by the company’s '60s sports prototypes, especially with the wraparound windshield and the heavily defined wheel arches, the Daytona SP3's bodywork is thoroughly modern. The monocoque tub and all exterior panels are made from carbon fiber, with Ferrari claiming a dry weight of 3275 pounds.
Aerodynamics have been carefully considered, especially given the cooling requirements of the hugely powerful engine, but the Daytona looks much more subtle than the supercar norm, without aggressive wing elements. We're told that the car does produce positive downforce, with much of this created by carefully optimized underbody ducting creating ground-effect assistance. We were particularly taken by the strakes on the rear. These, according to the company, are intended to "create the impression of a light, radical, structured monolithic volume that lends the Daytona SP3 a look that is both futuristic and a nod to signatures from Ferrari's DNA." We get strong 512 Testarossa vibes.
The new Daytona’s interior skews modern: retro ratio further to the left than the outside, using the same digital dashboard and UI as the SF90 Stradale. Seats are integrated into the body, and driving position adjustment is by a movable pedal box. The way the fabric for both sides links over the center tunnel is another nod to the way the '60s sports cars were designed. Although these official images only show it without a roof, the SP3 features a clip-in targa panel and so should be more usable than its predecessors in Ferrari’s Icona series, the roofless and screenless SP1 and SP2 Monza.
Two details are conspicuously absent from the official release: price and proposed production numbers. This is one of those Ferraris that only the company's elite customers will be invited to buy. It is hard to imagine that many of any of them will grumble at what will certainly be a seven-figure price tag, and it seems likely that volumes won't be higher than the 500 limit of the Monza SP1 and SP2.
As the official release puts it, this is a car "aimed solely at Ferrari's top clients and collectors, proud ambassadors for the Prancing Horse marque." That would be a fine club to be a member of, but also a very expensive one.