Ferrari has presented two new models that take it in a new direction; the Monza SP1 and SP2 are “barchetta” sportscars, one a single seater and the other a two seater, that aim to revisit theme from half a century in the company’s past.
The two new cars were unveiled on the occasion of the company’s Capital Market’s Day at the factory in Maranello this month and will be launched in public next month during the Paris Motor Show.
These limited-edition special-series sportscars are the first from a new division that’s been dubbed ‘Icona’ and they draw inspiration from the most evocative Ferraris of the 1950s and feature the most advanced sports car technology available today.
Aimed at dedicated clients and collectors, the Monza SP1 and SP2 reference the iconic Ferrari racing barchettas of the past, not least the 1948 166 MM, which originally inspired the name ‘barchetta’, and the 750 Monza and 860 Monza. Designed with the sole aim of winning, these models helped build the Ferrari legend in the 1950s by delivering numerous victories in the World Sports Car Championship.
The "barchetta" concept has a strong association with Italian design and probably better know than the historic Ferrari models are the legendary barchetta models from Fiat and Abarth as well as the more recent famous Maserati Barchetta from the early 1990s.
The Ferrari Monza SP1 was designed as a single-seat road car that offers a unique experience behind the wheel. The second configuration, the Monza SP2, thanks to the elimination of the tonneau cover and the addition of a second protective screen and a second roll-bar, is instead a two-seater enabling the passenger to share the same driving sensations.
The Monza SP1 and SP2 feature a unique design which is based on the aluminium chassis and powertrain of the 812 Superfast, the best weight-to-power ratio of any barchetta, thanks to the extensive use of carbon-fibre in construction, and distinctive details, such as head-and tail-lights, wheels and interior, although at 1500 kg for the SP1 and 1520 kg for the SP2 there aren't particularly light wieght in the general tradition of barchettas.
Equipped with the most powerful engine Maranello has ever built, the 810 CV V12, thanks to being drawn from its 812 Superfast underpinnings, they can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 7.9 seconds.
The architecture of the two cars is based on a monolithic form with an aerodynamic wing profile where the absence of a roof and windscreen gave the designers the freedom to create unique proportions that would not have been possible on a traditional spider.
The result is to try to create the feeling of speed normally only experienced by racing drivers, which derives from the concept of a cockpit carved from the car’s volume that wraps around the driver.
Ferrari says that: "The Ferrari Design Centre has sought to create a very pure design, as though born of a single pencil stroke, to convey an ideal of timeless elegance, minimalist form and refined detail. Visually complex solutions, such as those seen on recent racing cars, have been avoided, giving way to a more understated formal design language. Never has a model expressed such a narrative power, highlighting its appeal as a driver’s car where the link between man and automobile becomes symbiotic."
Unusually for a barchetta, the compact doors open upwards while the carbon-fibre one-piece bonnet-wing assembly is hinged at the front to showcase the V12 engine once open. As with racing models, the bodyshell of both cars is made entirely from lightweight carbon-fibre.
The interior is trimmed in the same material with a natural finish to enhance the sporty impact of the design. Weight reduction and the ‘barchetta’ configuration guarantee unique vehicle dynamics: excellent balanced with no roll whatsoever for pure sports-car handling.
Because these are authentic “en plein air” sports cars, one of the greatest challenges in their design was managing the aerodynamic flows inside the cockpit in the absence of a windscreen. The solution, Ferrari says, was the patented “Virtual Wind Shield” which has been incorporated into the fairing ahead of the instrument panel and the steering wheel. The “Virtual Wind Shield” deviates a part of the air flow to maintain driving comfort.
For Monza SP1 and SP2 owners Ferrari, in collaboration with two luxury brands, Loro Piana and Berluti, has created gentlemen-driver-inspired apparel and accessories. The driver’s selection includes racing overalls, jersey, helmet, gloves, scarf and driving shoes. These feature a number of technical solutions for a more comfortable fit and to ensure freedom of movement while driving.
Type V12 – 65°
Overall displacement 6496 cm3
Max. power output 596 kW (810 CV) at 8500 rpm
Max. torque 719 Nm at 7000 rpm
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Length 4657 mm
Width 1996 mm
Height 1155 mm
Dry weight 1500 kg (SP1), 1520 kg (SP2)
0-100 km/h 2.9 sec
0-200 km/h 7.9 sec
Max. speed >300 km/h
Photos: Ferrari Monza SP1 & SP2
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