Ferrari’s Monza SP1 and SP2 is where beauty meets the beast

At the Paris Motor Show in early October, Ferrari unveiled the first two models of the Icona collection: the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 based on 812 Superfast. The two debutants’ sleek, minimalist silhouette with sensuous uninterrupted flow lines create a postmodern aesthetic that lures one to stand and stare, as if in a trance, at every minute detail. This is even before the ignition has been turned on.

 

The Icona collection is Ferrari’s new concept that taps into a leitmotif of the most evocative cars in the company’s history to create a new segment of limited-edition series of cars that “use a modern aesthetic to reinterpret a timeless style, with technologically advanced components and the highest performance possible through continuous innovation.

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 seem to be sculpted by the wind rather than by human hands. They have an aesthetic that is futuristic but, at the same time, a respectful yet un-nostalgic homage to the past.

They draw inspiration from the barchettas of the 1940s and 50s; thoroughbreds that tasted victory in gruelling events such as the Mille Miglia and 24 Hours of Le Mans to etch Ferrari’s name firmly in the annals of motoring history. These cars were beautiful and powerful. While the Monza SPs’ designers gave the Barchetta concept a modern connotation, there are no nostalgic references, and no elements borrowed directly from the past. The twins were designed like a modern single-seater for a new generation of gentlemen drivers.

The lines running through the exterior volume of the cars break it up into two seemingly distinct parts: an upper shell and a lower hull. The upper shell seems almost to float, an effect created by the uninterrupted line that circles the cockpit and ends above the tail. This slender gap between the two shells has made it possible to introduce a new tail light concept whereby the side lights and brake lights have been seamlessly integrated into a single unbroken “line of light.” This theme of the “line of light” is found on the headlights as well.

The cars’ flanks are absolutely clean, taut and pure, interrupted only by the scooped side air vent, in homage to the barchettas of old. Particular attention was lavished on the design of the compact doors which open upwards. The sculptural 21″ five-spoke wheels were designed specifically to complement the minimalist lines of the two cars. The distinctive livery running across the bonnet and the wings, as well as on the driver’s buttress at the rear, draws inspiration from the liveries of the 250 GTO and 250 Testa Rossa among others.

If there is such a thing as a soul, engines have one,” Enzo Ferrari used to say. This could not be truer than in the case of the Monza SP twins. As aesthetically beautiful as they are, their soul lies within the most powerful naturally-aspirated V12 ever produced by Ferrari. Based on the 812 Superfast’s much acclaimed 6.5-litre powerhouse, the ones in the Monza SPs have nearly ten hp more for a total of almost 800 hp at 8,500 rpm. There is also a slight increase in torque to 719 Nm at 7,000 rpm. As a result, the twins can deliver acceleration of 0-100 kmph in 2.9 sec, and braking performance of 100-0 kmph in 32 m. The open configuration allows the V12’s sound to be even more enveloping than in the Superfast.

The downside of an open configuration is the problem of headwind hitting the driver’s face. To minimise the adverse effect of the high-speed airflow without compromising the exhilarating sense of speed, Ferrari engineers developed the patented Virtual Wind Shield for the twins. It works by diverting part of the air flowing over the bonnet into the air intake under the aero screen, where it is accelerated and deflected vertically ahead of the instrument panel. This diverts the headwind to flow over the driver.

To communicate the feeling of being directly connected to history, Ferrari collaborated with Loro Piana and Berluti, on creating a selection of apparel and accessories especially for the Monza SP owners. Loro Piana produced a comfortable range of clothing inspired by the elegant 1950s using extra fine merino wool treated with ‘Storm System’ to make it water-resistant and windproof.

Berluti has produced a helmet made from carbon-fibre, two leather bags, and a special lace-up Oxford driving shoe made of Venezia leather with a choice of Graphite black or Brun. The sole was designed using the same carbon-fibre fabric used by Ferrari for its cars.

Ferrari’s extended seven-year maintenance programme is also offered with the Monza SP1 and SP2 covering all regular maintenance for the first seven years of the car’s life.