All posts in “Ferrari”

Ferrari SP51 is a V12 roadster with gorgeous paint based on the 812 GTS Spider

Ferrari says it spends an average of two years on its one-off Special Project cars such as the SP48 Unica from earlier this year, which was based on the F8 Tributo. Here’s another before the year is out, the SP51 that rides on the bones of the 812 GTS convertible. A Taiwan-based client and collector had the idea and the funds to make it happen, working with the Ferrari Styling Center on a highly advanced and proper roofless roadster that nods to historical Ferrari roadsters as well. A reshaped front fascia houses a black, carbon fiber insert below smaller headlights. Another large section of exposed carbon fiber piece below the windshield reaches forward to the hood vents, framing the center of the hood. Along the flanks, the 812’s upswept sculpting is redirected, scalloped sides rising gently to the middle of the door then descending toward the rear wheels. Above that, a pair of flying-buttress-like cowls help shape the dark lines of rear intakes behind the cabin. A carbon fiber wing runs across the car above the cowls, concealing the roll hoops.

A custom set of rims are set off by carbon fiber wing profiles in the front fenders. In back, the quad taillights peek out from below the decklid spoiler and above the deep, layered diffuser. Ferrari said it took a heap of “CFD simulations, wind tunnel and dynamic testing” in order to imbue the “ultimate in comfort in the cabin, but also the same standard of acoustic comfort and wind feel as the car that inspired it.”

That color seen outside and in is Rosso Passionale, a custom hue applied in three layers. The blue and white stripes running over the body and through the cabin pay tribute to the blue and white livery inspired by a 1955 Ferrari 410 S, an early race car powered by a 5.0-liter V12. A 410 S with chassis number 0592CM shows off that paint scheme, the roadster driven by Carroll Shelby to wins in Palm Springs the year it was delivered to owner Tony Parravano.

The cabin continues the blue and red theme, with Rosso Passionale offset by blue striping and white cross stitching on the instrument panel lower, seats, center tunnel, and doors. It can’t be bought so the price doesn’t matter, making the only real question: Would you have this, or the Ferrari Special Projects roadster from 2014, the F12 TRS

An assortment of emblematic supercars is headed to auction

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is giving enthusiasts the chance to bid on the supercars that they had posters of when they were kids. It’s organizing a live sale in Miami, Florida, in December 2022 that’s limited to 60 high-end models built between the 1970s and the 2010s.

The oldest car in the catalog is a V12-powered 1974 Jaguar E-Type, though keep in mind that only 20 of the 60 available slots have been filled so far. At the other end of the spectrum, the newest model is currently a 2014 BMW M5. If your automotive tastes are firmly anchored in the 1980s, there’s a wide selection of cars to choose from such as a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition and a 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo with a flat-nose conversion. If your heart belongs in the 1990s, RM’s sale includes a 1990 Lamborghini LM 002, a 1995 Ferrari 512 M, and a 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo. Bentley models and a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR are among the newer classics.

Carmakers weren’t alone in pursuing speed, style, and extravagance in the 1980s; tuners fought hard for a piece of the pie as well, and RM’s sale reflects that. Collectors will get the rare opportunity to bid on a number of pre-merger AMG models like a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 5.0 (R107), a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC 6.0 (C126) with a wide-body kit, and a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL 6.0 (W126). BMW-based Alpina models are well represented, too: RM accepted a pair of 6 Series-based 1987 B7 coupes and a 3 Series-based B6 2.8. 

There are several slots left so it’s not too late to submit your car. If you’re a buyer, plan on being in Miami on December 9 and 10, 2022. We suggest clearing up space in your garage first: every car is offered with no reserve, so the selling price will be the highest bid.

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Ferrari teases Purosangue exhaust note before September 13 debut

We’ve been talking about a Ferrari SUV for more than five years, when ex-CEO Luca de Montezemolo said the Maranello automaker would never build one and then was let go not long after. We’ve known there would be a Ferrari SUV for four years, when the brand’s product road map ID’d what would come to be nicknamed the Ferrari Utility Vehicle. Barring a late switcheroo, we’re betting on the official name to be Purosangue. During a year of teasers and spy videos, at last, we have less than a week to see what all the fuss has been and will be about. On September 13, Ferrari shows its new four-door, four-seat family car, and teased the arrival with a clip of the exhaust note.

Although muted, we expect that sound to be emerging from a naturally aspirated V12, the engine CEO Benedetta Vigna confirmed the Purosangue will offer. It’s possible Ferrari’s twin-turbo V8 will join the options, but we don’t know if or when that happens. With spy videos showing what appears to be a slightly lifted wagon-esque form, the Purosangue’s focus on road manners could vault it to the top of the competitive set in the horsepower column. The company’s 6.5-liter V12 makes 819 horsepower in the 812Superfast, easily besting the 697 in the Aston Martin DBX 707 and the 657 horses in the Lamborghini Urus Performante. Even Ferrari’s twin-snail V8 would clear the bar, that engine producing 711 hp in the F8 Tributo. Or, it’s possible Ferrari could turn the wick way down, aligning the Purosangue with its tourers, the 611-hp Roma and 612-hp Portofino M convertible.

Sounds like no matter the specs, the Purosangue won’t be the easiest Ferrari to get into for reasons beyond the current industrial snarls. A Ferrari presentation during Capital Markets Day this year explained the Purosangue’s “yearly average contribution to shipments will remain below 20% over its lifecycle.” Volume that low indicates a cap enforced by the company; SUVs introduced among other super sports car makers have run directly to the top of the brand’s sales charts. We will not be surprised to see that figure rise in the coming years, or Purosangue’s being flipped for obscene amounts over its entire run.

It’s quite the month for lusty cars, the Pagani C10 debuting the day before the Ferrari, the seventh-gen Ford Mustang arriving the day after. 

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Ferrari 296 GT3 brings V6 power to Ferrari sports car racing

This is the Ferrari 296 GT3 race car, and it’s here to succeed the 488 GT3 racer in sports car competition. Yes, this means that Ferrari’s mid-engine racer will no longer by powered by a V8. Instead, the 296 GT3 uses a racing version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the road-going 296 GTB.

Since the 296 GT3 is exclusively for racing purposes, Ferrari deleted the plug-in hybrid system, meaning that this 296 is gasoline-powered-only. Balance of Performance (BoP) will dictate how much power this 296 is running in competition, but Ferrari quotes 600 horsepower and 524 pound-feet of torque as the baseline figures. That’s a smidgen down from the road car’s engine-only horsepower figure of 654 ponies. The GT3’s engine is also positioned further forward and lower down versus the road car. Ferrari says its goal was to make an engine with maximum performance, but also provide maximum reliability and driveability — this car will compete in 24-hour races, after all. The engine is connected to a bespoke gearbox developed for this car. It’s a six-speed single-clutch Xtrac system that now features electric clutch actuation via the steering wheel as opposed to a foot pedal.

The 296’s design and the new aero work done for the GT3 result in 20% greater downforce than the outgoing 488 GT3 race car. Ferrari says it worked to make the car more drivable even when in the slipstream of other cars. It’s not the prettiest Ferrari racer we’ve ever seen, but it sure doesn’t look like it’ll be lacking for downforce with the massive wings and appendages protruding every which way from it. If the 296 GT3 is damaged mid-race, Ferrari promises easier replacement of the front and rear aprons to get back on the track quicker.

Ferrari 296 GT3

Ferrari designed a new chassis using learnings from the 488 GT3. It’s made of aluminum, and Ferrari says its lightness will allow for better and more efficient ballast placement for BoP restrictions. The wheelbase is longer than the road-going 296, and the suspension is changed from the 488 GT3 to offer a wider range of adjustment for different styles of driver and different tracks. A new (and larger) braking system is integrated, and shrouding those brakes is a new wheel from Rotiform that was made specifically for the 296 GT3.

The interior is totally new versus the 488 GT3. Drivers will have an easier time getting comfortable with adjustable pedals and an adjustable steering wheel. Most controls have moved to an F1-style steering wheel. Plus, an air conditioning system combined with improved ventilation should help keep drivers cooler.

Ferrari says it’s already put thousands of miles on test cars to prepare for competition. The 296 GT3’s debut race will be next year’s Daytona 24 Hours.

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This one-off Ferrari Enzo is someone’s white whale

Forgive this blasphemy, but the best color for Ferraris is not red. Rosso Corsa might be the national racing color of Italy but, frankly, these days Mazda has a better red. Drowning in a crimson tide of red ‘Rraris at a car show gets old after a while, and being smothered by a Ferrari store’s retina-searing red is akin to what Jonah suffered while stuck in the belly of a whale. 

There are so many better hues for a Ferrari. Verde Pino on a 250 Lusso, Blu Tour de France on a Daytona. And Bianco Avus, a.k.a. white, on an Enzo. That last one happens to be up for auction at R.M. Sotheby’s in Ontario, Canada next week. It’s also quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a white Enzo, because of all the 400 or so that came out of Maranello, only one was only one finished in Bianco Avus.

The auction lists it as THE white Enzo, but that is actually a bit misleading. According to records it is indeed the sole Bianco Avus specimen of the 651-horsepower supercar. To be completely accurate, though, there is another white Enzo out there. That one is finished in a pearl white called Bianco Fuji and located, appropriately, in Japan.

None of that takes away from the fact that the car for sale is a rare and stunning specimen. It was designed as a flagship to link Ferrari road cars with its Formula 1 racers, which finally reclaimed the championship in 2000 after a 20-year absence in the winner’s circle. Its carbon fiber bodywork, carbon-ceramic brakes, and high-revving V12 were derived from Scuderia Ferrari’s warhorses. Simply called Enzo, it was named to honor the prancing horse firm’s founder, and production coincided with Ferrari’s five-year F1 winning streak from 2000-04. 

The Bianco Avus Enzo is one of 20 “extracampionario” cars painted in a color from the off-menu palette. For that privilege, it is said customers would have had to purchase both of the Enzo’s immediate predecessors, the F40 and F50.

Our argument for a white Enzo is based on the theory that if you’re already driving a shouty supercar, there’s no need to also slather it in a shouty color. Some of us enjoy the car for what it is, without all the attention that a bright red sports car would attract. Unique design elements like the floating red taillights would get lost in red as well. 

In any case, at least one unnamed German-Swiss billionaire agrees. The car was finished on May 22, 2003 and sold to that billionaire in Switzerland where it was displayed in the window of a store in Matran, before changing ownership to a collector in Hong Kong in 2011. According to the auction, it was unregistered during its time there because LHD cars aren’t road legal, and is now under temporary import to Canada where it will be presented at auction June 29-30. 

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Ferrari SF48 Unica one-off is based on the F8 Tributo

Ferrari has unveiled the SF48 Unica, the latest addition to its portfolio of customer-commissioned one-off models. Based on the F8 Tributo, the coupe was created by the Ferrari Styling Center for an anonymous client who participated in every step of the design process.

Nearly every part of the F8 Tributo‘s exterior has been redesigned. Up front, the SF48 Unica features new-look lights, a reshaped bumper with honeycomb-like inserts, and twin vents. Blacked-out a-pillars create the illusion of a wrap-around windshield. Even the door skins are specific to the model, and designers relocated an intercooler to move the engine’s air intakes down. Out back, thin rectangular lights replaced the F8’s quad round units and the rear bumper is new as well. One of the most striking styling cues is the lack of a rear window.

Creating a one-off model requires a tremendous amount of time and resources, especially because many of the changes alter the coupe’s aerodynamic profile. The SF48’s rear overhang is a little longer than the F8’s, and the extra inches increase downforce on the back wheels. Procedural-parametric modeling techniques and 3D prototyping helped the Prancing Horse’s designers make the one-of-a-kind car a reality.

Ferrari notes that the SF48’s cabin looks a lot like the F8’s, though it stopped short of releasing photos. The two cars aren’t exactly identical inside, however: the customer who commissioned the Unica requested black laser-perforated Alcantara upholstery draped over a layer of fabric that matches the body’s color, for example. Matte carbon fiber trim and Grigio Canna di Fucile accents were specified as well.

We’re guessing that no significant mechanical changes were made, meaning that power comes from a 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Mid-mounted, it spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

As is normally the case, Ferrari hasn’t revealed the identity of the SF48 Unica’s owner or how much the car cost to build.

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Ferrari F8 Tributo order books already closed

With everything else going on, well, everywhere, it’s easy to forget about that sensational little number known as the Ferrari F8 Tributo. The coupe isn’t even three years old, the Spider barely two, and word has come down they won’t be in production for much more than another year. Automotive News Europe reported last month that Ferrari stopped taking orders for the duo. The folks in Modena didn’t offer any reason, but Ferrari Australasia told Australian outlet Drive that the F8 is off the menu because of “the volume of orders received,” and that “currently there are no plans to recommence orders for either model.”

The automaker’s mid-engined supercar line is without a non-hybrid V8 for the first time in nearly 50 years when the 308 GTB appeared in 1975. The only place to get an unelectrified V8 in Maranello is the Roma or the Portofino M, placed down in front. The powertrain flow chart for mid-engined cars now forks up to the SF90 Stradale PHEV and down to the 296 GTB PHEV. Both outdo the 711-horsepower 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 in the F8 for output, the SF90’s 4.0-liter V8 and three electric motors good for 986 hp, the 296 GTB’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and single electric motor spinning out 819 hp.  

We could consider the 296 GTB the F8’s successor, but Ferrari hasn’t said anything about such positioning. 

With Ferrari CEO CEO Benedetto Vigna telling analysts his firm is working through “the strongest ever order book in its history,” with enough demand to keep lines busy “well into 2023,” it’s unlikely the F8 will get another chance at life. It’s also unlikely the car will get the same kind of hardcore variant that has elevated its predecessors going back to the 360 Challenge Stradale

Although the Australasia spokesperson told Drive “the brand will re-evaluate [F8 production] again at a later date,” we don’t see much coming of it. The Purosangue is due shortly, the new SUV a lock to become Ferrari’s most popular vehicle, perhaps pushing the overall order backlog into 2024.

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Ferrari 296 GTB First Drive Review | Design and technical showpiece

Seville, Spain – Even when its founder Enzo was a pup, Ferrari was famously wringing maximum performance from miniscule engines. Today, that spirit lives on in the Ferrari 296 GTB plug-in hybrid – the first real V6 road car in Ferrari history – and a blistering track romp and road trip through Andalusia, Spain, proves again that automotive brilliance often comes in bite-sized packages. That talent, now combined with the modern shove and zero tailpipe emissions of electricity (in short distances) is coming in handy as regulators demand gasoline engines be downsized or eliminated entirely. When downtown Rome finally says basta to internal-combustion cars, the 296 GTB will get a free pass and a proud salute from locals.

This Ferrari will draw its share of wolf whistles as well. New tech aside, the 296 GTB is more old-school Ferrari in styling; a swoopy object of lust from its flying buttresses to a carved-out Kamm tail.

Press the haptic e Drive switch on the 296’s exotic steering wheel and it can cover 15.5 miles on pure electricity at up to 84 mph. Its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 is sidelined via an electric clutch, and a ghostly hum emanates from within. No, that’s not the sound of Enzo turning in his grave. Just the opposite, I’d say. That dude loved to win, even (or especially) when people called him crazy, and said his tiny 12-cylinder jewels (Phrasing? -BH) would never work (Oh, it got worse -BH).

So if you assume the 296 GTB is the Ferrari customers must “settle for,” think again. This short-wheelbase, mid-engine Ferrari is gorgeously evocative of classic models like the 250 LM, including roller-coaster haunches that seem extruded from a fast-flowing body. With a ridiculous 819 rear-driven horsepower, the 296 GTB is also faster and more reactive than every larger V8 car in Ferrari’s lineup, including the 488 Tributo and wicked 488 Pista. How fast? Well, this six-cylinder warrior circles the Fiorano factory track in less time than LaFerrari — the seven-figure hybrid wonder of just a few years ago. “But it doesn’t have a V8,” your say? Well, fine: The 488s, Roma coupe and Portofino convertible remain eminently defensible choices. Just get used to the 296 GTB wagging its saucy tail in your face at track days (with its signature, high-mounted single exhaust outlet), while you mumble something about the “Good Old Days.”

I’m mumbling something else after storming through Andalusia on HU 4103, a two-lane, EU-funded fantasy road that resembles a private/public racetrack in the countryside: All mirror-smooth pavement, double-stacked guardrails, helpful bright-blue turn arrows and a dearth of other drivers. The 296 GTB bullets from corner to corner, as fast in full Automatic mode as when using the rabbit-eared, carbon-fiber paddle shifters. Braked with my left foot for balanced pendulum swings against the throttle, the Ferrari’s eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox self-downshifts as low as second gear at roughly 6,000 rpm.

Incredible by-wire brakes create a fierce double-whammy of engine braking and electric regen, and then the Ferrari is off again. On a long ascent and descent, the regen brakes slurp so much energy that the battery remains fully stuffed, even at maximum attack. This is a hybrid that basically never runs out of electric breath, a kind of junior F1 car for the street.

A “Qualifying” mode summons maximum performance for shorter bursts, but also fully recharges the 7.5-kilowatt-hour battery (with 80 lithium-ion cells) in less than 15 minutes in my hands. The 296 is also super-satisfying in Hybrid mode, cruising gasoline-free at a brisk clip, but ready to fire up the engine and lunge ahead with a firmer press of the throttle. After a perspiring 115-mile drive, the all-digital instrument panel, descended from the SF90 hypercar, informs me that I’ve used gasoline for 80% of the trip, electricity for the rest – and saved 1 liter of fuel in the process. Every little bit, si?

Seemingly limitless front-end grip is amplified with joyful, high-pitched 8,500-rpm shrieks from an engine that Ferrari engineers call the “piccolo V12” — “little V12.” That’s not all Italian hyperbole, as I’ll explain later. As for the “first Ferrari V6” claim, recall that the six-cylinder, mid-engine Dinos – sold from 1967 to 1974, named after Enzo’s tragically fated son – were intended as a “son-of” sub-brand, and never wore a Ferrari badge. Ferrari, of course, has enjoyed racing success with V6s in multiple eras, from Mike Hawthorn’s 1958 F1 championship to the 1982 campaign that saw the 126 C2 become F1’s first turbocharged title winner.

These Spanish roads wind through the Rio Tinto (“Red River”) whose mineral-infused waters flash a striking crimson, though our convoy of Ferraris may have created some spillover effect. Regarding red Ferraris, I’ve never been a fan of that too-obvious choice, but the 296 GTB’s Rosso Imola definitely works, a smoldering lipstick shade for this Italian supermodel. And while I do love me some 488 Pista, our long road-and-track day convinces me the 296 GTB is the smarter, better all-around sports car. The 296 – the name combining the 2,992-cc engine, and “6” cylinders – feels even more responsive, less high-strung and demanding, thereby more appealing as a daily driver. And that’s without getting into the electric advantages; including a redesigned electric motor, sandwiched between the engine and gearbox, that supplies 122 kilowatts (165 horsepower) and 232 pound-feet of torque, filling in all the low-rev and shifting gaps until there’s no chink in the armor.

Quicksilver handling recalls a Lotus by way of Maranello, but with double or triple the power. Its electric steering is immediacy personified, with a lightness that underlines the wrongheadedness of sports cars and sedans that confuse burly effort with actual road feel. A highway blast on the Autovia lets the 296 GTB demonstrate its searing pace and stability, surging to 150 mph and more as boggled drivers pull to the right to watch the Ferrari soar past. 

The craziest part is how a sports car can send 819 horsepower to the ground through rear wheels, effortlessly, without ever feeling like a handful of dynamite. Credit in part the specially developed, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, or the available Pilot Sport Cup 2s that nearly match the dry grip of racing slicks but remain DOT-legal.

Actually, this may be the craziest part: Company executives and engineers define the 296 GTB as the most “fun-to-drive” Ferrari, by intent and design. That may come as a shock to people who plunk down at least $523,000 – $200,000 beyond the GTB’s $323,000 base price – for its philosophical parent, the SF90 AWD plug-in. But Ferrari executives are nothing if not confident, saying there’s a Ferrari for every type of buyer, and obviously big enough garages that some can avoid making a choice altogether. While “fun to drive” has a subjective element, engineers insist there are objective parameters, including lateral/longitudinal response to throttle and steering inputs; shift times and sensations; brake pedal feel and response; and sound level and quality in the cabin. Designers and engineers parsed, mapped and quantified everything that makes a Ferrari “fun” – price tag didn’t make the list – and sought to elevate the 296 GTB to new highs, for owners who prize pure sensation and immediacy.

Sensations begin with a 2.0-inch shorter wheelbase and lower center-of-gravity versus any V8 Ferrari, which helps this sports car shrink around its pilot. The engine trims 66 pounds versus the V8. Dry weight is a commendable 3,234 pounds — 70 more than an F8 Tributo, thanks to the hybrid hardware and battery — but with 108 faster-acting horsepower on tap. That gives the 296 a better weight-to-power ratio than any rival. Meanwhile, the feelsome by-wire braking system, the company insists, lets the 296 GTB brake later and deeper into corners than any other Ferrari, allowing owners to attack apexes and just crush the pedal with no fear of upsetting the car.

Extensive aero work includes a “tea tray” doohickey up front to direct air along the underbody. Hidden headlamp ducts cool brakes, themselves fitted with ventilating “aero” calipers. Underbody height is as low as roadgoing rules allow, allowing reworked vortex generators to boost ground-effect suction and front downforce. Greedy cavities in those blush-worthy rear fenders feed turbo intercoolers. An active aero panel, hidden between taillamps, rises in an instant to generate up to 100 pounds of extra downforce, including under braking. I wasn’t arguing after my track drive at the Monteblanco circuit, where a roughly 165-mph straightaway abruptly ends at a near-hairpin corner. An optional Assetto Fiorano package forms that panel from carbon fiber, with stiffer Multimatic shock absorbers and other bits to further boost downforce and trim 26 pounds.

I’ve barely discussed that masterwork engine, discreetly hidden below dark-tinted, three-dimensional glass. Twin exhaust banks provocatively come together in a long, single central exhaust formed from thin-walled Inconel alloy. “Aluchrome” is used for the cavernous, high-mounted rear outlet, an alloy that maintains shine under extremely high temperatures.

Consider Enzo Ferrari’s first solo effort, the 125S racer of 1947, which made 118 horsepower from 12 dainty cylinders that displaced just 1.5 liters. This V6 alone generates 654 horsepower from just twice the displacement. Its 218 horsepower-per-liter becomes a historic high in specific output for any production automobile. The engine cradles a pair of turbochargers in the “hot-V” cleavage of 120-degree cylinder banks. Those turbos spin up to 180,000 rpm, with a huge 24% jump in performance and boost efficiency versus the V8 turbos. This engine is also a testament to high compression (including 350-bar fuel injection) and low inertia. The whistling turbos and a forged, nitrided crankshaft help reduce rotating masses by 11% versus the 3.9-liter V8.

This first in a new F163 engine family also combines two elements that can seem diametrically opposed: The force of turbocharging with the euphonious revving and trebly wail of a naturally aspirated V-2: Hence, “the piccolo V12.” The crankshaft’s 120-degree geometry, symmetrical cylinder firing order and tuned, equal-length exhaust runners deliver both the pressure pulses and harmonic sound orders of a V12. Those natural, odd-numbered harmonic orders are further amplified via a “hot tube” prior to exhaust treatment that push those sweet frequencies into the cabin, even at low revs. If a Mercedes-AMG V8 is basso profundo, this V6 is a La Scala tenor, sailing to 8,500-rpm peaks with enough force and emotional drama to bring tears to one’s eyes. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would guess there are only six cylinders churning below decks.

To all that, add 165 horses of inverted AC juice from the axial, dual-rotor motor. All told, this V6 Ferrari can shriek to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and to 200 kph (124 mph) in 7.3 seconds. Terminal velocity is 206 mph. That 0-200 kph figure is especially telling. It’s about 0.5 seconds quicker than a V8 McLaren 720S, and 0.9 seconds quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan Evo with a naturally aspirated V10. 

When I first clapped eyes on the 296 GTB and its stand-displayed V6 in early 2021 during an SF90 drive at Fiorano, I assumed it was some kind of “starter model.” That was before I realized what this crew was up to, and definitely before I experienced the car. The 296 GTB is a design and technical showpiece, like an SF90 Jr., but with the advantage of being smaller, lighter and rear-wheel-drive. As ever, there’s no free lunch in Maranello, even at the newly restored Cavallino restaurant where Enzo dined and did business almost daily. So a plug-in, small-engined showboat that’s faster than a V8 Ferrari must also cost more than a V8 Ferrari.

Thus, the 296 GTB starts from $323,000, a solid $42,000 hike over the 488 Tributo at $281,000; but a skosh less than a 488 Pista at $331,000. Some Tifosi will find that difficult choice keeping them up at night, perhaps counting cylinders. Some will rest easy, and buy one of each. 

RML Short Wheelbase restomod is ready for testing

Eight months ago, English motorsports firm RML released renders of its first venture into customer cars, the RML Short Wheelbase. The restomod turns a Ferrari 550 Maranello into a reboot of the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Short Wheelbase, dressing the Maranello’s chassis and engine in a carbon fiber body and bespoke cabin, then employing RML’s motorsports expertise to perfect the driving manners. Car Zero, the first pre-production model, is finally ready for “an intensive durability program” in the UK. Its maker didn’t skimp on getting Car Zero ready for the spotlight, either. No mere collection of glued and bolted parts, this one wears a multi-layer paint job with a carbon primer, regular primer and silver base coat under its luscious metallic blue overcoat.

The 550’s 5.5-liter atmospheric V12 makes the transfer with no change to power, putting out 485 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It’s been tuned to “emulate the exhaust note of a classic V12 road racer,” the classic 250 family known for just such exploits. The modern coupe’s six-speed manual is along for the ride, too, worked through an open-gate shifter. A slightly lower curb weight thanks to the lighter body improves a performance a skosh, the RML claimed to hit 62 miles per hour in about four seconds and reach a top speed of 185 mph. Maintaining high-speed, long-distance composure in a vehicle designed to “drive from [England] to Le Mans and get out and still be able to walk at the other end” is the job of custom Ohlins dampers, as well as subtle bodywork mods to dismiss unsettling aero effects the vintage silhouette would otherwise allow. For a personal tour of the Short Wheelbase, check out the video with RML CEO Michael Mallock explaining what the designers and engineers wanted to achieve, and how they did so.  

RML will only build 30 of these, deliveries beginning this year. We’ll be happy to see one in person, but we’re also happy that not many 550 Maranellos will need to be sacrificed for the cause. Each Short Wheelbase takes about six months to make, pricing estimated to be around £1.5 million ($2.04M U.S.). Head designer Jonathon Bowen said, there will be a “a variety of exterior trims to choose from,” and that his team is “developing some period-correct graphics, such as door roundels and parallel stripes, which suit the car’s design and remit perfectly.”

Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 512M and more immortalized as Lego sets

Lego has announced a slew of new Speed Champions sets, the ones based on actual licensed cars, for 2022. The latest batch includes a smorgasbord of supercars, from beloved classics like the Lamborghini Countach to yet-to-be-released promises like the long-awaited Mercedes-AMG One. There are seven cars in total, released in five sets. 

Our favorite is probably the 262-piece Lamborghini Countach, based on a later LP500 variant. Not only does it tick the box of a childhood dream machine, but the angular shape of the real-life Countach lends itself well to being recreated in Lego bricks. Also, it’s modeled in white rather than the typical red.

We also really dig the Ferrari 512M. It marked the last of Ferrari’s V12 endurance racers, and even though it was soundly spanked by the Porsche 917, the cars are undeniably beautiful. The 291-piece Lego set does a great job of capturing its brutal wedge silhouette in brick form.

Rounding out the single-car sets is the 247-piece Lotus Evija. The electric Lotus has a bit of a generic supercar look about it, but that’s not entirely the fault of the Lego kit. Its dramatic vents can’t really be replicated with the limited “resolution” of the Lego bricks. Its rear, with unique taillight-encircled air tunnels, is a bit more distinctive.

In addition to the single car sets, there are two larger sets of two cars each. One is a 592-piece Aston Martin-themed pack that includes the Valkyrie AMR Pro and Vantage GT3. Again, it’s a bit difficult to sculpt the cars’ curvaceous lines out of straight-edged bricks, but the effort is admirable. The Valkyrie is probably the more successful of the two, as the Vantage would resemble a Corvette or Viper if it didn’t have stickers to clarify the details.

Last but not least is a twofer comprised of 564 bricks to build the Mercedes-AMG One and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s W12 racer. In Lego’s official product description the driver is not mentioned by name, but the number 44 gives it away. The model of the One indeed looks like a sharp supercar, but the blocky pieces don’t exactly replicate the lines we’ve seen on camouflaged test mules. The F1 car model looks a bit more like the actual thing, complete with the Petronas livery that graces Hamilton’s steed.

Lego has been doing a great job of immortalizing supercars and classics in brick form in their Speed Champions lineup. Last year saw kits of the McLaren Elva, Koenigsegg Jesko, Toyota GR Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the Ford GT and Bronco. Their more detailed Technics line has seen vehicles like the Ford Raptor, Volkswagen Camper Van and BMW M1000RR motorcycle

While the kits look entertaining, we wouldn’t mind if they didn’t skew so heavily towards unobtainably expensive, limited-production vehicles. What kid wouldn’t want a kit of their parents’ Chrysler Pacifica, a Ford Transit Connect to replicate a city scene, or a Mazda Miata for some clean, honest fun? The single-car sets will retail for $19.99, the two-packs for $39.99. All five sets are scheduled for a March 2022 release.

Related video:

More than you can afford … Ferrari

Who doesn’t remember those glorious words from the 2001 movie The Fast and the Furious when Brian and Dom take the bright orange 1995 Toyota Supra for a test drive and they encounter a black Ferrari F355 Spider, and Brian asks about the retail on the Prancing Horse … to which the driver replies ‘More than you can afford pall … Ferrari’?

I must have watched all of the FF movies several times, but personally, I still feel the first one is among the best of the series, and while at the time this clip was recorded, that reply was accurate, things have changed considerably since then, and today that Supra is multiple times more valuable than the Ferrari F355, especially one of the orange movie cars that was actually driven by Paul Walker, as one of those sold at auction recently for $550,000 … and that wasn’t even the hero car.

Photo courtesy of Barret-Jackson

Chassis JT2JA82J3R0009030, the 1994 Toyota Supra, was built by Eddie Paul at The Shark Shop in El Segundo, CA, for the first movie, but it was this very car that was repainted gold to be used in FF2, later the original setup of Lamborghini’s pearl metallic orange was redone, but it didn’t get the engine mods like the real hero car, this specific car had a factory original 2JZ-GTE 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with a 4-speed automatic.

Back to the famous drag race scene from FAST and FURIOUS, at the time this was a 19950 Ferrari F355 Spider, and she was driven by Neal H. Moritz, the co-producer of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, initial MSRP was $137,000, considerably more than the customized Supra MkIV, even with all the modifications like a 2JZ 3.1 engine swap, a large Turbonetics T-66 ball-bearing turbo & Delta II wastegate, custom headers, a NOS system.

While obtaining a 1995 period correct Toyota Supra MkIV is already getting expensive, making her into an FF look-alike will be next to impossible as the aero kit and wheels will be extremely difficult to source, but with a listing on BringATrailer for a 1997 Ferrari F355 Spider, you might be able to own the ‘other’ famous car from the first movie, the black Ferrari.

It might not be the real car from the movie itself, but it is a perfect look-alike nonetheless, so it might be interesting to look into, with just two more days of the auction the bid is at $73,000, so that number might still go up before the virtual hammer comes down, let’s take a look at what you get for that kind of money in today’s market:

The Ferrari F355 Spider comes with a 3.5-Liter V8 engine powering the rear wheels only, with a six-speed manual transmission capable to spin those large 18-inch, five-spoke original Ferrari wheels. And this car is a so-called triple black one, a black body over a black leather interior with a black canvas top, aside from red on tan probably the most interesting color combination out there.

The Ferrari F355 is a Pininfarina design, and while the predecessor, the 348 came with the side intake streaks inspired by the flagship V12 Testarossa, the F355 returned to twin round taillights and a large side air intake almost carved out of the door skin, a very beautiful car, even almost 25 years later, after this model Ferrari came up with the 360 Modena, which for me personally just didn’t look as good as the F355.

The all-black, leather interior inside this specific car features sport seats and leather upholstery on the dashboard and door cards, while color-coded black carpets are protected by floor mats, there is even a period-correct Sony radio/cassette player … probably without Bluetooth, but this is a classic, and let’s face it, the music from that V8 just inches behind your ears is all the sound you need driving this lady with the top down, the moment you wrap your left hand on the thick leather steering wheel and put your right hand on the chrome gearshift lever … nothing else matters.

If you are interested in obtaining this movie car lookalike, head over to the auction at BringATrailer and possibly put in your bid, so you can make that famous statement “More than you can afford pall … Ferrari”, just make sure you’re not next to an actual FF movie car …

10 of the Wildest One-Offs from Ferrari’s Special Projects Division

The concept of creating bespoke Ferrari cars dates back to the carmaker’s early years. Clients would liaise with Ferrari about a chassis and the engine and then reach out to an Italian styling house to come up with the bodywork.

It was to revive the spirit of these coach-built cars that the Ferrari Special Projects division was established in the late 2000s. This programme represented the pinnacle of Ferrari’s in-house personalization service, allowing only a few select customers the opportunity to realize their vision of a Ferrari supercar.

Silver Ferrari F12 TRS on roadVia Motor Authority.

The initial idea was to let clients, in partnerships with top Italian design houses, create one-off redesigns of Ferrari sports cars with the full support and blessing of Ferrari engineers. However, this soon morphed into the creation of entirely new vehicle designs, prompted in part by the opening of Ferrari’s in-house Design Centre in 2010.

Ferrari Special Project cars are the height of exclusivity for the Prancing Horse brand—they simply reek of class, and, of course, lots of money. Fortunately, there is no shortage of wealthy clients who will jump at the opportunity to own a one-off Ferrari. Here are 10 of the most extreme creations of the Ferrari Special Projects division.

Wild One-Off #10: Ferrari SP1

Red 2008 Ferrari F430 SP1 at 2010 Monterey Car WeekVia Teamspeed.

The SP1, not to be mistaken for the Monza SP1, kickstarted the Ferrari Special Projects program back in 2008. The SP1, short for Special Project number 1, was made for Japanese businessman and collector Junichiro Hiramatsu. He was also, at one time, the president of the Ferrari Club of Japan.

The SP1 was based on the Ferrari F430 and styled by Leonardo Fioravanti, a legendary former Pininfarina designer responsible for Ferrari cars like the Dino 246 GT, 365 GTB, and the 512 BB. According to the story, Junichiro admired Leonardo’s 1998 F100 Prototype vehicle and wanted a custom design along the same lines.

Most of the car’s underpinnings, chassis, and V8 engine were lifted straight from the F430, but the external cladding and styling directly expressed Leonardo Fioravanti’s ideas.

Wild One-Off #9: Ferrari F12 TRS

Red Ferrari F12 TRS on roadVia The Supercar Blog.

Based on the F12 Berlinetta, the F12 TRS was a hardcore sports Barchetta commissioned by Ferrari lover and billionaire Sam Li. Power was derived from the same 6.3-litre V12 that drove the F12 Berlinetta, meaning an output of 729-hp and a 3.1-second sprint to 60 mph.

However, it was in the design that the F12 TRS really stood out. First off, there was no roof, hence the ‘Barchetta’ tag. The wraparound windscreen paid homage to the legendary 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. A redesigned bumper and larger air intakes up front gave the F12 TRS a more aggressive look than the Berlinetta, but the real design highlight was the glass cutout in the hood that allowed a sneaky peek at the red power plant underneath.

According to reports, the development costs reached north of $4 million; no big deal for Sam Li, who ordered not 1 but 2 of the F12 TRS supercars. The first one was finished in liquid silver and the other in the more traditional Ferrari Rosso Red colour.

Wilde One-Off #8: Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta

Gold Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta on roadVia Motor1.

Before the 812 Superfast, there was this one—the P540 Superfast Aperta. The difference is that the latter was made for a single customer back in 2009.

Edward Walson, son of the guy who invented Cable TV, was so impressed by a car he saw in the 1968 Fellini film Toby Dammit that he approached Ferrari and asked if they could build a similar one for him. The vehicle was designed by Pininfarina and built in Maranello.

A 599 GTB provided the base for the implementation of Walson’s radical ideas. The roof was lopped off, and a lot of bracing was added to strengthen the chassis. Extensive carbon fibre use kept the car’s weight to within 45 lbs above the base 599 GTB.

The P540 Superfast Aperta had the same power plant as the 599 GTB, a 6.0-litre V12 that churned out 611-hp—enough firepower for whatever excitement Walson craved behind the wheel.

Wild One-Off #7: Ferrari Superamerica 45

Blue Ferrari Superamerica 45 parked on streetVia Car Pixel.

The backstory for this one is just as interesting as the car itself. It was commissioned in 2011 by New York-based art collector and property developer Peter Kalikow. The supercar was designed by Ferrari Special Projects to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Kalikow’s first Ferrari purchase, a second-hand 400 Superamerica convertible.

The open-top car debuted at the 2011 Villa d’Este Concours and showcased what Ferrari described as ‘a latest-generation touch-screen infotainment system’ at the time. The Superamerica 45 is based on the 599. Still, it incorporates several unique touches, like the carbon-fibre hardtop that rotates and stows away in a redesigned boot, also made from carbon fibre.

The chrome grille is a custom design, as are the twin air vents in the front fenders. The car is finished in an exclusive ‘Blu Antille’ colour, a deliberate choice chosen because it matches another important car in Kalikow’s collection—a 1961 400 Superamerica cabriolet.

Wild One-Off #6: Ferrari SP12 EC

Ferrari SP12 EC at 2013 Goodwood Festival of SpeedVia Motor1.

‘EC’ is short for Eric Clapton, and yes, Ferrari did make a custom car for the world-famous musician. The multi-Grammy award winner is a loyal follower of the Prancing horse brand and already had several Ferraris in his possession when he approached Ferrari with his idea for a one-off.

Of course, Ferrari agreed, and the retro-styled SP12 EC was born. The car, inspired by the classic 512 Berlinetta Boxer, is based on the Ferrari 458 Italia. Pininfarina did go to great lengths to ensure that it looked like a completely different car, though, with subtle styling cues that hark back to the classic era.

It retained the same 4.5-litre V8 engine from the 458 Italia, but Eric Clapton can have few complaints about that. That engine can propel the 458 to 60 mph in as little as 3.1 seconds and on to a top speed of about 202 mph.

Wild One-Off #5: Ferrari 458 MM Speciale

Via Top Gear.

The 458 Speciale was a pretty unique machine, the last of the naturally aspirated V8 screamers from the Maranello-based carmaker. However, for one wealthy British collector, the stock car was not enough, and he wanted something in a league of its own; something nobody else could own.

That desire ultimately birthed the 458 MM Speciale. It uses the same high-revving 597-bhp V8 engine from the 458 Speciale but sports significant visual changes that immediately set it apart.

The design language includes redesigned front and rear bumpers and more aggressive lines around the car’s front and sides. In addition, there is a new air scoop and intakes to funnel even more air into the engine bay and over a fixed ducktail spoiler. The car is finished in a shade of white—known as Bianco Italia in Ferrari lingo—and complemented by the Italian flag livery.

Wild One-Off #4: Ferrari SP 275 RW Competizione

Yellow Ferrari SP 275 RW Competizione parked on roadVia Car Pixel.

In 2016, the SP 275 RW Competizione was unveiled to pay homage to the 275 GTB, Ferrari’s V12 sports car manufactured from 1964 to 1968. It was built for American dentist Rick Workman, who serves up living proof that you can make a lot of money fixing people’s teeth.

The car rides on a slightly modified F12 Berlinetta chassis but draws its potency from its hardcore sibling—the F12 TDF. That means a formidable 6.3-litre V12 under the hood that delivers 789-hp at 8,500 rpm to the rear wheels.

The SP 275 Competizione includes visual 275 GTB cues like louvres cut into the bodywork, aluminum fuel cap, and bespoke rear-end styling. The bright yellow paint is a nod to racing team Ecurie Francorchamps’ 275 GTB that won the GT class at Le Mans in 1965.

Wild One-Off #3: Ferrari SP38

Red Ferrari SP38 parked on streetVia Top Gear.

Ronnie Kessel owns a racing team and is a highly respected Ferrari dealer. He also happens to be the lucky owner of the SP38, a $4 million one-off Ferrari supercar that had its official debut at the 2018 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

It rides on a 488 GTB platform, but every external body panel has been replaced with new ones that reference a mix of other cars in the Ferrari lineup like the F40, the 308 and even the 458 MM Speciale (another Special Projects Ferrari). The most distinguishing feature of the SP38 is the louvred engine cover, made from carbon fibre.

The air intakes on the 488 GTB are gone. Instead, the intercoolers receive air from special inlets beside the side windows. It shares the same powertrain with the 488 GTB, so packed within that frame is a twin-turbocharged V8 that churns out an impressive 661-hp and 561 lb-ft of torque.

Wild One-Off #2: Ferrari P80/C

Red Ferrari P80/C parked on streetVia Top Gear.

The P80/C carries the distinction of being the first track-only car from the Ferrari Special Projects division. It is also the first built on a competition chassis, that of the 488 GT3.

However, the fact that the P80/C cannot be used for any competition racing meant it was free from any FIA restrictions. That allowed Ferrari to go all out in designing a truly bespoke hardcore machine.

The P80/C reportedly took about four years to develop and involved several meetings between the design team and the car’s owner, Hong Kong businessman and Ferrari diehard TK Mak. A standout feature is the gigantic T-wing, inspired by Ferrari F1 cars and designed to help reduce turbulence as air flows over the car’s rear.

Then there’s the massive rear diffuser that juts out aggressively, keeping the car planted as it is put through its paces at the track. The P80/C gets the 488 GT3’s twin-turbo V8, but in this case, it’s derestricted, and power output is thought to be in excess of 700-hp.

Wild One-Off #1: Ferrari Omologata

Red Ferrari Omologata parked in lot near wallVia Carscoops.

This is one of the latest creations from Ferrari Special Projects. To create the Omologata, Ferrari took the already-bonkers 812 Superfast and stretched the design and engineering boundaries even further.

According to Ferrari, this is more than just a mere facelift. In fact, only the windscreen and headlights are shared with the 812 Superfast.

The Omologata was hand-crafted from aluminum and took two years to develop. The Rosso Magma shade was specially created for the supercar and is complemented by the racing number roundels on the hoods and doors. The rear windscreen is gone, replaced by slats similar to the F40 to highlight the car’s racing pedigree.

Ferrari has been very secretive about the powertrain, but it will not be out of place to assume it is the same 789-hp V12 unit found in the 812 Superfast. Hopefully, the Omologata will not waste away in some private collection and will get opportunities to really stretch its legs.

The Eleventh Horse: Ferrari BR20

Silver Ferrari BR20 parked on streetVia Top Gear.

I was just finishing up this piece when I came across the news of the latest Ferrari Special Projects baby. There was no way I was going to pass up the chance to slide it in here.

It’s called the BR20 and is based on the 2+2 GTC4 Lusso. However, the chassis has been reworked to accommodate a longer, sleeker ‘fastback’ profile, reminiscent of the classic Ferrari coupes like the Ferrari 410 Superamerica and the 500 Superfast.

There are no rear seats in the BR20, but in its place, Ferrari has crafted an elegant luggage deck, complete with genuine oak trimmings. It ties in nicely with other parts of the interior, which is done up in expensive leather and carbon fibre inserts, giving off a mix of classy and modern vibes.

Ferrari is being coy about the powertrain, but since the BR20 borrows from the V12 GTC4 Lusso (and not the V8 version), it’s logical to assume that the same 6.3-litre unit powers the one-off fastback. That’s at least 680 horses under the hood, more than enough to transform the BR20 into a speedy grand tourer in a flash.

Ferrari Daytona SP3 — A Closer Look

For VVIPs Only: Latest ‘Icona’ Series Ferrari is an Absolute Knockout

While the 2021 LA Auto Show (#laautoshow) continues to impress with its showcase of new game-changing cars from the world’s automotive heavyweights, Ferrari has decided to host an unveiling event of its very own making. Away from all the noise and fanfare of a hastily packed convention center, Ferrari today revealed its new Ferrari Daytona SP3 on its own terms, and own turf. The latest uber-limited-edition ‘Icona’ had its covers removed at Mugello circuit, where it was treated to a hospitable reception in front of a Tuscan backdrop during the 2021 Finali Mondiali.

Suffice to say, the Ferrari Daytona SP3 has a lot of really amazing things going for it, not least of which is its status as one of the Prancing Horse marque’s ‘Icona’ models (and the motorsport history that’s attached to them). The SP3 becomes the latest addition to a 3-car roster currently occupying this revered (and virtually untouchable) place in the Ferrari hierarchy. It also continues to embody the spirit of iconic sports-prototype racers from the mid-last-century, just as the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 had done before it.

With immediate and total effect, the Daytona SP3 adopts its silhouette from a trio of Ferrari racing cars which participated in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona—namely the 330P3/4, 330P4 and 412P. Not only was an outright Ferrari victory achieved here—with the cars managing an already notable 1-2-3 finish—but it also served as the ultimate retort for what had transpired at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, where fierce rival Ford Motor Company, had achieved the same result with 3 of their GT40 race cars just a year before.

Design & Philosophy

Now, back to the SP3; the car bears an obvious resemblance and is a modern-but-transparent tribute to those cars, most notably via its muscular wheel arches and mid-engine design. This does more than just harken back to years gone by, as the SP3 is also the most aerodynamically efficient car Ferrari claims it has ever produced. Remarkably, this is achieved without using the more contemporary methods of tacking on large rear wings, aggressive dive planes, eccentric splitters/diffusers and huge air vents on the fenders and bonnet. The Daytona SP3 also happens to feature a Targa-top design with a removable glass roof panel.

In fact, the body of the SP3 is incredibly streamlined and dare I say, minimalist for what it is—it appears this way, at least. Ferrari themselves probably said it better, stating that they 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.” This begins with a monocoque chassis built using the latest Formula One technologies—something not done to this degree since the LaFerrari—then applying the most advanced and lightweight materials that can be afforded for a street-legal road car. Translation: all exterior body panels are composed entirely of the most finely-produced carbon fiber, resulting dry weight is 3,275 lbs.    

Ferrari Daytona SP3 Interior

Inside, the same philosophies are applied; retro design elements combine seamlessly with modern technologies. The most interesting feature in the cabin would have to be the seats, which are integrated into the cockpit and have their inner side bolstering fused over the transmission tunnel—another nod to sports cars from the 1960s era. The instrument cluster (and general user interface) is digital, and is indeed the very same one used on the SF90 Stradale hybrid hypercar; after all, a more analog approach on an 829 hp car equipped with Formula One technologies won’t do, and Ferrari has to draw the line somewhere, right?

Engine & Performance

If we’re honest, this car just wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense if it didn’t also come equipped with the most powerful (purely combustion) engine the company has ever made. Thankfully, Ferrari understand this as well as anyone else, and they’ve only gone and done just that, by mid-mounting the spectacular 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine from the 812 Competizione into the SP3. Of course, it also has to make more power than the latter, so upgrades such as titanium connecting rods and a revised direct injection fueling system allow the SP3 to produce 829 hp, versus the mere 819 hp the 812 Competizione is able to muster.

The Daytona SP3 also retains the astronomically-bliss 9,500 rpm redline and mated to the engine is a 7-speed dual clutch transmission which is responsible for sending power to the rear wheels. In all, this allows the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 2.85 seconds, on its way to 200 km/h in only 7.4 seconds from a standstill.

Pricing & Availability

As for pricing and availability, Ferrari has been unequivocal as one could be without needing to provide any firm numbers in terms of costs of production numbers. They’ve done so by stating that the Ferrari Daytona SP3 is “…aimed solely at Ferrari’s top clients and collectors, proud ambassadors for the Prancing Horse marque.” In Italian, I think that means it’s going to be really, really expensive, and that they’ll let you know if you’ve been selected as one of the very few privileged people on this planet to have a go at owning one. But if we were going to make any guesses here, expect unit production numbers to be in the low-hundreds and a (starting) purchase price in the $2-3 million USD range.


Ferrari Daytona SP3 Ferrari Daytona SP3 Ferrari Daytona SP3 Ferrari Daytona SP3 Ferrari Daytona SP3 Ferrari Daytona SP3 Interior Ferrari Daytona SP3 Interior

The new Ferrari Icona: Daytona SP3

February 6, 1967, will forever be a date in Ferrari’s history that nobody could ever forget, it’s the first round of the 1967 International World Sports Car Championship, the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona, right at the heart of Ford’s racing team, Ferrari takes all three leading positions, a 330 P3/4 took home the victory, second place was secured by a 330 P4 while the third position was secured by a 412 P … the Prancing horse obliterated the competition during a time that is now considered as being the golden era of closed wheel endurance racing, those cars would become a reference for the next generation of engineers and designers.

In 2018 Ferrari created the first of their Icona series to pay tribute to this amazing feat in 1967, to celebrate the 1-2-3 finish these were called the Monza SP1 and SP2, but today, November 20, 2021, Ferrari unveiled the Daytona SP3, a limited-edition Targa model that was presented on the famous Mugello Circuit during the 2021 Ferrari Finali Mondiali.

The new Daytona SP3 design is clearly inspired by the legendary 330 P4 racers, while the Targa hardtop was taken from the sports prototype world, as an homage to cars from the sixties, the choice of using a naturally-aspirated V12 was obvious, mid-rear mounted, this beauty comes with 840 cv and a torque number of 679 Nm at 9,500 rpm, this is the most powerful engine Ferrari ever made for a road car.

And while the new Daytona SP3 has no active aero, they created the design in such a way this is the most aerodynamically efficient car ever made at Maranello, the chassis is completely made from composite material taken from Formula One technology, unseen since the LaFerrari, to keep the weight down as much as possible, the seats are an integral part of the chassis on this new limited-edition beauty, and she’s fast too, 2.85 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill, just 7.4 seconds before 200 km/h flies by.

The engine chosen for the Daytona SP3 comes from the magnificent 812 Competizione, but for this model, the V12 was moved to the mid-rear position, at a 6.5-liter capacity this new engine is called the F140C and puts her power through a 7-speed transmission and comes with a host of improvements over the F140B unit in the 812 Competizione, polluting emissions and particulate formation have been reduced by 30% (WLTC cycle) compared to the 812 Superfast.

The Ferrari Icona series was launched in 2018 with the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2, inspired by the competition barchettas of the 1950s while the Daytona SP3 takes inspiration from the endurance car from the 1960s, the Icona series celebrates Ferrari history by reinterpreting the timeless styling of the marque’s most iconic cars into the 21st century, these all boast exclusive solutions not seen in the rest of the range and are aimed solely at Ferrari’s top clients and collectors, proud ambassadors for the Prancing Horse marque.

Ferrari BR20: Maranello’s new One-Off

The Ferrari BR20, the latest addition to the Prancing Horse’s One-Off series, was unveiled today and joins the most exclusive group in Maranello’s range: unique, absolutely bespoke cars crafted to the specifications of a client and designed as a clear expression of their own unique requirements.

The BR20 is a two-seater V12 coupé developed on the GTC4Lusso platform, which in terms of its philosophy and styling approach, cleverly references the magnificent Ferrari coupés of the 1950s and 60s, without the slightest hint of nostalgia. Instead, it pulls off the challenging feat of marrying timeless elegance with muscular sportiness, effortlessly incorporating styling themes typical of some of the most iconic 12-cylinders in Ferrari history, including the 410 SA and 500 Superfast.

The GTC4Lusso’s two rear seats have been removed to add extra dynamism to the BR20’s ultra-sleek fastback line. The new car is three inches longer than the original, thanks to a specific rear overhang treatment designed to create a silhouette that beautifully emphasizes its proportions. One of the cornerstones of the design process for this one-off was the radical modification made to the cabin volume. This in turn gave the design team, led by Flavio Manzoni, the freedom to conceive the innovative proportions that ultimately produced a powerful yet stylistically coherent exterior design theme.

The new cabin design solution creates the impression of a pair of arches running lengthwise from A-pillar to rear spoiler. The rear volume of the arch has been hollowed out to create an aerodynamic channel with the air outlet concealed by the black rear fascia under the spoiler. This modern take on Ferrari’s “flying buttress” theme firmly connects the car to signature Prancing Horse styling cues not just from Ferrari’s GT tradition, but also sports cars such as the 599 GTB Fiorano. To visually lighten the cabin, the black paint of the roof visually connects the windscreen to the rear screen, which stands above the surface of the rear tailgate as if to channel the airflow.

A muscular rear bumper melds beautifully with the aggressive look of the rest of the car: twin taillights create a visual dialogue with the tailpipes, which are lower and set into a prominent aerodynamic diffuser with active flaps on the underbody. Even the BR20’s twin round exhaust tips were designed especially for this bespoke model.

The BR20’s many carbon-fiber details highlight the edgy dynamic characteristics and powerful performance of this extraordinary four-wheel drive car. High, sinuous sills add an extra hint of dynamism to the lower section of the flanks as well as emphasize the front air vents on the wheel arches. The wide front grille sports an upper carbon-fiber element, a note of stylistic consistency with other recent Ferrari one-offs, while unusual chrome side inserts help underline the car’s dynamic front stance.

The BR20’s unique identity is further underscored by the front grille’s striking new horizontal slats that lend a powerful sense of three-dimensionality. A virtually endless list of elements was designed specifically for the BR20, not least its modified headlights. They are lower in height compared to those of the GTC4Lusso with slimmer DRLs, which makes the bonnet seem even longer and sleeker. The 20” tone-on-tone diamond-finish wheels were also created especially for this unique car.

The BR20’s interior is no less impressive, trimmed in two shades of brown leather and carbon fiber, an exquisite combination developed according to the client’s indications. The seats are trimmed in dark brown Heritage Testa di Moro leather and sport an exclusive pattern at the front as well as silver cross-stitching. The cabin volume runs uninterrupted from the windscreen to the luggage compartment at the rear, creating a sense of unique lightness and airiness for occupants. Oak trim with carbon-fiber inserts adorns the rear bench and luggage deck, which conceals a deeper loading area when folded flat, as well as the door handles.

Designed for a longstanding client who was deeply involved in every step of its creation, the Ferrari BR20 represents a true interpretation of the traditional coachbuilder’s art, successfully transforming an existing model in a masterful and unique way taking inspiration from and paying homage to the company’s core values of innovation and passion.

The Special Projects program is aimed at creating unique Ferraris (the so-called “One-Offs”) characterized by an exclusive design crafted according to the requirements of the client, who thus becomes the owner of a one-of-a-kind model. Each project originates from an idea put forward by the client and developed with a team of designers from Ferrari’s Styling Centre; after having defined the car’s proportion and forms, detailed design blueprints and a styling buck are produced before starting the manufacturing process of the new One-Off. The entire process lasts on average more than one year, during which the client is closely involved in assessing the design and verification phases. The result? A unique Ferrari, which sports the Prancing Horse logo and is engineered to the same levels of excellence that characterize every other Maranello production car.

Best Naturally Aspirated Engines Ever Made

The number of entries – and the variety of automakers involved – onto this list is proof that the naturally-aspirated engine reigns supreme when it comes to the most important characteristics of what makes a good engine, and subsequently a great car. There’s always a temptation to default to turbocharged engines as being the most capable, particular in an age where 0-60 mph times are considered gospel when it comes to determining performance credentials and bragging rights. While turbochargers are typically needed to make monstrous hp numbers and remain the bread and butter of even greater aftermarket tuning potential (if getting into the 4-figures is a big deal for you), all true enthusiasts know that some of the most desirable traits of the best cars in the world come from having an NA engine. Astronomical rev ranges, unmatched acoustics and unrivaled versatility, balance, dependability and endurance. After all, what’s good for race cars is good for road cars, I’d say.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, despite the fact that the Mezger design was shelved and further proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Honda F20C/F22C

Honda F20C/F22C Engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Honda K Series

Honda K Series

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 engine

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection) and is seen in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Lambo 5.2L V10 engine

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 engine

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) engine

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) engine

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) engine

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders as the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

Ferrari Colombo V12

Ferrari Colombo V12 engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.

That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

The Ferrari Purosangue & The SUV’s Irresistible Allure

In 2015, Ferrari design chief Flavio Manzoni boldly declared that an SUV with the prancing horse logo was an unthinkable concept. He said that company founder Enzo Ferrari would ‘turn in his grave’ if the carmaker ever decided to jump on the SUV bandwagon.

This was even as the SUV segment was proving to be the ‘next best thing’ in the automobile industry. SUVs outsold sedans for the first time in 2015, and industry watchers were stunned by rapidly accelerating global SUV sales.

Four performance SUVs racing on mountain roadVia Motortrend.

Carmakers wasted no time exploiting this opportunity—even marque brands like Bentley and Rolls Royce, who traditionally favoured sedans and coupes over any other body type. In 2016, Jaguar, Maserati and Bentley all unleashed luxury Sport Utility Vehicles. The next year, Lamborghini followed suit with the Urus, and then Rolls Royce redefined the concept of SUV luxury with the imperious Cullinan, unveiled in 2018.

The only notable exception was Ferrari. The carmaker was just not willing to compromise its sportscar ethos by going down the SUV path. By 2017 though, cracks in Ferrari’s resolve were beginning to show, and the notion of a prancing horse SUV no longer seemed far-fetched.

During a conference call in August of that year, Sergio Marchionne, then Ferrari Chairman, stated that the company was considering ‘some sort of a utility vehicle.’ That consideration soon became a certainty when Ferrari confirmed it was going to build an SUV after all. Its name? The Purosangue, Italian for ‘thoroughbred.’

Ferrari Purosangue test mule parked on streetVia The Drive.

Ferrari’s About-Turn

There was a certain inevitability about Ferrari’s change of stance regarding the production of an SUV. You can only thumb your nose at one of the most lucrative automobile sectors for so long. Ferrari would have seen how rivals like Lamborghini were churning out record profits, driven mainly by the sale of performance SUVs.

The figures don’t lie—and here, we showcase a couple of examples that shed more light on just how important it was for Ferrari to hop on the performance SUV train.

The Urus: Lamborghini’s Cash Cow

White Lamborghini Urus speeding down road with treesVia Evo.

The final production version of the Lamborghini Urus, dubbed the world’s first Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV), debuted in December 2017 and has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of the brand’s most successful models to date. 2018 was the first model year for the Urus, and in that year, Lamborghini’s sales grew by a massive 51%, from 3,815 cars sold to 5,750. Lamborghini shipped 1,761 Urus SUVs to customers, translating to about 1 in every three vehicles sold.

Year Urus Total Sales Urus Percentage of Total Sales
2018 1,761 3,815 46%
2019 4,962 8,205 60%
2020 4,391 7,430 60%

It has only gotten better for Lamborghini. The carmaker declared record profits in 2019, and the noticeable dip in 2020 was largely due to a 70-day production shutdown as the carmaker grappled with the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

2021 is already looking to be another strong year for the brand in terms of sales, and as it’s been for the past couple of years, it’s all down to the runaway success of the Urus. In July 2021, Lamborghini celebrated the production of the 15,000th Urus performance SUV.

To put that into perspective, the Gallardo, Lamborghini’s most successful model before the Urus, needed a decade of production to hit 14,000 units. The Urus has exceeded that mark in a little over three years!

DBX: A Lifeline for the Brand

Dark green Aston Martin DBX parked on dirt road in countryVia Guide Auto Web.

Aston Martin’s struggle for survival is no secret within the automobile industry. The carmaker has gone bankrupt an astounding seven times since its incorporation in 1913, and today, it faces a tough uphill climb to remain in business.

In 2020, the carmaker reported a loss of $640 million before tax, almost quadrupling the $165 million loss for 2019. Andy Palmer, the chief executive, also stepped down from his post that year after a 94% collapse in share price.

Amid all that doom and gloom, the DBX emerged as the only real ray of hope for the ailing brand. The SUV was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019, and the first customer units rolled off the assembly line in July 2020.

That’s seven months in, yet the sporty SUV still accounted for almost 50% of Aston Martin’s total sales for the full fiscal year. Aston Martin sold 3,394 cars that year, and 1,516 units were DBX SUVs. The high demand continued in 2021, and for the first six months of 2021, 1,595 SUVs have been sold, representing about 55% of total sales volumes.

The DBX is already doing a fine job of propping up the brand, and though these are early times yet, the performance SUV may just be the spark that Aston Martin needs to get back on track.

Other Carmakers Riding the SUV Boom

Blue Bentley Bentayga parked in desert near rock wallVia Motortrend.

Black Rolls Royce Cullinan parked on tarmac with city lights in backgroundVia Motortrend.

Lamborghini and Aston Martin are not the only ones taking advantage of the boom in the SUV sector. Porsche is another carmaker that has gotten in on the act with its highly successful SUV offerings. In 2020, SUVs made up more than two-thirds of Porsche’s US sales, up from less than one-third in 2010. The Cayenne and Macan SUV variants continue to lead the charge today (alongside the Taycan, another successful Porsche model).

Bentley and Rolls Royce also have their own SUVs, uber-luxurious offerings that redefine the heights of exclusivity and pampered indulgence. The Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan have spawned performance variants in the form of the Bentayga Speed and the Cullinan Black Badge.

These models are indicative of their brands’ intentions to remain in the sector at least for the foreseeable future, and why not? Bentley has sold over 20,000 units of the Bentayga, and in January 2020, Rolls Royce announced the highest sales figure in its 116-year history—a number driven primarily by the popularity of the Cullinan.

What We Know About the Ferrari Purosangue

Artist rendering of red Ferrari Purosangue speeding down country road from rear

Artist rendering of red Ferrari Purosangue speeding down country road from rearImages via Giorgi Tedoradze

Ferrari is all about tradition and upholding the foundational values that have set it apart over the years. However, it’s still a commercial business at the end of the day and its bottom line—profit—is just as crucial as any fabric of culture and heritage. That is why a perfect business case can be made for the upcoming Ferrari Purosangue.

Ferrari Purosangue Design

Spy shot of Ferrari Purosangue on city streetVia Auto Express.

Ferrari has refused to classify the Purosangue as a Sports Utility Vehicle, instead, and somewhat hilariously, opting for the term, ‘Ferrari Utility Vehicle’ (FUV). It suspiciously looks like an attempt by Ferrari to avoid saying there’s an SUV in the model lineup, considering the initial resistance to the idea. Yes, it may not fit the mould of a traditional SUV, but spy shots suggest that it will be more of a crossover SUV than anything else, at least.

The Purosangue is the first front-engined car after the Roma to use the new modular platform the company announced in 2018. The platform has been modified for the SUV, though (or FUV), to create room for four passengers.

There’s been very little to work with in terms of the final design. Ferrari has been very clever with the Purosangue test mules hidden under Maserati Levante bodywork. External design images that exist are primarily online renderings of what a production-ready Purosangue could look like.

Ferrari Purosangue Powertrain

Ferrari confirmed that the Purosangue would be available with multiple powertrains, and there are electric motors somewhere in the mix. It will not be out of place to expect V6 or V8 variants and a range-topping V12 that receives a power boost from electric motors. That hybrid setup has already been tried out in some form with the LaFerrari and, more recently, the SF90 Stradale.

Not much is known about specific power outputs, but the Ferrari Purosangue will be no slouch in the power department judging by the competition. The Aston Martin boasts 542-hp, while a 641-hp twin-turbocharged V8 drives the Lamborghini Urus. Then, there’s the heavy-hitting Bentayga Speed that packs a 626-hp W12 power plant.

Ferrari Purosangue Interior Layout

Ferrari has kept mum about the interior of the Purosangue, but being an SUV, it should have seating space for four adults at the minimum. Ferrari is primarily a performance brand, but the carmaker also understands how to play the luxury game, so you can expect generously applied layers of plush leather and carbon-fibre trims on the interior.

There will undoubtedly be an extensive options list available for customers who wish to personalize their Purosangue, and you can bet there will be many such clients with the bank balance to back up their requests.

The Purosangue should also come with a suite of driver assistance and safety features. Even Ferrari’s entry-level supercar, the Portofino, boasts creature comforts and aids like a 10.3-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

Ferrari Purosangue Availability

A final production-spec Purosangue is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2022, with deliveries slated for the tail end of the year or 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic and chip shortage have caused disruptions to the automobile industry. However, Ferrari has not said anything about delays to the production process, and test mules were still spotted out testing as recently as September.

Unique Ferrari 328 Convertible for sale

I know you’ve probably seen the rare Ferrari Spider conversions created in the Eighties by companies like Straman, but did you know that there are a few factory-made Testarossa Spider too? One was made specifically for Gianni Agnelli, but the Sultan of Brunei managed to convince Ferrari to make five more for him, and another six Ferrari F512 Spider, so those are very rare today, but how about a one-off 1984 Ferrari 328 Convertible?

And no, this isn’t a third party conversion, this is actually a real, factory-made, one of a kind 328 Spider or Convertible, whichever you prefer, built on chassis number 49543, this unique Ferrari was finished in Giallo Modena over a Nero interior with matching soft top, and it’s listed for sale in Italy as you read this, but get this … asking price is €1,200,000 (about $1,300,000), while a regular Ferrari 328 GTS in good condition goes for €100,000 on average.

Back in 1984 Ferrari had the intention to replace their 308 with the updated 328 version, named after the 3.2-Liter V8 engine used, and while the 308 came in GTB (closed coupe) and GTS (targa top convertible), Ferrari wanted to offer a full convertible in the 328 series too, so the development prototype for this model was built on chassis 49543, and because they already had the necessary experience with both closed and targa-style cars, they made the development car into a convertible.

A design by renowned Pininfarina, the production-ready 328 Convertible prototype was built by Ferrari’s own Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena and went through the full certification path, it was even registered for road use so they could test the new 3.2-Liter engine regarding performance and to see how the improved chassis would handle the extra power.

But the marketing department at Ferrari canceled the 328 Convertible before it ever reached production, they went along with only the 328 GTB and 328 GTS of which 7,412 would be built in the end, the reason we didn’t get a 328 Convertible was simple … marketing feared it would eat into sales of the Ferrari Mondial Convertible that was available at the same time.

Usually, a development prototype like this is kept as a test mule, mostly going through some harsh long-term testing, and subsequently, the car gets destroyed or ends up in the factory museum, but this yellow Ferrari 328 Convertible somehow got sold to a client who drove it for many years, today the 272 hp V8 has covered 14,000 km and is listed for sale in Reggio Emilia.

Check out the listing here : Auto Scout 24

What does a white Ferrari Testarossa remind you of?

If I see a white Ferrari Testarossa, one TV show comes to mind, the hit series Miami Vice where after his black Ferrari Daytona (a replica based on a Corvette by the way) was blown up and Crocket received a confiscated black Ferrari Testarossa as a replacement, because the black car might have been recognized by thugs, the Miami Police Department decided to repaint the car to white on a tan leather interior, making this specific combination very popular next to the classic Ferrari red.

So when I spotted this BringATrailer auction for a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, I immediately went back decades and remembered watching Miami Vice on the television one day a week, before I actually bought the entire DVD box with all seasons combined … yep, DVD was the best of the best at that time, I even had a VHS player at one point and several Lamborghini Countach posters on my bedroom walls, the counterpart for the Ferrari Testarossa that was built between 1984 and 1991.

One of the typical features on the white Ferrari Testarossa used for the Miami Vice show was the ‘flying mirror’, the single exterior rearview mirror that was mounted high up on the windshield sill, and only on the driver side … this mirror design was only used on very early production models of the Testarossa, in 1986 Ferrari switched to a more normal position and added a passenger-side mirror too, the car on auction right now is a 1987 model, so she comes with the two mirror setup, but she does have the tan interior too.

Remember we are looking at a car that is 34 years old now, chassis ZFFSG17A8H0072019 now shows about 47,000 miles on the counter and comes with a clean California title, styled by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti, the Ferrari Testarossa comes with the massive side intake with ‘streaks’ that made this car instantly recognizable, and as we are looking at a supercar from the Eighties, we still get popup headlights with four lamps in total.

Naturally, we are looking at a five-speed manual gearbox delivering power to the center-lock Cromodora wheels in a mere 16-inch tall version, covered with Dunlop SP Sport tires at 225/50 and 255/50 to the front and rear respectively, a power which comes from the famous 4.9-Liter flat-12 engine with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, good for 380 hp to the rear wheels only, note that Ferrari already had a four-valve per cylinder setup on the Testarossa from the start, Lamborghini answered with the Countach Quattrovalvole in 1985, now with 455 hp.

On the inside of this Bianco Ferrari Testarossa, we find a natural tan leather interior, the seat bolsters have been redone so they look amazing again, this car comes with power windows, air conditioning, and that stunning gated shifter with the satisfying ‘clunk’ when changing gears while you admire the Veglia Borletti tachometer with her redline at 6,800 rpm, the speedometer inside this Testarossa goes all the way up to 200 mph.

When you open the front hood on the Testarossa you actually gain access to a rather large luggage compartment, trimmed in tan carpet, it can hold quite some material, with the engine behind the occupants, the front made for a nice space to fit bags or other paraphernalia, in style naturally.

This car is now listed at auction by a dealer who bought the car in 2020, the main service has been performed in 2018 by the previous owner that had the car located in California and Georgia before selling it to New Jersey, the Ferrari Testarossa is a classic supercar from a bygone era, together with the Lamborghini Countach and the G-Series Porsche Turbo, these three cars left a mark in the life of an entire generation, and those side streaks became a trademark for Ferrari at that time, using them on the 348 models too.

At the time of writing the bids went up to $95,000 at the BringATrailer auction, which does sound like an interesting deal on such an iconic car, if you are interested in adding this classic to your collection, you should head over to the listing now, as it will end in a matter of hours … good luck.

Best of the Current Ferrari Model Lineup

Ferrari continues to be an ever-present figure when it comes to producing some of the world’s most revered and sought after exotic automobiles. Striking a fine balance between forward-looking innovation and staying true to its heritage, the Prancing Horse marque has some exciting and unequivocally Ferrari-esque projects in the pipeline.

While the lineup has been subject to a quantifiable consolidation for 2021 – with the retirement of the legendary 488 and the phasing out of its family-friendly GTC4 Lusso – Ferrari fans still have a lot to be excited about. The Ferrari Roma, unveiled in the later part of 2020, had its first full-season debut for the 2021 model year.

There is also a new Ferrari SUV in the works called the Purosangue, which is slated for release late in 2021 as a MY2022. While the SUV will be the GTC4 Lusso’s logical successor, there is little doubt that it is a direct retort to long-time-rival Lamborghini’s highly acclaimed Urus. Ferrari will look to claim their piece of this real estate and usurp their adversaries in the process, so we should expect something truly epic.

Returnees to the 2021 roster remain fundamentally unchanged, with such models as the Portofino, F8 Tributo, 812 Superfast, and SF90 Stradale each bringing their own unique purpose and interpretations of the Ferrari experience to the table.

Here are the best brand new Ferrari models you can purchase today.

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Base MSRP: $280,000 USD

The Ferrari F8 Tributo continues an impressive line of “entry-level” mid-engined sports cars within the Ferrari model lineup. Of course, no Ferrari will ever be considered economical in the grand scheme of things, and the F8 Tributo certainly doesn’t buck this trend. A car that is greater than the sum of its parts, the F8 Tributo is a highly capable all-rounder, which manages to stand out amongst an elite club of daily supercars which continue to redefine the exotic car experience and move the measuring stick higher.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo in my opinion, is the pragmatist’s choice; the one that will provide you with all of the best characteristics of a Ferrari automobile, in a single package. You just can’t go wrong with this car – it’s just that incredible. Available in both a coupe and Spider configuration.

Ferrari Roma

Ferrari Roma

Base MSRP: $222,620 USD

Ferrari’s latest true grand touring sports car offers something really unique and refreshing. Its design is simple; minimalist you could say, as far as the artistry is concerned. Yet, objectively it is a very beautiful car. The inner workings of the Roma are anything but uncomplicated. It features one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari, or car in its class. Its 3.9L engine is as athletic as it is utilitarian, making for a grand tourer that really molds to the character of its owner – or perhaps, it’s the other way around?

Granted it is a Ferrari, but those who want something flashy should look elsewhere within the line-up; or, depending on your cup of tea, outside the brand as a whole. But with the “gentleman’s sports car” now being in vogue, it’s this very characteristic that makes the Roma one of the most desirable cars of its kind. In a low-key sorta way.

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Base MSRP: $598,000 USD, $600,000 USD (Aperta)

First, the name: it’s officially known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione. But, it can also be called the Ferrari 812 Competizione A(perta). That’s because Ferrari surprised us by unveiling not one, but two versions of this hardcore 812 Superfast variant right from the get go. The latter – meant to replace the 812 GTS – is a Targa counterpart which features a removable carbon fiber roof panel which can be neatly stowed away in a special made-to-measure storage compartment.

Besides the obvious aesthetic differences born from having an open-top configuration, the two cars are identical mechanically. Both the Competizione and Competizione A will be powered by the same 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine. In addition to producing 819 hp and possessing a symphonic 9,500 rpm of vocal range, we now also know that it also churns out 512 lb-ft of torque. Those are the peak figures of course, which are attainable at both 9,250 rpm and 7,000 rpm respectively.

Ferrari 296 GTB

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB

Base MSRP: $280,000 USD (est.)

You’re a hybrid and EV fanatic. Ferrari is your favorite automaker. But the near-7-figure price tag of the SF90 Stradale is a bit of a buzz kill. Well, there’s now a cure for your ailment – the Ferrari 296 GTB. The Ferrari 296 GTB is not a replacement for any models formerly or currently in its product range, with Ferrari stating that it is “creating its own segment”. Price-wise, the 296 GTB is billed as the company’s new ‘entry-level’ mid-engined supercar and is being touted as the automaker’s latest ‘gateway’ to experiencing Ferrari’s race-bred DNA.

In spite (or because) of the car’s hybridized 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 drivetrain, Ferrari has been emboldened so much by the end-product that they believe it to be the “most fun car to drive in our product range”, both on track and on normal roads. Deliveries won’t begin until 2022, but orders are open right now. No specific word on pricing just yet, though it is expected to hover around the F8 Tributo’s base MSRP of US$277,000.