• 2018 Ferrari Monza SP1

A modern Ferrari car with a classic twist

LISTEN 04:59

Ferrari shocks everyone again and launches two open-top sports cars for the road as part of a new program called Icona. They are the Monza SP1 and SP2; they look like bonkers re-imagined ‘50s racers, and will be made in very limited quantities – all of which have been already sold.

Just as I was lamenting the other day about the disappearance of coachbuilding, Ferrari decides to get up and unveil a whole new line of cars under the Icona moniker. We know about Ferrari’s Special Projects program that builds one-off models, sometimes starting from a clean piece of paper, for Maranello’s most-trusted and respected buyers. The cars that will come through the Icona program won’t be one-offs, but you still won’t see more than 200 made of each. That’s, apparently, how many new Monzas they will build and, despite a $1,400,000 price tag, all have been sold. Indeed, it’s a cheap price to ask considering a one-off Ferrari – for which all slots have been reserved all the way until 2021 – starts at about $3,000,000.

With the occasion of Ferrari’s Capital Markets Day, the Italian automaker debuted the Icona program on the premises of its new Centro Stile facility in Maranello. The program, which is slated to run until 2022 for the very least, will see more cars built using the same recipe: design philosophy that harkens back to the old days in combination with the latest Ferrari underpinnings.

What makes the Ferrari Monza SP1 special

2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Exterior
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The hump-backed SP1 is dead near identical to the SP2. In fact, the only major difference is that the SP1 is a single-seater while the SP2 is kind enough to offer a passenger the ride of a life time – with the right driver behind the wheel. With that being said, the bodywork that covers the right side of the SP1 does look to have a couple of latches so it’s not inconceivable that it comes off, but you won’t find a seat there since there’s also no hump to protect a potential passenger in case you make a wrong turn and the trip turns goes suddenly very wrong.

The body of the Monza SP1 is, potentially, the best looking thing sculpted out of carbon fiber.

You’ve got a long sweeping hood, which incorporates the wings and lifts up as a whole to reveal the engine, that ends with a massive air intake in the vein of the old Monza, last of which was built 62 years ago as part of the 625LM series. The front lip is sculpted for aerodynamic purposes only with two extra vents incorporated to the sides of the nose which narrows out to follow the shape of the air intake.

2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Exterior
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The headlights are minimalistic with a thin line of LED’s sitting at a slightly oblique angle. Looking at the car head-on you can’t help but notice the lack of a windshield. What Ferrari has come up with to not ruin the car’s line is devise a scoop just before the dashboard which sucks incoming air creating what the Italians call a “Virtual Windshield” that should protect the driver from an array of debris that usually find their way into your face when you drive a car without any forward-facing piece of glass to protect you.

In any case, Ferrari’s also offering with the Monzas some bespoke overalls signed by the Loro Piana fashion house and a a carbon fiber helmet wrapped in Berluti leather.
2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Interior
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The rounded rear is dominated by a line of LED’s that effectively follow the car’s line in a dashing attempt to make the classic, rounded taillights we often see on Ferraris obsolete. The quad exhaust reminds us probably the most important aspect of the Monza SP1 and SP2 that I’ve saved up until now: the base for these cars is the 812 Superfast, Ferrari’s fastest and most powerful front-engined car ever made. Inside the Monzas, however, that growling 6.5-liter V12 is even more powerful, going from 800 horsepower to 809 horsepower.

These cars are, then, the most powerful non-LaFerrari Ferraris ever made, which is why they were dubbed by the constructor the “closest experience to a Formula 1”.

The SP1 has enough power to go from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, defying its 3,307 pounds dry weight. The top speed is unknown although somewhere over 190 mph should be a fair estimate. You’ll also get the same 530 pound-feet of torque as in your mundane 812 Superfast so you can get those rear wheels spinning if you really want to.

2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Exterior
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It’s also nice to point out that the livery in which the SP1 was presented looks back at another Ferrari of the past, one that’s much more famous and revered than the Monza: the 250 GTO.

To be precise, that silver-with-a-yellow-line combination was the way the Ecurie Francorchamps and the Ecurie Nationale Belge raced their cars when they weren’t completely draped in yellow and it’s also the way the 250 GTO that won the 1964 Tour de France Auto looked.

Ferrari Monza SP1 Technical Specification

Engine Type V12 – 65°
Displacement 6.5-liter
Max. power output 810 HP @ 8,500 RPM
Max. torque 530 LB-FT @ 7,000 RPM
Length 183.3 in
Width 78.6 in
Height 43.8 in
Dry weight 3,307 pounds
0-100 km/h 2.9 sec
0-200 km/h 7.9 sec
Max. speed >186 mph

Further reading

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast High Resolution Exterior
- image 705875

Read our full review on the 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 717449

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Ferrari 812 Aperta.

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior
- image 575337
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Read our full review of the 1962-1964 Ferarri 250 GTO

1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider Exterior
- image 452214
1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider

Read our full review of the 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC

2009 Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss
- image 278065

Read our full review of the 2009 Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
About the author

The new Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 have been unveiled in occasion of the company’s Capital Market’s Day at the factory in Maranello. These limited-edition special-series cars are the first in a new segment called ‘Icone’ and draw inspiration from the most evocative Ferraris of the 1950s and feature the most advanced sports car technology available today.

Aimed at dedicated clients and collectors, the Monza SP1 and SP2 reference the iconic Ferrari racing barchettas of the past, not least the 1948 166 MM, which originally inspired the name ‘barchetta’, and the 750 Monza and 860 Monza. Designed with the sole aim of winning, these uncompromising models helped build the Ferrari legend in the 1950s by delivering a slew of victories in the World Sports Car Championship.

The Ferrari Monza SP1 was designed as an uncompromising single-seat road car that offers a truly unique experience behind the wheel. The second configuration, the Monza SP2, thanks to the elimination of the tonneau cover and the addition of a second protective screen and a second roll-bar, is instead a two-seater enabling the passenger to share the same driving sensations.

The Monza SP1 and SP2 feature a unique design, the best weight-to-power ratio of any barchetta, thanks to the extensive use of carbon-fibre in construction, and distinctive details, such as head-and tail-lights, wheels and interior, which further enhance the cars’ exclusivity. Equipped with the most powerful engine Maranello has ever built, a 810 cv V12, they can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 7.9 seconds.

The architecture of the two cars is based on a monolithic form with an aerodynamic wing profile where the complete absence of a roof and windscreen gave the designers the freedom to create unique proportions that would not have been possible on a traditional spider.

The result is the feeling of blistering speed normally only experienced by Formula 1 drivers, which derives from the concept of a cockpit carved from the car’s very volume that wraps around the driver.

The Ferrari Design Centre has sought to create a very pure design, as though born of a single pencil stroke, to convey an ideal of timeless elegance, minimalist form and refined detail. Visually complex solutions, such as those seen on recent racing cars, have been avoided, giving way to a more understated formal design language. Never has a model expressed such a narrative power, highlighting its appeal as a driver’s car where the link between man and automobile becomes symbiotic.

A radical choice was made for the design of the cars’ compact doors which open upwards. Equally important is the all-carbon-fibre one-piece bonnet-wing assembly which is hinged at the front to showcase the imposing V12 engine once open.

As with racing models, the bodyshell of both cars is made entirely from lightweight carbon-fibre. The entire interior is trimmed in the same material with a natural finish to enhance the sporty impact of the design. Weight reduction and the ‘barchetta’ configuration guarantee unique vehicle dynamics: perfectly balanced with no roll whatsoever for pure, uncompromising sports-car handling.

Because these are authentic “en plein air” sports cars, one of the greatest challenges in their design was managing the aerodynamic flows inside the cockpit in the absence of a windscreen. The solution was the innovative patented “Virtual Wind Shield” which has been incorporated into the fairing ahead of the instrument panel and the steering wheel. The “Virtual Wind Shield” deviates a part of the air flow to maintain driving comfort.

Especially for Monza SP1 and SP2 owners Ferrari, in collaboration with two leading luxury brands, Loro Piana and Berluti, has created elegant gentlemen-driver-inspired apparel and accessories. The driver’s selection includes racing overalls, jersey, helmet, gloves, scarf and driving shoes. These feature a number of technical solutions to guarantee a comfortable fit and ensure freedom of movement while driving.

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Press release

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