Based on the 488 GTB, only one made

Introduced in 2015 as a replacement for the 458 Italia, the Ferrari 488 GTB is already an iconic supercar. It already spawned a topless, Spider version, as well as a replacement for the 458 Speciale, called the 488 Pista. Racing duties go to the 488 GTE and 488 GT3 for the most coveted classes in the FIA-governed championships. Much like its predecessor, it was also used for a custom limited-edition model, called the J50 and built in just ten units to celebrate 50 years since the Italian brand arrived in Japan. Come 2018 and Ferrari rolled off yet another bespoke model. It’s called the SP38, and only one will ever see the light of day.

Developed by company’s One-Off program, the SP38 was designed by the Ferrari Design Center on the chassis and running gear of the 488 GTB. It was unveiled at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, where it was handed over to one of the company’s most dedicated customers. The new supercar will be on public display for the first time at the 2018 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este before it will find its way in a heated garage. Needless to say, the SP38 is the most intriguing version of the 488 GTB yet, and it will probably become a highly sought-after collectible in a few years.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari SP38.

What makes the Ferrari SP38 special

  • Brand-new body
  • Three-layer red paint
  • 308 GTB bumper lip
  • New headlamps
  • Redesigned side skirts
  • Concealed side intakes
  • F40-inspired wing and hood
  • Race-spec diffuser
  • One-off model
  • Tailor Made interior
  • Standard drivetrain
2018 Ferrari SP38 Exterior
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The SP38 features a unique body that shares very little with the donor car

Much like any Ferrari designed by the brand’s One-Off program, especially those wearing the "SP" badge, the SP38 features a unique body that shares very little with the donor car. While it retains the short, sharp nose of the 488 GTB it is based on, the SP38 features a new trunk lid, redesigned front fenders, and thin, inset headlamps. The latter are also positioned horizontally in relation to the front fascia, whereas on the 488 GTB they extend toward the windshield.

The slim design of the new headlamps also prompted Ferrari to create separate daytime running lights, which are mandatory on road-legal models. These were relocated into a slim bumper lip that pays tribute to the iconic Ferrari 308 GTB from the mid-1970s. Most of the bumper is now a massive mesh, with thin bodywork in the lower side. Just like the lip, most of the apron is finished in gloss carbon-fiber, with only the center section painted in the three-layer metallic red that covers most of the body.

2018 Ferrari SP38 Exterior
- image 781164
The massive air scoop that defines the 488 GTB is now completely concealed

The side panels were redesigned on a clean sheet as well. The new side skirts are strikingly aggressive thanks to deep cuts between the wings and the bodywork. The roofline is now almost flat, while the A-pillars are black, creating a floating roof impression. More importantly, the massive air scoop that defines the 488 GTB is now completely concealed, with just a small vent integrated into the doors, just above the handles. Due to this makeover, the SP38 feels wider and more muscular toward the rear.

Around back, the SP38 looks like no other Ferrari available right now. A big spoiler, reminiscent of the F40, was integrated into the rear fenders, while the fascia is now a separate unit with quad taillights and a thin grille in the center. The exhaust pipes are also placed in the center of the fascia for a race-inspired look. The edges of the rear fenders, the wing, and the upper bumper are integrated into the same unit, which looks like it was built around the rear fascia. The massive diffuser below with several fins signals that the SP38 is always ready to take on the race track.

2018 Ferrari SP38 Exterior
- image 781168
A big spoiler, reminiscent of the F40, was integrated into the rear fenders

Ferrari ditched the glass area on the engine hood, replacing it with a flip-up assembly in carbon-fiber with three transversal slats. The design is also reminiscent of the Ferrari F40 and gives the car a race-inspired appearance.

Ferrari has yet to release photos of the interior, but mentioned that the SP38 boasts a full Tailor Made cabin. The layout is probably identical to the 488 GTB, but it must include special materials that can’t be ordered on the standard model.

There’s no word on the drivetrain either, but Ferrari confirmed that the SP38 shares underpinnings with the 488 GTB. This means that output comes from a twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 engine rated at 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. The 488 GTB charges from 0 to 62 mph in exactly three seconds and this figure shouldn’t change for the SP38. Top speed is probably rated at the same 205 mph. There’s no pricing information for this car either, but being a one-off, it probably cost the owner more than $500,000. That’s a figure that makes the standard 488 GTB look like a bargain at around $250,000.

References

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior
- image 620088

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.

2018 Ferrari 488 Pista
- image 769799

Read our full review on the 2018 Ferrari 488 Pista.

Ferrari J50 High Resolution Exterior
- image 698160

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari J50.

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- image 742470

Read more Ferrari news.

Press release

The Ferrari SP38, the latest offspring from Ferrari’s One-Off programme, has been unveiled at Fiorano where, after the ceremonial handover to one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers, the car was immediately put through its paces in a series of hot laps.

Designed by the Ferrari Design Centre on the chassis and running gear of the 488 GTB, this unique car reflects the specific vision of a client with a deep passion for racing. The result is a model that can be driven both on road and on track, while at the same time expressing all the beauty and innovation inherent in Ferrari’s road cars.

The all-new bodywork, in a newly conceived three-layer metallic red, marks a radical departure from the language aesthetic of the donor car. The twin-turbo, twin-intercooler set-up of the award-winning 488 GTB inspired the team to reference the mighty F40 as an icon from which to instruct the project’s general direction.

Compared to the 488 chassis, the visual mass of SP38 appears concentrated over the rear wheels as the wedge design sharply stretches towards the front. In plan view, the strongly tapered nose expands towards muscular wheelarches, giving the car potency and agility. Specific inset headlights were designed to be as thin as possible, with the mandatory DRL (daytime running lights) units relocated to add character and functionality to a slim bumper lip reminiscent of the 308 GTB. On the side, the defining air scoop of the 488 GTB is completely concealed where the sheet metal folds in on itself from the low beltline on the door and into the rear wheelarch and three-quarter light.

The effect is dramatic, as it reinforces the importance of the rear volume while, at the same time, maintaining the air flow to the intercoolers at the base of the side window. The dynamic styling continues over the engine cover, which sheds its rear glass and is treated as a flip-up assembly in carbon fibre with shutlines slashing the flanks in a gesture directly reminiscent of the F40’s. Three transversal slats slash across the engine cover to evacuate engine heat, and the smooth integration of a substantial rear spoiler is a hint at the famous rear wing of the F40. The trailing edge of the spoiler links seamlessly with the wing and with the aerodynamic diffuser at the bottom, to create a suggestive frame surrounding the tail volume.

A full Tailor Made cabin trim puts the finished touches on this truly special Ferrari, which will be on public display for the first time at the upcoming Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Saturday 26th May 2018.

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