Based on the 488 GT3, it’s the most extreme 488 design to date

The Ferrari P80/C is a one-off supercar built by the company’s special projects unit. Designed by the same team that created the SP12 EPC, F12 TRS, J50, and the Monza SP1 and SP2 twins, the P80/C is based on the race-spec Ferrari 488 GT3. The supercar also draws cues from the iconic 330 P3/P4 the 1966 Dino 206S, as requested by its customer.

In development since 2015, the P80/C had the longest development time of any Ferrari one-off made to date. Ferrari says it spent almost four years on in-depth styling research and engineering development, with "meticulous analysis of performance parameters as well as scrupulous aerodynamic testing, all with a different approach than taken by Ferrari with its one-off cars in the past." Based on the way this car looks, I’m tempted to believe Ferrari isn’t just pulling PR tricks on us. Let’s have a closer look at the supercar we may never get to see in the metal anytime soon.

Exterior

  • Unique design
  • Extreme aerodynamics
  • Slim headlamps
  • Massive front splitter
  • Extended side vents
  • Big rear diffuser
  • Carbon-fiber wing
  • Carbon-fiber body
  • Bright red paint
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The P80/C doesn't have a traditional bumper, but a massive splitter and a big opening between the carbon element and the rest of the body

Although it’s based on the 488 GT3, essentially a beefed-up track version of the 488 GTB, the P80/C looks almost nothing like it. And this is exactly what sets Ferrari’s Styling Centre apart from other customization divisions: the ability to completely redo a car.

While the front hood looks a bit like the 488 Pista’s, mostly due to the big vents on each side of the center section, but the nose, the fenders, and the bumper are different. The front fenders seem more muscular, but this effect could be the result of the fact that the P80/C has much smaller headlamps that were moved into the thin fascia. Yes, the small openings you see on each side of the nose hide slim headlamps with four round LED lights.

This is a strange design not only for modern supercars, but for Ferrari as well. So why did Maranello turn the headlamps into small slits above the bumper? Because it could! With the P80/C homologated for track use only, the car no longer needs to include mandatory components for road use, so Ferrari decided to ditch the production headlamps, a revision that saves weight.

2019 Ferrari P80/C Exterior
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Combined with the GT3-sourced diffuser in the rear, the splitter helps improve the car's aerodynamic efficiency by five percent

The bumper is also completely different. Actually, the P80/C doesn’t even have a traditional bumper, but a massive splitter and a big opening between the carbon element and the rest of the body. This setup is more aggressive than on any other Ferrari 488 out there, including the Pista and the GT3.

This radical splitter is also the result of aerodynamics not being governed by restrictions imposed by international road and race regulations. Combined with the GT3-sourced diffuser in the rear, the splitter helps improve the car’s aerodynamic efficiency by five percent.

The P80/C’s profile is equally wild. There’s a unique side skirt design with big wings toward the rear fenders, a wrap-around windscreen that pays tribute to vintage prototype racers, and a new B-pillar that transforms into a flying buttress toward the side air intakes. The latter are significantly larger than any other 488, which hints at increase performance and an engine that needs more air to cool down.

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Around back, the P80/C looks more like the 488 Pista than the race-only GT3

The 18-inch wheels with a five-spoke design and a single nut reference Ferrari race cars from the past and even iconic road-legal berlinettas from the 1970s and 1980s.

Around back, the P80/C looks more like the 488 Pista than the race-only GT3. Yes, it has a massive wing on the decklid, but the diffuser is clearly inspired by the Pista. The spoiler, on the other hand, is unique to this car and it’s tall enough to act as a second wing. Ferrari ditched the traditional round taillights in favor of thin slits with really tiny LED elements.

The fascia is virtually a massive opening with a fine mesh through which you can see the rear section of the drivetrain. Just like an authentic race car. The lower part is covered by the huge diffuser with three distinct sections. Unlike traditional race cars, the P80/C’s diffuser extends far away from the body, a design that was possible only because this vehicle doesn’t need to comply to FIA standards.

2019 Ferrari P80/C Exterior
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Behind the big, carbon-fiber wing there’s a concave windscreen and an almost flat engine cover with aluminum louvers. This design is a reference to the 330 P3 and 330 P4 race cars of the 1960s.

Although painted in Ferrari’s iconic bright red paint, the P80/C is made entirely from carbon-fiber. Ferrari says that the client also received an exhibition package with larger 21-inch wheels "but devoid of aerodynamic appendages, to highlight the purity of its forms." Unfortunately there are no photos of this configuration yet.

Interior

  • Based on 488 GT3
  • Bare carbon-fiber
  • No leather
  • Alcantara seats
  • Race-spec steering wheel
  • Roll-cage
2019 Ferrari P80/C Interior
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The carbon-fiber seats are wrapped in blue Alcantara, a tribute to vintage Ferraris from the 1960s

The interior is pretty much identical to the donor car, the 488 GT3, so it’s a full-fledged racing cockpit. There are no soft-touch materials on the dashboard, while the instrument cluster is much simpler and displays performance-related information only. The center stack, which is oriented toward the driver, includes an array of buttons and switches, while the steering wheel is devoid of the traditional upper and lower rim sections. Just like in the 488 GT3, it’s packed with buttons and switches that control various car functions.

The carbon-fiber seats are wrapped in blue Alcantara, a tribute to vintage Ferraris from the 1960s. The seatbacks feature exposed carbon-fiber ,as do the door panels and the center console. All told, the P80/C is ready to tackle any competition out there on any track, including full GT3-spec racers.

Drivetrian

  • 488 GT3 drivetrain
  • 3.9-liter V-8
  • More than 700 horsepower
  • Quickest 488 yet
  • Dual-clutch gearbox
  • No restrictions
2019 Ferrari P80/C Drivetrain
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Considering its extreme aerodynamics, the P80/C should be quicker than the 488 Pista

Ferrari had nothing to say about the drivetrain, but mentioned that the underpinnings are also taken from the 488 GT3. The latter’s output is restricted by FIA rules and its curb weight and there’s no official figure to run by, but Ferrari mentions an "unrestricted engine" in its press release. This means that the twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 mill could be notably more powerful than the standard unit. With no race-specific restrictions to regulate the P80/C, Ferrari had the liberty to alter the V-8 in any way it wanted.

As of this writing, the most powerful iteration of the 3.9-liter V-8 cranks out 710 horsepower in the 488 Pista. The P80/C probably is at least as powerful as the Pista, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it has more than that. Considering its extreme aerodynamics, the P80/C should be quicker than the 488 Pista. The sprint to 62 mph should take 2.7 seconds or less, while the 124-mph benchmark should come in 7.5 seconds or less. Top speed probably decreased from the Pista’s 211-mph mark due to the aerodynamics.

Ferrari 488 Pista specifications

Engine twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8
Horsepower 710 HP
0 to 60 mph 2.7 seconds
0 to 124 mph 7.5 seconds
Top Speed 211 mph

Pricing

2019 Ferrari P80/C Exterior
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Ferrari didn’t say how much the lucky owner of this car paid for it, but it’s safe to assume that the P80/C is an multi-million-dollar car. Unique and designed almost from scratch in certain departments, the P80/C likely required a massive budget, which in turns translates into a big sticker. I’d say this car was sold for at least $5 million.

Competition

2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO
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2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO

Because it’s a one-off that can’t be driven on public roads or in FIA-regulated events, the P80/C doesn’t have a direct competitor. And unfortunately neither McLaren or Lamborghini don’t have bespoke programs that heavily redesign supercars like the Huracan and the 720S. Sure, you can ask for certain options for the 720S from McLaren Special Operations, but they won’t redesign the outer shell. Maybe they will in the future, but for the time being, the Ferrari Styling Centre is the best option if you want a unique supercar. It won’t happen, but I definitely want to see the P80/C race against the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and McLaren 720S GT3 because I’m pretty sure it has what it takes to give them a run for their money. The battle wouldn’t be fair given Ferrari’s unrestricted aerodynamics and drivetrain, but it would be loads of fun to see them battle through the corners.

Final Thoughts

2019 Ferrari P80/C Exterior
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There isn’t much I can say about the P80/C. It’s pretty much a dream car. The unique Ferrari every gearhead is dreaming about. It’s the FXX K of Ferrari’s entry-level supercar, and it has everything it needs to propel it into the history books. It boasts an outlandish design, unrestricted aerodynamics, a race-spec interior, and turbo V-8 that generates in excess of 800 horsepower. Sure, it’s a supercar that costs millions of dollars, but that’s the kind of hard-earned you should be prepared to pay if you want a one-of-a-kind Ferrari.

  • Leave it
    • One-off
    • You can’t buy one

Further Reading

2019 Ferrari P80/C Exterior
- image 832249

The 2019 Ferrari P80/C Mates Form and Function In Perfect Harmony

2016 Ferrari 488 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GT3.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior
- image 622157

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.

1968 - 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT
- image 320208

Read our full review on the 1968 - 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT.

2018 Ferrari SP38 Exterior
- image 781168

Read our full review on the 2018 Ferrari SP38.

Ferrari J50 High Resolution Exterior
- image 698124

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari J50.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Joins Ferrari's Lineup as a Successor to the 488
- image 826523

Read our full review on the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo here.

Creating an entirely new and modern take on the Ferrari sports prototype concept is both an ambitious and complex undertaking. But it was in this spirit, and with very specific input from the client, that the new Ferrari one-off, the P80/C, was conceived. The Ferrari Styling Centre, under the direction of Flavio Manzoni, and the engineering and aerodynamics team worked hand-in-glove with the client, sharing principles and visions in order to create a new “Hero Car” with an absolutely unique and authentic soul.

The client, a great connoisseur of the Ferrari world, comes from a family of long-time Prancing Horse enthusiasts and admirers, and is himself a highly knowledgeable, discerning Ferrari collector. He was thus the perfect partner with whom to craft such a demanding project which required the highest level of interaction as well as emotional involvement.

The client’s basic brief was to create a modern sports prototype inspired by iconic models from Ferrari’s history: the 330 P3/P4 on the one hand and the 1966 Dino 206 S on the other.

The P80/C thus set the Ferrari Styling Centre an ambitious target: to develop a new kind of product that simply did not exist in the current Ferrari range: a sports prototype inspired by the cars that essentially wrote their own styling rules becoming, in the process, famous icons that, although conceived as track cars, also went on to influence a whole series of elegant road cars. A case in point is the very close relationship between, for instance, the Dino 206 S racing car and the production Dino 206/246 GT. Both versions share a common DNA despite having a different styling lexicon: Ferrari racing elements appear in the case of the former while the latter have the more sober, refined lines of the road cars.

The Ferrari Styling Centre’s goal was to create a resolutely modern car that made no major concessions to the past, apart from attempting to recreate the sensual shape of those iconic models through more muscular wings formed by the intersection of concave and convex surfaces.

Kicked off in 2015, the P80/C project had the longest development time of any Ferrari one-off made to date. This highly intense gestation period was the result of in-depth styling research and lengthy engineering development, with meticulous analysis of performance parameters as well as scrupulous aerodynamic testing, all with a different approach than taken by Ferrari with its one-off cars in the past.

Normally speaking, this kind of car tends to be a stylistic reinterpretation of models in the current range - a new concept or basic idea that marks a departure from the donor car is built on existing running gear. The glorious history of Italian coachbuilding is just that: a wealth of exceptional cars based on the same chassis, but bodied by different coachworks.

The P80/C, however, is radically different. It is a track car, which means that performance is a major factor so this not only pointed the design team in the direction of a design that was absolutely unique, but also forced them to make radical changes to the running gear of the donor car. This involved introducing specific features required to guarantee a captivating marriage of style, technical prowess and aerodynamics.

The decision was made to use the 488 GT3 chassis as a basis, not only for its performance, but also for its longer wheelbase (+ 50 mm compared to the 488 GTB) which allowed more creative freedom. With respect to the Ferrari 488’s classic layout in which the cockpit tends to be placed centrally, the GT chassis allowed the designers to emphasis a cab forward-effect in which the rear is elongated, lending the car a more aggressive, compact character. This was one of the cornerstones of the P80/C’s styling from the early stages of the design process.

A decisive wedge shape dominates the side view at the front of the car. The muscular forms of the front and rear wings with the cockpit set in between are emphasised by very broad buttresses that expand towards the side air intakes. This gives the impression that the cabin is completely fused with the body, and is accentuated still further by the wrap-around windscreen which references the iconic look of sports prototypes of the past. The flying buttresses converge towards the roof underlining the visor effect of the greenhouse. All of these features are references not only to the 330 P3/P4 but also homage to the Dino and the 250 LM berlinettas.

The side windows merge graphically with a wide pocket created by the side air intakes giving a dynamic downward movement to the rear flanks. This disruptive line balances the wedge-shaped front flanks and visually separates the rear section from the rest of the car.

Seen from above, it is clear that the bodywork is widest over the front axle, but then narrows sharply, creating a tightly sculpted waistline around the rear door before broadening out again dramatically at the tail. This particularly iconic kind of architecture is also emphasised by flying buttress-type C-pillars which are physically detached from the cabin. On the one hand, the C-pillars wraparound the intercooler air intakes, while on the other, they accentuate the sharp drop in height between the roof and the surfaces of the rear engine cover. Compared to a more normal continuation of the roofline over the engine cover, a more extreme solution was preferred, creating a large void rear of the cockpit with a vertical rear screen.

Aerodynamic development was based on the experience gained with the 488 GT3, but was not governed by the restrictions imposed by international regulations. Thus the front splitter is specific and, while the expansion curve and vortex generators of the rear diffuser are the same as those used on the GT3, the external surfaces are all unique to the P80/C. The result is an improvement of around 5% in overall efficiency, required to make full use of the unrestricted engine.

The objective was to balance the upper bodywork’s downforce evenly over the two axles, making full use of the 488 GT3’s underbody. The configuration of the rear bodywork required the adoption of an aerodynamic profile that sits immediately rear of the trailing edge of the roof to provide a strong recompression of the flow rearwards, reinforcing the downforce generated by the tail and the wing. This aerodynamic profile was inspired by the T-wing adopted in Formula 1 in 2017 and here is designed to reduce the length of the flow over the rear, creating the effect of a very short ‘virtual’ rear windscreen and an extremely limited separation bubble.

The front of the car has a catamaran-style formal geometry. The jutting effect of the nose is underscored by its almost wing-like shape which the interplay of voids highlights very effectively. The large radiator air vents are located just behind this wing-like structure and these outlets over the front bonnet underline the powerfully muscular wings.

The fact that the P80/C is homologated only for track use meant that it could do without components that would be deemed vital in a road car, and which would also heavily influence its styling. Classic head lights have essentially disappeared. Or rather they have been reduced to mere slits set into niches at the front of the car reminiscent of the air intake housings in the grille of the 330 P3/P4. Unlike the 330, however, in the P80/C, said housings are not set into an oval grille but look more like two pockets carved out of the front of the car.

The same styling element reappears at the rear of the car. The rear spoiler is very wide to meet aerodynamic requirements and incorporates the two signature tail lights in a way that makes them look like air vents, thus perfectly reflecting the design of the front.

Even the rear fascia, which leaves the running gear fully visible, has a catamaran-type architecture. This allowed the inside to be completed devoid of bodywork. In fact, its sole occupant is a grille to help evacuate heat from the engine bay. The space left is occupied by a huge rear diffuser which seems almost to be separate from the rest of the car.

The adoption of a concave rear windscreen and aluminium louvres on the engine cover, a reference to the 330 P3/P4, gives the P80/C’s tail an instantly recognisable and unique look.

At the client’s request, the car was designed with a dual soul: a racing set-up, which includes quite a showy carbon-fibre wing and 18” single-nut wheels, and an exhibition package complete with 21” wheels but devoid of aerodynamic appendages, to highlight the purity of its forms.

The P80/C’s design language was crafted to be instantly clear. Although made entirely from carbon-fibre, only the parts with strictly technical functions have been left bare, while the main car body has been painted a bright statement Rosso Vero. The name was chosen by the client, proving that his loyalty to Ferrari’s sports prototype tradition extends all the way to colour.

The interior is very much the same as that of the donor car with a roll cage integrated into the bodywork. The side sections of the dashboard have been redesigned from the version seen on the 488 GT3, as have the seat upholstery and door panels – the latter are now carbon-fibre shells and no have no impact on the car’s weight.

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