The Fer­rari Monza is quite mad

An 812 Su­per­fast with the roof and wind­screen win lopped off is our new ob­ject of de­sire...

Top Gear (UK) - - THE TEN - TOM HAR­RI­SON

You don’t have to wear a hel­met to drive Fer­rari’s new Monza SP1 or SP2. We would, though, un­less you en­joy the very spe­cific sort of pain which can only be in­flicted by a pi­geon to the face.

Maranello will build “less than 500” ex­am­ples of this lat­est lim­ited-edi­tion. Yep – de­spite ap­pear­ances, this is not some hy­per-ex­clu­sive ten-off. A few might even get driven on a some­what reg­u­lar ba­sis. Wouldn’t that be a thing?

Why give us this news now, and not at a mo­tor show? Be­cause the SP is the first in Fer­rari’s ‘Icona’ se­ries of cars, and that’s a big deal and wor­thy of its own news cy­cle. Sit­ting above the sports (488), GT (GTC4 Lusso) and ‘Spe­cial Se­ries’ (488 Pista) mod­els in its line-up, these cars will be tar­geted at its most loyal cus­tomers and in­spired by iconic mod­els from the past. In this case, the 166 MM and 750 Monza that de­liv­ered wins for Fer­rari in the World Sports Car Cham­pi­onship back in the Fifties and Six­ties.

As you might have guessed, the SP1 is the sin­gle-seater. Be­sides a 20kg weight sav­ing from elim­i­nat­ing the sec­ond seat and added rollover pro­tec­tion, it’s iden­ti­cal to the two-seat SP2. The pow­er­train and plat­form come from the 812 Su­per­fast. It’s a 6.5-litre, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V12 that bor­rows know-how from Fer­rari’s F1 pro­gramme, run­ning through a 7spd dual-clutch trans­mis­sion. With 799bhp, it’s the most pow­er­ful engine Fer­rari has ever made, and can pro­pel the 1,500kg (dry, and that’s only 25kg lighter than the 812) SP1 to 62mph in 2.9 sec­onds, to 124mph in 7.9 sec­onds and on to a top speed of over 186mph.

Bod­ied en­tirely in car­bon fi­bre, the SP fea­tures be­spoke forged wheels, LED head­lights and a full-width light bar across its rear end. The doors are small, al­most point­less items that open up­wards and out­wards, while the bon­net is a huge, front-hinged piece like a Jag E-type’s. Mean­while a ‘Vir­tual Wind Shield’ sits ahead of the in­stru­ment panel, aim­ing to dis­rupt air­flow to “main­tain driv­ing com­fort”. In the SP2, the pas­sen­ger gets no such lux­ury.

Speak­ing of “driv­ing com­fort” – the SPs fea­ture the 812’s all-wheel-steer­ing sys­tem. We’re told that de­spite the power out­put, and prom­ises of the SP’s dra­matic turn of speed, that it’s “not in any way chal­leng­ing”. We’ll be the judges of that, with our fists of ham and feet of lead, thanks very much.

Fer­rari has also part­nered with some Ital­ian fash­ion brands, so each SP will come with a be­spoke “Pi­lot Suit” we guar­an­tee none of its own­ers will ever wear. And de­spite all the SPs Fer­rari will ever build

al­ready be­ing al­lo­cated, pric­ing will be re­vealed at a later date. Seven fig­ures? Count on it.

In other news, Fer­rari will make an SUV of some de­scrip­tion, but new CEO Louis Camil­leri says he “ab­hors hear­ing SUV in the same sen­tence as Fer­rari”, and that the new car will be some­thing al­to­gether dif­fer­ent, and defy all ex­ist­ing acronyms.

“What we pro­duce will be unique in so many ways, and re­de­fine ex­pec­ta­tions. It will be un­mis­tak­ably a Fer­rari, and have fea­tures that have never been seen be­fore.” The not-an-SUV will be launched to­wards the end of the com­pany’s mid-term plan – think 2022 or there­abouts – and fea­ture hy­brid power. The name Purosangue – Ital­ian for thor­ough­bred – was thrown about a lot in the press con­fer­ence we at­tended, but it’s not im­me­di­ately clear whether that’s the name the, erm, THING, will ac­tu­ally wear when it goes on sale.

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