Being a Ferrari-owner is an exclusive club to be part of, but there are levels to the performance car game. That’s why we have the special edition, track-focused models that are offered to an even more exclusive list of clientele. At the tippy-top of, a handful of Ferrari’s loyal customers can commission bespoke models and just below that lies the Ferrari Icona range. These models pay tribute to the marquee’s historical icons with a modern reinterpretation in terms of design and performance. Following the SP1 and SP2 front-engined V12s from 2018, we now have the Daytona SP3.
The name itself pays homage to Ferrari’s dominant win at the 1967 24 Hours Of Daytona where the brand claimed all three podium spots and crossed the finish line in formation. The Daytona SP3 made its public debut at the Mugello circuit as part of the 2021 Ferrari Finali Mondial event.
At first glance, you may struggle to identify which historic Ferrari does it resemble the most. That’s because it takes styling inspiration from more than one. The three key sources for its shape are the 330 P4, 350 Can-Am and 512 S. On top of that, the SP3 is a Targa with a removable hardtop which is also inspired by the racing prototypes of yesteryears, especially the 1960s. Keeping with the theme, its 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 is rear-mid mounted for better balance. The chassis itself is built from the strongest carbon fibre composites using Ferrari’s F1 technology, something we haven’t seen since the LaFerrari, and some tech from aeronautics as well.
With those names in mind, you can start seeing the similarities like the pronounced shapes of the front and rear fenders. The lack of a modern GT-racing spoiler in favour of an aerodynamically shaped rear end is especially reminiscent of the 350 Can-Am (in our eyes). Its overall shape was designed to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency using passive aero solutions with a host of new features integrated into the underbody. In the carmaker’s own words, the Daytona SP3 is the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari ever without any active aero devices.
While the Italian outfit has gone into much detail describing the aerodynamics and exterior design of the Daytona SP3, we’ll try our best to do so in our own simple words. Starting with the front, we have a large grille flanked by horizontally-stacked blades on the outer edge of the bumper. There is also the aggressive front splitter which is mirrored by the top edge of the front end that also houses the LED DRLs with headlights house deep in the recesses of the front wings. It has vents on the bonnet that contribute to front-end downforce and help with the thermal management too.
There are large air boxes integrated into the butterfly doors that help channel air to the side-mounted radiators. The cutaways are noticeable but complementary to the design. Where the cabin and rear-end design meet, the Daytona SP3 has the look of a pinched waist.
The rear haunches are shaped similar to the front wings to complete the retro racecar inspired design. There is also the “spine” which is the engine cover with various functional elements in its design. The air intake is at the base of this silver backbone with vents that separate this entire section from the single-piece rear bodywork to dissipate engine heat and capture fresh air too. This angle also gives us the best angle to the Daytona SP3’s least pretty design detail: the horizontal blades that make up the rear bumper. Ferrari has integrated the taillamps into this design, beneath the spoiler, with a middle light bar as well. The dual-tip exhaust has been moved up to a high, centred position which allowed for a more effective rear diffuser design that is both tall and wide. There are vents located between the blades on the rear bumper for increased aero efficiency.
At the heart of this racecar-inspired monster is Ferrari’s most powerful engine to date. The naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 has been tinkered and developed to produce an output of 829bhp and 697Nm while revving to 9500rpm. Ferrari took the powertrain they built for the 812 Competizione and spiced it up further. In their own words, particular attention was paid to the intake and exhaust lines, reducing the engine’s weight and using different materials for new pistons that feature a Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) treatment. The engine weight reduction included the use of titanium con rods and a rebalanced crankshaft. There are a lot of dedicated ECUs on board for all the fancy tech that helps this engine deliver power all the way to the highest revs and maintain a steady torque output.
All that power is sent to the rear wheels via an F1-based 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Ferrari claims the Daytona SP3 can do the 0-100kph sprint in 2.85 seconds and hit 200kph in 7.4 seconds. The top speed is stated to be over 340kph, which is plenty for something built to deal with corners as well. It also features the latest version of the company’s drive management system, called SSC 6.1, and includes the FDE (Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer) for faster cornering.
Let’s talk about the cabin from which a few lucky owners will get to experience what the Dayton SP3 can do. As the reveal car, this one is probably fitted with all the options the factory could think of which includes this bright blue upholstery. Ferrari states that its team of engineers have taken advantage of the car’s architecture to offer a driving position that can combine racecar thrills with Grand Touring comfort. The seats are integrated into the chassis with upholstery cushions directly attached, and an adjustable pedal box to find that ideal driving position. The cockpit does look snug but not baren thanks to the use of luxurious materials. There is a sort of divider between the two seats that extends from the central console to the headrests, separating the two zones of the cabin experience. There are still a couple of trim bits that connect the two seats to still offer a sense of unbroken fluidity inside the cabin.
The dashboard is quite minimalistic and driver-focussed with various elements shared from other new Ferraris like the SF90 and the 296GTB. It has a 16-inch curved digital driver’s display with a layout that mimics the iconic Ferrari gauge clusters, touch controls for the steering wheel (a debatable choice for anything that drives this fast), and the central console design that mimics the pattern of a gated transmission. The Daytona SP3 also boasts of a wraparound windscreen design that further accentuates the racecar feel of its cabin.
We don’t know the starting price of this Ferrari Icona model or how many units will be built. It’d be safe to say that the Daytona SP3 will be quite rare (maybe less than 200 units total) and cost a few million with the added requirement of already owing some special edition Ferraris in your collection.
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