To be iconic means to be original, influential, classic. The Rolex Submariner is one of the world’s most iconic watches. Mother Teresa is an icon of extreme compassion for the needy. And Ferraris have always been icons of style and performance. Ask anyone what his dream car is and the answer will likely be an automobile made by the storied Italian carmaker. But Ferrari is creating a new standard of icon. And just to drive home the point, the company is naming it that way as well.
Called Icona, Ferrari’s new line of limited-production automobiles incorporates modern sports car technology with classic 1950s Italian automotive design. The models in this series are intended for the brand’s most devoted customers and collectors, and it goes without saying that anyone willing to join this exclusive club of car owners will need pockets deep enough to stop famine in Central Africa. The first forbidden fruits of the Icona line are the Monza SP1 and SP2.
The Monza SP1 and SP2 take inspiration from Ferrari’s racing barchettas of the late ’40s and early ’50s. The word barchetta translates as “small boat,” and it became the name of choice for many Italian automakers to describe their equally diminutive open-top race cars from the same period. The spirit of uncompromising performance in Ferrari’s race-winning 166 MM, 750 Monza and 860 Monza barchettas is captured by the Monza SP1 and SP2.
The design of Ferrari’s first Icona twins is a radical departure from that of the company’s production cars. The liberal use of creases and angles has given way to subtle and refined straight-edged strokes intended to stand the test of time. There is no roof for that true wind-in-your-hair and bugs-in-your-teeth feel when you’re blasting through the autostrada. And if the weather gets a little too chilly, the special wraparound cockpit warmly hugs you in all the right places.
Open-top cars are handicapped due to the gaping chasm of the cockpit that creates turbulent air. But Ferrari claims that the clever design of the Monza pair keeps the laws of aerodynamics with the use of its patented “Virtual Windshield.” This is basically a small bump in front of the instrument panel that is said to redirect the flow of air above the open cockpit to reduce drag.
Under the long hoods of the Monza SP1 and SP2 is the most powerful engine ever made by Maranello. The hand-built 6.5-liter V12 engine sings to the tune of 810 rampaging Italian horses while spinning at a stratospheric 8,500rpm. Aided by the generous use of carbon fiber in their construction, the Monza SP1 and SP2 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in a neck-snapping 2.9 seconds. And because of the ingenious design, these barchettas still have a lot to give beyond 300km/h.
The SP1 features a single seat for the type of owner who wants to keep the Icona experience all to himself. The SP2, meanwhile, has two seats that should enable its owner to share the experience with another lucky bastard. As for us, we’re content to just admire these cars in pictures.