Ferrari launched the Icona series back in 2018 starting with the Monza SP1 and SP2. Gorgeous specimens representing the Prancing Horse’s colorful motorsport history transformed into modern day works of art on wheels packed with impressive engineering. The brand continues the Icona line with the introduction of its latest naturally aspirated V12 hypercar, the Daytona SP3.
From any angle, the latest Icona is a stunner. Paying homage to Ferrari’s racing heritage, specifically the momentous 1-2-3 finish (won by the 330 P3/4, the 330 P3 and the 412P) during the first round of the World Sports Car Championship at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967, this hypercar resembles the marque’s greatest motorsport feat from what’s been dubbed as the golden era of closed-wheel racing.
At the heart of this limited creation beats the most powerful V12 engine from Ferrari. Taken from the 812 Competizione, this updated mid-rear-mounted 6.5-liter powerplant boasts an impressive output of 829hp and 697Nm, revving all the way to a symphonic 9,500rpm. A snappier seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox delivers all that Italian grunt to the asphalt quicker than ever.
Improvements to this magnificent engine with a 65° angle between the cylinder banks include the use of lighter titanium conrods, Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) piston pins which reduce friction (improving performance and fuel efficiency), and a lighter, rebalanced crankshaft. Given the engine’s layout, the intake system has been radically redesigned with a more compact manifold and plenum, reducing overall tract length, thus delivering more sustained power and torque through each gear.
An updated ECU governs all critical aspects of the combustion process with hydraulic intake actuators that adjusts the inlet tracts’ position depending on engine load. The result is optimized engine performance across the entire power band under all driving conditions.
The Daytona SP3’s flowing and curvaceous exterior architecture is not only a tantalizing treat for the eyes, but employs a smorgasbord of passive aerodynamics befitting a performance car of this caliber. Its sensuous targa body is a cohesive blend of retro features taken from Ferrari’s racing prototypes of `60s combined with a healthy dose of sharp modern styling, thanks to chief design officer Flavio Manzoni and his Style Centre team.
Blending beauty and engineering aspects while paying close attention to its roots in such a car is never an easy task, but Manzoni certainly knocked this one out of the ballpark. Some of the more distinct design features are the wraparound rear screen and horizontal monolithic slats hugging the SP3’s rear- and front-end corners. These horizontal accents are wonderfully executed remind us of what made the highly coveted Testarossa stand out.
The SP3’s shell and chassis are made of lightweight and rigid aeronautical composite materials derived from Formula 1, with T800 carbon fiber for the tub and T1000 carbon fiber for the doors and sills. Kevlar was also utilized for key impact points on the body. The marriage of advanced materials, extreme aerodynamic efficiency, the latest Slide Slip Angle Control and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer tech, and bespoke Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires deliver unmatched driving dynamics and fantastic handling. Even the wheel-spoke design contributes to desired airflow across its sides.
The meticulous layout of Daytona SP3’s cockpit evokes both refined comfort and driving-oriented minimalist sophistication as an exceptional grand tourer should be. Human-Machine Interface instrumentation doesn’t intrude with the clean, fluid design of the dash matching the rest of the contoured interior down to the ergonomic and snug fixed seats. Pedal-box adjustability gives the driver a more suitable position to comfortably pilot the SP3.
Overall, the SP3 basically represents the pinnacle of Ferrari’s past and present in terms of aesthetics and ingenuity in awe-inspiring fashion. For the record, this hypercar is capable of going from a dead stop to 100km/h in just 2.85 seconds, and reaching 200km/h in a brisk 7.4 seconds, with the intoxicating orchestra of its V12 sound as the creamy icing on this sumptuous cake.
A Ferrari inspired by iconic racing legends of the past that’s bound to eventually be a legend in its own right, the Daytona SP3 is proof that the Maranello automaker can still truly surprise us all. We deeply envy the gentleman sipping his espresso while gazing upon this timeless beauty sitting in his home garage.