There are but a few names more synonymous with elegant, striking designs, as Ferrari. The Maranello-based automotive pioneers are responsible for producing some of the most iconic, poignant, technologically advanced and visually-stirring vehicles of all time.

Power of Idols

Ferrari may be one of few motoring manufacturers to have surpassed a ‘golden era’ of its vehicles, based purely on the fact that the cars they produce have always been, and continue to be, such wonderfully engineered machines: from the spine-tingling symphonies of the 250 GTO or 275 GBT, to the bulging hips and bubbled arches of the 330 P3; the overwhelming presence, lure and cacophony of the legendary F40, or the menace of the enormous slatted intakes of the F512 Testarossa. All featured industry-leading design and technology in their respective eras, and all have stood the test of time for motoring fans and casual admires alike. These are cars which appeared on posters that adorned bedroom walls; those that ignited passions which would transcend generations.

In fitting homage to some of it’s most famous road-going and track-bred automobiles, Ferrari has announced the new and highly exclusive Icona Series – a respectful nod to the past while embracing the technological future.

Two Barchettas

The first vehicles announced as part of the new Icona line-up are the Monza SP1 and SP2. I should open by clarifying that these sensational looking roadsters are not concept cars, or 1950s barchetta-influenced design exercises – they are in fact production vehicles that a fortunate few have been invited to purchase. Numbers will be extremely limited, as expected, with Ferrari producing a total of just 499 personalised units. Prices are reflective for this low build-number road-racer – initial outlay before bespoke options will set you back a cool €1.6 million.

Available in both single-seat and two seat configurations, these Monza SPs are promised to be a harmonious assault on the senses, as well as a feast for the eyes. Void of any windows or roof, and featuring only a ‘virtual’ windscreen, the Monza SP will take open-top road driving to an entirely new pinnacle.  Ferrari’s personally selected clients will be able to specify one seat or two during each custom build. It’s expected that significantly more SP2s will eventually hit the market; but if you’re in pursuit of a true future collector’s relic, the solo-seat SP1 is likely to prove a much rarer beast, and subsequently a more fruitful long-term investment.

The new aluminium chassis is derived from the outstanding 812 Superfast, and all the coachwork is completely bespoke. Sculpted entirely from carbon-fibre, the outer shell features design cues that harp back to retro-racers of the early 1950s. The sleek side profile boasts an elegant, minimalist silhouette. Even the painted carbon body panels look taut and poised. The long hood dramatically slopes down to house the huge front grille and exposed carbon-fibre splitter, taking a clear influence from cars like the 375 MM. The classic roadster proportions are perfect – giving a sense of purpose and speed and agility.

The cabin is set back, hidden behind the drawn, unapologetic nose. The design of the cockpit stays true to the cars exterior philosophy, providing only modern spartan essentials to its occupants. It’s an environment that commands attention and focus. The driver’s view is graced by a large analogue tachometer, twinned with two digital screens set into the cluster. The seats comprise of singular carbon-fibre tubs, dressed in tailored leather – fit for any modern gentlemen racer.

Behind the driver, a huge rear buttress greets the crown of the seat and flows rearward to the tail, akin to the Monza 750. The rear clam is adorned with a single, delicate curved line of light – a line you can follow through every panel of the car – giving a clean, contemporary look to the rear. Jutting angled exhaust tips are present on both rear flanks, providing occupants and bystanders with a soundtrack to remember. Beneath the minimalist flowing lines of the outer shell sit some simple 21 inch, 5-spoke wheels – the largest ever fitted to a production model Ferrari.

Housed comfortably under the hood is the sublime 6.5 litre V12 from the Superfast. The engine has been mildly tweaked and is now slightly up on power – producing a staggering 798 mechanical horsepower and 530 lbs-ft of torque – making it the most powerful naturally aspirated motor Ferrari has ever produced. This pounding heart is mated to Ferrari’s current generation 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, again borrowed from the 812. Combined with the SP1’s quoted dry-weight of just 1500kg, performance figures are as mind-bending as you’d expect – with ballistic acceleration to 100km/h in just 2.9 seconds and 200 km/h a mere 7.9 seconds. It’s pure theatre.

Heritage and Progress

The finished product is something I can only describe as brutish and elegant in equal measure. It’s a car that exists purely because of other motoring icons that I, and many others, have adored since childhood. The Monza SP1 is a realised accumulation of automotive excellence, spanning over seven decades. If its design and execution serve only one purpose – I think it’s joy. It’s for the pleasure of driving. It’s for a shared passion for motorcars. It’s a celebration of heritage and progress.

Unfortunately, like so many legendary Scuderia badge-bearing vehicles from the past, many of these new 499 cars will end up under covers, sat gathering dust in private collections, barely amassing more than delivery miles on the clock. But as with anything built with such purpose, it’s unarguable in my mind that something so special, that has been meticulously designed and ruthlessly tested, is made to be driven and enjoyed.