Ferrari Monza SP2 and SP1: full details and ride review on the ultra-exclusive V12s

The driver-focused Ferrari Monza SP1 and Monza SP2 special project models pay homage to Mille Miglia legends of the past

Aston has its continuation models, Porsche has Singer (kind of) and now Ferrari has Icona, its new concept for limited-edition series cars that trade on the company’s rich heritage. The first fruits of this project are the Monza SP1 and SP2.

Built on a new aluminium chassis derived from the 812 Superfast, the pair of Monza models are then clothed in a Kevlar and carbonfibre body that utilises the same production techniques employed by the company’s Formula 1 team. Clients and customers are then invited to select their desired configuration – either the conventional two-seater or the more driver-focused single-seater derivative.

Goodwood hillclimb ride

Less than a year after it was unveiled to the world, we have the chance to ride shotgun in the two-seat Ferrari Monza SP2 variant up Goodwood’s famous hill climb course. Though the two might look very similar to the 812 Superfast on paper (plus 10bhp and minus 50kg), it’s what can’t be expressed in a stats box that really sets them apart.

Differences are apparent from the moment you lay eyes upon the car; a long, V12-cocooning bonnet only accentuated by the complete lack of a roof or windscreen, and dual roll hoop-housing buttresses sitting behind both driver and passenger, inspired by the 750 and 860 Monzas of the 1950s.

The name ‘Special Project’ is no exaggeration, as with a pull of the leather loop just inside, and a simultaneous, gentle upward motion, up come the exceedingly lightweight carbonfibre doors. In this particular car (the very first production SP2), stunning red leather seats complete with four-point harnesses are home for the run. Though the seats are surprisingly comfortable, plush carpets and leather-covered panels clearly weren’t on Maranello’s agenda, with LaFerrariesque, carbon bareness in their place.

Climbing in and out isn’t an awfully elegant affair, but despite its drastic design, the SP2 is a surprisingly practical machine. Lift the rear lid and you’ll find a boot big enough for three helmets and a fully laden backpack – you even get USB charging ports on both the driver and passenger sides of the cabin. A predictably useful grab handle (which can double as a water bottle holder) is mounted on the central tunnel too, and there’s also a map holder for when reminiscing about the Mille Miglia doesn’t quite cut it.

Out of the Supercar Paddock and through the crowds of camera-wielding onlookers we go then, without a roof, or a windscreen, in a £1.5m Special Project Ferrari. It’s safe to say this car’s not for introverts…

Ferrari lids donned, and a few tyre-warming throttle squirts later, we’re primed on the start line. Of course, tyre smoke is mandatory at the start of any Goodwood hill climb, but despite the initial, deliberate loss of traction, speed picks up frighteningly quickly before the first corner, the SP2 seemingly accelerating exponentially with every pull of the right paddle. 

> Ferrari 812 Superfast review – big but brilliant, with an astonishing engine and gearbox

Precisely zero front tyre heat can be gathered before each run at the Festival of Speed, but thanks to the 812-derived all-wheel steer, the SP2 almost seems to pivot around the passenger compartment at the first corner, before all 798bhp throws us past Goodwood House at just under 130mph.

Though Ferrari’s trick intercom-equipped helmets sap a frustrating amount of sound from the experience, flying past the flint wall puts a silly grin on my face, thanks to the glorious sound from that 6.5-litre NA V12. With just a slither of perspex separating passengers from the bonnet, you also get a wonderful dose of intake sound, complementing the V12 tones from the rear. 

Some might say your £1.5m is better spent on an 812 Superfast, and for many people, especially in rainy England, they’d probably be right. What they’ll miss out on though, is an experience that puts you as close to one of the best powerplants ever made as anyone can get, and one that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

> Click here for our look at all of Ferrari's One-off models

The details

Both the SP1 and SP2 are powered by the 812’s 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, but with the help of variable inlet ducts and a recalibration of the ECU. Power is up to 798bhp (a 10bhp increase), so this is now the most powerful V12 engine Ferrari has produced. Peak torque is 530lb ft, 1lb ft more the a 812 Superfast; the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and virtual four-wheel steering are both retained.

At 1500kg (dry) for the Monza SP1 (1520kg for the SP2) the first Icona car is 160kg lighter than a Superfast coupe on which it is based. It’s also 25mm wider. The carbon body is 15 per cent lighter than that of the coupe and uses 20 square metres of the lightweight material. There’s also a new unique design of lighter 21-inch forged wheels.

In terms of performance, Ferrari claims 0-62mph in 2.9sec, and 0-120mph in 7.9sec, with a top speed in excess of 180mph.

The Monza’s design was driven by a ‘single stroke of the pencil’ theory, drawing inspiration from its historic predecessors, but specifically referencing these old models and turning it into a sort of retro pastiche.   

Being bespoke, the body of the Monza required a unique LED headlight design to fit within the new front-hinged single-piece clamshell bonnet. There’s also a new full-width rear light bar. The absence of a roof also required the design and development of a ‘virtual windshield’ positioned ahead of the cockpit designed to deflect airflow over the driver.

Access to the Monza’s carbon-clad interior is via a pair of small dihedral doors, and whether you opt for the single or two-seater layout a carbon brace bisects the cockpit. The intention was to design an interior that provides the closest to that of an F1 driving experience as possible, whilst still being usable on the road.

Recommended

Next Ferrari hypercar spied in development
2021 Ferrari hybrid hypercar prototype - front quarter
Ferrari

Next Ferrari hypercar spied in development

Ferrari’s next ground-breaking hypercar is on its way
3 Mar 2021
Ferrari to join WEC in FIA LM Hypercar class from 2023
P80 C
Ferrari

Ferrari to join WEC in FIA LM Hypercar class from 2023

What started as a drip is now a flood as Ferrari announces it’ll join the Le Mans Hypercar class
24 Feb 2021
GTO Engineering Moderna confirmed for production
GTO Engineering Moderna
Ferrari

GTO Engineering Moderna confirmed for production

New-build Ferrari 250 SWB creation bridges classic style and modern technology
24 Feb 2021
2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied – Ferrari’s Lamborghini Urus rival caught in the act
Ferrari Purosangue 1
Ferrari

2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied – Ferrari’s Lamborghini Urus rival caught in the act

Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Bentley have all expanded into SUVs, now it’s Ferrari’s turn to join in and the Purosangue has been spotted
9 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Mazda e-Skyactiv X engine revealed – clever compression ignition petrol updated
Mazda 3
Mazda

Mazda e-Skyactiv X engine revealed – clever compression ignition petrol updated

More power, lower emissions and improvised drivability promised for Mazda’s clever petrol engine
1 Mar 2021
Jaguar F Pace SVR 2021 review – good enough to take on an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio?
Jaguar F Pace SVR 2021 review - tracking
Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F Pace SVR 2021 review – good enough to take on an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio?

As good to drive as an SUV gets, much better interior these days too
1 Mar 2021
Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in
R8 Filler cap
Porsche

Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in

Porsche claims a car running on eFuel will have the same CO2 footprint as an EV, and BMW, Audi, Aston Martin and McLaren all agree
24 Feb 2021