Featured | Ferrari Monza SP2

With such a rich and cherished production history to mine, it’s perhaps not surprising that – the furrowed brows of health and safety inspectors notwithstanding – a barchetta-style model paying homage to the original 166 MM and later 750 Monza would eventually surface.

Taking performance-focused minimalism to its extreme hasn’t always simply involved manufacturing with lighter materials or designing spartan, no-frills cockpits. Ferrari’s weight-saving efforts back in the immediate post-war years went to extremes, such as dispensing with the roof. After all, when you’re going fast in the rain, won’t the water droplets simply fly overhead anyway?

Back in the late-1940s, Ferrari conjured up the barchetta; an open-topped racer that did away with trivial accessories like a foldable cloth roof for weather protection. The timelessly beautiful 1948 Ferrari 166 MM didn’t even give the driver a decent windscreen, jettisoning a full windshield in favour of a low-rise screen – more a wind deflector than anything – so as to save further on kilograms and keep the car’s streamlined silhouette in check.

With such a rich and cherished production history to mine, it’s perhaps not surprising that – the furrowed brows of health and safety inspectors notwithstanding – a barchetta-style model paying homage to the original 166 MM and later 750 Monza would eventually surface.

In fact, Ferrari fans got two. These are the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2, introduced in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Marking the beginning of a new lineage of models Ferrari has termed the ‘Icona’ series, the SP1 and SP2 salute the past and represent limited-run collectable cars for the future. The SP1 is a single seater, while the SP2 featured a passenger seat alongside the drivers in its cockpit.

The Italian manufacturer has stated that less than 500 examples of the highly collectable pair will be built. Not that you need to bother checking the classified listings – if you’ve not already been contacted by the factory about investing in one, you probably won’t be. The Monza SP1 and SP2 are strictly ‘invite only’ kinds of supercars.

The dynamic duo features the same 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 as found in the Ferrari 812 Superfast, but in a heightened state of tune ensuring it is one of the most powerful V12 road car engines Ferrari has ever built, delivering 809hp (603kW) peak power and 719Nm maximum torque. This means the lightweight SP1 and SP2 are good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 300km/h. But just remember the whole ‘no roof’ thing before you stomp on the gas…

While – lack of roof panels aside – the bodywork more-or-less resembles that of a sports car, Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars act as inspiration for the shell more than any existing road-going supercar from the marque’s stable. The composite exterior and interior are made in the same way as an F1 open-wheel racer’s structure, while the clamshell bonnet and upwards-opening doors have been designed with simple efficiency and ease-of-access in mind.

As you’d expect, lucky owners don’t spend their time in the SP1 and SP2 choosing between ambient light settings or dialling up local restaurant recs on a connected touchscreen – a simple carbon fibre control panel with the bare basic convenience features is all you get.

On occasion, less, it would seem, is definitely more.

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