The latest addition to the Prancing Horse’s One-Off series, the Ferrari SP51, was unveiled today and joins the most exclusive group in Maranello’s range: unique, absolutely bespoke cars crafted to the specifications of a client, making them the very pinnacle of Ferrari’s customisation scope and range.
Designed by the Flavio Manzoni-headed Ferrari Styling Centre, the SP51 is a front-engined V12 spider based on the 812 GTS platform from which it inherits its layout, chassis and engine. At first sight, the stunning new car’s most striking characteristic is its total absence of a roof, making it an authentic roadster in every respect, accentuating both its sporty character and ability to captivate both visually and in terms of en plein air driving exhilaration.
Unsurprisingly, the SP51’s aerodynamics required meticulous honing in a process involving CFD simulations, wind tunnel and dynamic testing to guarantee not just the ultimate in comfort in the cabin, but also the same standard of acoustic comfort and wind feel as the car that inspired it.
The SP51’s styling is both powerful and harmonious, thanks to its seamlessly muscular, undulating surfaces. Its forms are modern, sinuous and sensual at once, in great part as a result of the extensive use of bare carbon-fibre both on the exterior and in the cabin. The trim on the bonnet is particularly striking as it dynamically frames the two air vents.
Another of the SP51’s most captivating features is its new Rosso Passionale three-layer paintwork – the colour was developed specifically for the car and gives it an elegant yet imposing character that also exudes authority. This impression is further enhanced by the blue and white livery inspired by a legendary 1955 Ferrari 410 S which not only runs the length of the car, but is also referenced in the interior.
At the front, specially-designed headlights give the SP51 an instantly recognisable and forceful identity all of its own. Also noteworthy are the wheels, which are specific to the car and have carbon-fibre wing profiles on each of the spokes which also feature a sophisticated tone-on-tone diamond-cut finish on the forward-facing section.
The rear of the car is dominated by an arched theme with the taillights inset below the spoiler. Immediately behind the cabin are two flying buttresses that are visually softened by two deep carbon-fibre scoops. Between these two elements stretches a transverse, carbon-fibre wing, the profile of which folds over the buttresses. The resulting effect is vaguely reminiscent of a Targa-type car in which the flying bridge elegantly conceals the anti-roll hoop, a nod to the solution adopted on Ferrari’s early-1960s Sports Prototypes.
That said, the very pinnacle of the meticulous honing process, in which the client was involved every step of the way, has to be the cabin where dizzying new heights of craftsmanship and creativity have been reached. Its personalisation pivoted around two clever ideas: the decision to use the same Rosso Passionale colour custom-created for the exterior as the main colour for the Alcantara® trim, and the effective idea of extending the lengthwise exterior livery into the cabin. Its white and blue stripe, in fact, both appear on the central tunnel and the fascia between the two seats on the firewall, as well as on the steering wheel stitching, creating a sense of seamless continuity between exterior and interior in which the car’s roadster architecture played a vital role.
The special finish for the door panels, the lower section of the dashboard and the sides of the seats, comprising a blue Kvadrat® insert with white cross-stitching, also picks up the livery. Glossy carbon-fibre trim has been extensively used throughout the interior where it pairs very harmoniously with the Nero Momo Opaco elements. This stylishly elegant and authoritative look is further enhanced by several white embroidered details (including the Prancing Horse and car logo, also found on the lower rim of the steering wheel).
The Ferrari One-Off, SP51, was designed for a longstanding Taiwan-based client who is also one of our leading collectors. It is a successful roadster take on Maranello’s first front-engined V12 spider in 50 years. Its bold styling captivates at first sight. However, it brilliantly retains the signature elegance of its inspiration, the 812 GTS, whilst pushing the boundaries by offering a whole new way of enjoying en plein air driving.