Ferrari Daytona SP3 limited edition revealed

Meet Ferrari's new Icona-series car, the Daytona SP3 with a naturally-aspirated V12 mounted mid-rear.

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Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford
Senior Road Tester
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Ferrari has revealed its latest Icona series customer special, and it’s a stunner.

Just as the brand’s podium lockout at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours race was perfectly choreographed – as the 330 P3/4, 330 P4, and 412 P roared past the chequered flag for a legendary side-by-side photo in Ford’s backyard – the Daytona SP3 was revealed at a carefully choreographed event side-by-side with news about Ferrari’s electric future.

The Targa-bodied Daytona SP3 follows the Monza SP1 and SP2, and is part of the Icona series of cars. From any angle it’s mind-blowingly stunning. I can’t stop looking at the photos.

Ferrari will build just 599 examples, each of which will cost a stratospheric €2 million (AU$3.11 million). Deliveries start in the fourth quarter of 2021, and will be finished in 2024.

The Daytona name might seem questionable to some, given it conjures images of the front-engined V12 Ferrari of the late ’60s designed to appeal to the boulevard cruisers in the USA.

Its technical badge was in fact 365 GTB/4, or GTS/4 for the Spider version. It’s worth remembering though, the history of Daytona and Ferrari is deeper than just that particular car, though.

The Daytona SP3 might be inspired by the past, but it’s a decidedly futuristic interpretation of a classic sports prototype from Ferrari Centro Stile, much like the Monza SP1 and SP2 Icona cars that came before it.  

It still uses a naturally-aspirated V12 engine, specifically the 6.5-litre unit from the 812 Competizione – but relocated to the mid-rear position.

Designated the F140HC, it’s the most powerful internal combustion engine every built by Ferrari and produces 618kW of power at a staggering 9250rpm, and channels 697Nm of torque from 7250rpm through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Maximum engine revs are 9500rpm, while the Daytona SP3 can rocket from standstill to 100km/h in 2.85 seconds, with a top speed of 340km/h (same as the SF90 Stradale and Spider).

It’s not just the Daytona-winning prototypes that inspired Ferrari chief design officer Flavio Manzoni to create greatness here, the Daytona SP3 also offers a nod to the 330 P3, 512 M, and aerodynamic 350 Can-Am.

The entire chassis and body shell are constructed with carbon-fibre derived directly from Formula 1, and the aeronautical industry. The highest-level T800 and T1000 carbon-fibre were used to create the tub, and the doors and sills, respectively.

The butterfly doors include an integrated air box that channels cool air into the side-mounted radiators, while the carbon-fibre seats are integrated into the chassis (like in LaFerrari), and there’s an adjustable pedal box to accommodate the driver’s proportions.

The best possible power-to-weight ratio was clearly a key area for the SP3, including the engine itself. Titanium con rods were used for a 40 per cent reduction from steel versions, while the crankshaft has been rebalanced for a three per cent improvement.

Pirelli also developed a bespoke P Zero Corsa tyre for the Daytona SP3, designed to offer peak performance during wet and dry driving, and on low-grip surfaces.

Inside, even the driving position has been optimised for a lower and more reclined aspect, and according to Ferrari, “the position is very similar to that of a single-seater”.

The Human Machine Interface (HMI) is the very latest version seen in the SF90 Stradale, Ferrari Roma, SF90 Spider and 295 GTB, meaning drivers can control 80 per cent of the car’s functions from the steering wheel alone, while a 16-inch curved driver’s digital display is also fully configurable via touchpads.

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Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford is a Senior Road Tester at CarExpert.
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