2023 Ferrari Daytona SP3 is more than just a car, it's a commemorative V-12

Ferrari's monument to its racing past is an endangered species.

Wrapped in jaw-dropping bodywork that controversially combines classic '60s curves with 21st century aero brutalism, the Ferrari Daytona SP3 is pure theater on wheels. This car unashamedly celebrates why you'd spend more than $2.2 million on an open-top Ferrari; the sound, the fury, the wanton magnificence of an engine format that's powered some of Maranello's greatest racing cars.

The SP3's body has its origins with the 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari and its roofless Aperta variant, sharing similar measurements for wheelbase and length. The SP3 is slightly taller due to its larger-diameter wheels (20-inch front and 21-inch rear), and it's significantly wider at 80.7 inches—that's even wider than a Ford F-150. Modifying the A-pillar to mimic a wraparound windshield required large changes to the structure, which like the body is made from carbon fiber. Despite the increased size, Ferrari says the SP3 is lighter than the LaFerrari, with a claimed dry weight of 3274 pounds.

The Daytona SP3 is the latest in Ferrari's Icona series, a range of limited-edition cars handbuilt at Maranello. Just 599 will be built, and all have been sold despite that stratospheric price tag. The first of around 150 total cars for U.S. Ferrari enthusiasts arrives stateside in the second quarter of 2023.

Daytona SP3's 6.5-liter V-12

The Daytona SP3's 6.5-liter V-12 is a modified version of the front-engine 812 Competizione coupe's powerplant. Codenamed F140HC, it is the most powerful internal combustion road car engine ever built by Ferrari.

The F140HC makes its 828 horsepower at a dizzying 9,250 rpm and pumps out 514 lb-ft of torque at 7,250 rpm. That 9,500-rpm top end comes courtesy of new titanium connecting rods, which are 40 percent lighter than equivalent steel items, as well as new pistons, a lighter and rebalanced crankshaft, and sliding finger cam followers, a low-mass/low-friction technology borrowed from Ferrari's F1 engines.


For all the V-12 sweetness, it's the steering that truly stands out. The hydraulically assisted rack might be the best part of the car. The wheel is stable enough that you have the confidence to maneuver it one-handed, yet it still faithfully transmits the road texture. The effort is light but so controlled that it builds immediate confidence in this rolling showpiece.

Confidence at the wheel of the SP3 is key, lest you become a highlight on someone's social-media cringe reel. While stealing eyeballs may seem like the goal of the exterior, Ferrari designers explain a different desire: to produce the same aerodynamic performance as modern supercars, but without wings or active elements. They say they've succeeded, although it's hard to imagine many of these cars will be driven quickly enough to challenge that claim. The only active bits on the exterior are the headlight covers that move up and down depending on the light setting.


You sit low in the Daytona SP3 and toward the center of the car, just as you would in a sports prototype racer. The seats are fixed, their basic shape integrated into the composite central tub and covered with foam. Tugging on a nylon strap at the front of the seat, between your legs, allows the pedal box to move fore and aft, and the steering wheel is also adjustable for reach and rake. Ferrari says the fixed seating reduces weight and helps keep the car's overall height to just 45 inches, which also helps minimize drag.

The Daytona SP3's steering wheel features the same Human-Machine Interface (HMI) concept used in the 296 GTB, among others. Touch controls allow drivers to operate 80 percent of the Daytona SP3's functions without moving their hands off the steering wheel. Controls to switch the lights on and off, adjust the exterior rearview mirrors, and change the air conditioning settings are on haptic touch pads on the dash.

The Manettino switch on the steering wheel activates four drive modes under the watchful aegis of an upgraded version of Ferrari's ingenious Side Slip Control system dubbed SSC6.1. Wet is for conditions when traction is at a premium. Sport is the default drive mode, and Race sharpens engine, transmission, and chassis responses. GT-Off gives the driver total control.

The SP3 is a short-distance car. It has no real luggage space—a shallow frunk tray accommodates a tool kit and a fabric roof for unpredictable weather (the body-color, carbon-fiber roof panel must be stored separately when removed). Buyers choose from three seat sizes and three backrest angles, and Ferrari bolts the nonadjustable seats right to the tub. In another nod to Ferrari's '60s-era prototype racers, fabric bridges the seats over the tunnel. The driver adjusts the pedal box forward and back for comfort and accessibility. While headroom is generous with the roof installed, passenger legroom is shallow due to the packaging of the HVAC system.

Part of our driving experience included a handful of laps at Circuit Zandvoort, home of the Dutch Grand Prix and seemingly all the Netherlands's elevation features. Though we were limited to under 50 mph, the forward view, with the wheel arches proudly jutting up and framing the extreme banking, truly looked like the point-of-view shot you see when they're screaming down the Mulsanne Straight in Ford v. Ferrari.

The Daytona SP3 is the first mid-engine V-12 Ferrari to have the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) system that will allow drivers to drift the car if they want, automatically keeping the maximum yaw angle under control by adjusting the brake pressure at each wheel. FDE can be activated with the Manettino switched to Race and GT-Off modes.

Ferrari claims the Daytona SP3 will sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds (they say 2.85, but we round up) and hit 124 mph in 7.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 211 mph. There are cars that are quicker through their gears and cars that are faster at the top end. But there's nothing that feels like this Ferrari on a full-throttle run.

The Daytona SP3 interprets a moment of Ferrari's motorsports past through a modern lens. It looks like a spaceship and draws crowds when parked. And it will be one of the last mid-engine and naturally aspirated V-12 supercars Ferrari makes—the company won't confirm how many are left, but it's a short list. That it shuns some modern supercar tropes means it's a type of vehicle that exists in fewer and fewer numbers every year, one that reminds you that you're operating a machine—and a very special one at that.

2023 Ferrari Daytona SP3 is more than just a car, it's a commemorative V-12 2023 Ferrari Daytona SP3 is more than just a car, it's a commemorative V-12 Reviewed by Góc chia sẻ 'Of Nhân on August 05, 2022 Rating: 5

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