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Ferrari officially unveils two latest models - and they’re £1.6 million show-stoppers

Ferrari has officially revealed full details, spec and price of its latest hypercars - the SP1 and SP2 Monzas.

The stunning single-seat and dual-seat head-turners are both priced at £1.6 million - and less than 500 will be made.

More than that, customers are reportedly prohibited from buying both models, with Ferrari apparently insisting they must plump for either one or the other.

The lucky purchasers will also have to demonstrate a significant Ferrari-buying history before being allowed to join the waiting list.

A total of 499 of the cars will be built, with customer demand dictating the percentage split between the single seat SP1 model and the driver-plus-passenger SP2.

Details of the new model were officially confirmed at the Paris Motor Show. Ferrari says the

Monza SP1 and SP2 are the forerunners in a new concept, known as ‘Icona’ (Icon), that taps into a leitmotif of the most evocative cars in the company’s history to create a new segment of special limited series cars for clients and collectors.

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are inspired by the ‘barchettas’ of the 1950s which were driven to victory in international motor sport not just by official works team drivers from the Scuderia, but also by a legion of gentlemen drivers who, in those years, frequently found themselves wheel to wheel with legendary professional drivers of the era.

The first ever Ferrari to be referred to as a barchetta was the open-top version of the 1948 166 MM.

The name was coined by Giovanni Agnelli who, upon seeing the car for the first time at the Turin Motor Show that year, commented that it was less like a car and more like a barchetta, referring to the Italian for a small speed boat.

The Touring-bodied 166 MM barchetta wrote Ferrari’s name firmly in the history books, winning first the Mille Miglia and then the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949.

This model was followed by other extraordinarily successful Ferrari Sports cars, such as the 750 Monza and 860 Monza which were inspiration for the name of the new models.

Barchettas were similar to spiders in form (two seaters), but had no roof or weather equipment. Instead of a full windscreen, they were equipped with just a small screen (single or wrap-around) and a removable tonneau cover over the passenger side.

The Monza SP1 and SP2 are similar in concept, although the main difference is that they can be ordered either as a single-seater or as a two-seater.

Ferrari has extensively used carbon-fibre throughout the construction of the Monza SP1 and SP2 to make them light and responsive.

Ferrari says the cars are completely modern, despite the barchetta concept, with the cars’ sleek, minimalist silhouette floating on a delicate yet robust sculptural rear diffuser that wraps around the tail, leading to the slender yet precise line of the flanks and then to the base of the front bumper.

The engine in the Monza SP1 and SP2 is derived directly from that of the latest Ferrari 812 Superfast model, with optimised fluid-dynamics in the intake ducts to deliver even higher performance.

The V12, which was recognized as the best engine over 4 litres and the Best New Engine at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards, brought in a number of innovative solutions.

Amongst these is a 350 bar direct injection system for the very first time on a high-performance petrol engine paired with variable geometry intake tracts conceptually derived from those of naturally-aspirated F1 engines.

The dual-clutch transmission’s gear shifting strategies also enhance the cars’ sportiness. In the sportier Manettino positions, both up and down shift times are inherited from the 812 Superfast which has a faster, more pronounced shift for a more exhilarating driving experience.

The car’s architecture and performance is unique because of the complete absence of both windscreen and roof, yielding different aerodynamics.

As a result, the goal for its longitudinal and lateral performance was to meet and, if possible, improve on the 812 Superfast’s performance.

The result is that the Monza SP1 and SP2 share the excellent acceleration characteristics (0-62mph in 2.9 sec) of the 812 Superfast and only lose a little in maximum speed (over 186mph).

Belfast Telegraph