Ferrari has revived the iconic Daytona nameplate for its most powerful pure-combustion car to date.
The latest entry into Ferrari’s ultra-exclusive Icona model series is the Daytona SP3, a limited-run mid-engined V12 roadster that pays tribute to one of the company’s best-known motorsport victories.
Daytona SP3 pays homage to the 330 P3, 330 P4 and 512 S race cars
Only 599 units will be built
Uses an 840hp, 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine
Ferrari Daytona SP3: what is it?
It’s named in reference to the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, at which Ferrari achieved a one-two-three finish with its legendary 330 P3, 330 P4 and 512 S racers – a highlight of what Ferrari calls “the golden era of closed wheel racing and an enduring reference point for generations of engineers and designers.”
Ferrari will build 599 examples – 100 more units than the Monza duo – priced at €2 million (approx Rs 16.77 crore). Priority will go to owners of the SP1 and SP2, with deliveries getting underway in late 2022, and unlike those two speedster models – which are not road legal in certain regions due to the lack of a windscreen – Ferrari says the SP3 is street-legal everywhere.
Ferrari Daytona SP3: design
The references to 1960s race cars extend beyond the mechanicals, with the Daytona SP3 having a characteristic aerodynamically optimised design that blends elements of Ferrari’s historic styling with cues from current models.
The low-set wraparound windscreen, for example, draws an obvious link to the P3/4, while the “double-crested” front wings nod to sports prototypes like the 512 S, 712 Can-Am and 312 P.
Meanwhile, a moving panel in the centre of the front bumper is a tribute to the pop-up headlights that were once popular on supercars.
The side mirrors sit atop the front wings in another retro-inspired flourish that improves both airflow and visibility, while airboxes integrated into the butterfly doors channel air to the side-mounted radiators.
The driver and passenger sit lower and more reclined than in any other road-going Ferrari (the firm even compares the position to a single-seater’s), meaning the car is just 1,142mm tall, thus reducing drag.
Ferrari Daytona SP3: engine and mechanicals
The Daytona SP3 is the first road-going Ferrari to feature a mid-mounted 12-cylinder engine since the LaFerrari hybrid hypercar, which bowed out in 2018. Also, with the output of the 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 boosted to 840hp and 697Nm, it’s the most powerful non-electrified model that Maranello has yet produced.
Engine upgrades over the 812 Competizione extend to a modified intake and exhaust, lightweight titanium conrods, reduced-friction piston pins and a lighter, rebalanced crankshaft.
Mated to a quicker-shifting version of the 812 Competizione’s 7-speed automatic gearbox, the V12 promises a “torque curve that rises rapidly” all the way up to its 9,500rpm redline, giving a 0-100kph time of 2.85sec and a top speed of 340kph, making the Daytona SP3 the joint-fastest Ferrari road car yet.
With lightweight composite materials used for the shell, chassis and certain bodywork elements, the Daytona SP3 weighs only 1,485kg dry, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 566hp per tonne, while the mid-engined layout allows optimised weight distribution between the axles.
A set of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres developed specifically for the Daytona SP3 enhance stability in low grip situations and, to optimise yaw angle, Ferrari’s new Dynamic Enhancer function controls pressure on the brake calipers during hard cornering.
Ferrari Daytona SP3: Inspirations
330 P3 (1966)
A defining racer of its era, the P3 wrapped its fibre-glass tub around a new tubular chassis and ushered in fuel injection. No examples survive in their original configuration.
330 P4 (1967)
An evolution of the P3, this successful racer was given a heavily revamped V12, a shorter chassis and improved suspension to take on Ford’s Le Mans-winning GT40.
512 S (1969)
Funded by Fiat’s purchase of a 50 percent stake in Ferrari, the 512 S was developed in just three months for entry into the World Sports Car Championship’s new Group 5 category.