Ferrari have different levels of customers. Customers at the lowest level can only buy regular Ferraris. You need to be a VIP or VVIP customer to be able to buy a limited edition Ferrari like the LeFerrari or to be part of the FXX program. At the very top of the Ferrari customer hierarchy is a customer so important, Ferrari is willing to build a one-off car just for him. And that is how the Ferrari SP51 came into being.
The Special Projects programme is aimed at creating unique Ferraris (the so-called “One-Offs”) characterized by an exclusive design crafted according to the requirements of the client, who thus becomes the owner of a one-of-a-kind model. Each project originates from an idea put forward by the client and is developed with a team of designers from Ferrari’s Styling Centre; having defined the car’s proportion and forms, detailed design blueprints and a styling buck are produced before starting the manufacturing process of the new One-Off. The entire process takes around two years on average, during which time the client is closely involved in assessing the design and verification phases. The result is a unique Ferrari sporting the Prancing Horse logo and engineered to the same levels of excellence that characterize all Ferrari cars.
Designed by the 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 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.
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 recognizable 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.
This Ferrari one-off was designed for a longstanding Taiwan-based client who is also one of their 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.