Ferrari plans to develop more Icona models
Posted Nov 28, 2021 10:00:00 AM
The automaker has yet to confirm which generation will form the basis of the next Icona model.
Ferrari is set to expand its line of ultra-exclusive Icona models following the launch of its new Daytona SP3. The Italian firm, however, has not disclosed which generation will form the basis of its next project.
The Daytona with V12 engine draws inspiration from Ferrari sports prototypes that raced in the late 1960s and early 1970s and follows in the wake of the Monza SP1 and SP2, which took their barchetta cues from cars such as the sporty 750 Monza racer of the 1950s. At the launch of the new Daytona in Florence, Ferrari executives made it clear that there was room for further expansion of the Icona line, communications and marketing director Enrico Galliera stating that there were “four or five potential concepts we could work on”.
- CCO Enrico Galliera says “four or five potential concepts” could be worked on
- Icona models focused on design rather than ultimate performance
The idea of taking inspiration from iconic sports prototypes such as the 330 P3 / 4, 412 P and 512 S was proposed by Ferrari design manager Flavio Manzoni. “I have a special passion for this one,” he said. “There are many other fascinating concepts for the future. Ferrari’s wealth is very high and the sky is the only limit.
The Ferrari Icona series is not considered a supercar
The Limited Edition Icona Series is designed to appeal directly to regular Ferrari customers and takes an innovative approach, as models are driven by style and design rather than ultimate performance. “It’s not a supercar,” said Michael Leiters, technical director of the Daytona, which is based on an evolved version of the LaFerrari The Aperta chassis. “A supercar is the pinnacle of technology. When we produce a new supercar, we always introduce new technology. Here we are not looking for the ultimate in performance. The driver is more central, which is why it is so welcome for collectors. This is not a special version of LaFerrari.
Manzoni is very resistant to the idea that the Icona series should be seen as nostalgic, despite the cars drawing inspiration from Ferrari’s rich heritage. “It’s really hard to fight this trend in the world,” he said. “Look at the music. How many retro songs are there? It’s so strong, this desire and this need to come back to a situation and a probably more comfortable set of values, and of course the culture of the company can be influenced by that. So, I have to work against this idea several times.
“It’s good if you are working on an Icona project to draw inspiration from the past and legacy, but without losing vision and approach. In recent years, many have wondered: why not make a modern version of the 250 GTO, for example? My answer is always that the 250 GTO is a sum of its age. This shape was set up that way because there were certain conditions, the technical development and aerodynamics were not as sophisticated as they are today, and that’s okay so. “
Manzoni despises the trend for restomods, which he considers “banal”. “It’s obvious, low level,” he said. “A certain level of innovation is very important. With the Icona project, we had the opportunity to build this bridge between the past, the present and the future. In this case, you can see how it is possible to link the beauty of our heritage with a modern vision.
At launch, the language used to describe the new car included words such as ‘analog’ and ‘pure’, with the Daytona carrying the slogan of ‘returning to the origins of driving pleasure’. At 840bhp, the car’s engine sets a new record in Ferrari’s V12 power stakes, but Leiters said ultimate numbers aren’t the goal of a lineup that focuses on the driver’s experience.
Icona series could extend Ferrari’s V12 existence
When asked by our sister publication Autocar UK if Icona was also a way to extend the existence of the V12 engine in the era of electrification, he replied, “I think so. This is a good opportunity, it corresponds 100% to the requirements of our customers and it has a limited impact on the discussion on CO2 [because only 599 Daytona SP3s will be made].
“Personally, I think we have to fight for this engine. From a technological point of view, this is not the most efficient. A turbo V8 could improve it in terms of performance. But from an emotional standpoint, it’s the best you can have. On power, 840hp or on the [Pininfarina] Battista 1,926 hp – who cares? You are thrilled if you are a good driver with either. If you are a normal driver, you are afraid if you put the pedal to the metal.
Leiters was asked why, if driving experience is key, the Daytona SP3 doesn’t come with a manual gearbox rather than a quick-change version of the 7-speed automatic from the 812 Competizione. “Even though it’s a pure car, it’s not a nostalgic car,” he replied.
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