Ferrari SP48 Unica: A new One-Off from Maranello
The Ferrari SP48 Unica, the latest addition to the Prancing Horse's One-Off series, was unveiled today and joins the most exclusive group in Maranello's entire production: unique, absolutely bespoke cars crafted to the specifications of a single client and designed as a clear expression of their own individual requirements.
The SP48 Unica, designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre under the direction of Flavio Manzoni, Chief Design Officer, is a two-seater sports berlinetta developed on the F8 Tributo platform. Its taut lines and aggressive stance make it instantly recognisable with respect to the original model, and it is unmistakable too, thanks to its arrow-shaped front profile. Central to achieving this effect was the redesign of the headlights and the subsequent relocation of the brake air intakes.
A pivotal aspect of the design of this unique new car is the extensive use of procedural-parametric modelling techniques and 3D prototyping (additive manufacturing) which enabled the Ferrari Styling Centre designers and Maranello's engineers to completely redesign the front grille and engine air intakes. This advanced production process resulted in perfect 3D grilles that seem carved from a solid volume creating a sense of seamless continuity and dynamic fluidity.
The procedural graphic solutions adopted on the bodywork dialogue directly with the grilles and influence the SP48 Unica's overall design: the transition from black - which includes the windows, roof and engine cover - to the body colour is especially clear. The striking visor effect of the front is further heightened by the reduction in the size of the side windows and the elimination of the rear screen, highlighting the powerful muscularity of the SP48 Unica which seems sculpted from a single block of metal.
The plan view emphasises the central section of the roof which includes a graphic representation of the air intakes set into the rear part of the carbon-fibre engine cover before the rear wing. This angle allows the viewer to appreciate the styling research that went into the SP48 Unica and reveals the sophisticated interplay of symmetries and intersecting lines created by its forms.
The SP48 Unica's thermal-fluid-dynamic design has been honed and perfected to guarantee it satisfies all cooling requirements in addition to delivering a different aerodynamic balance. The biggest changes compared to the F8 Tributo's styling include the air intakes for cooling flows for the engine on the front bumper and beneath the rear spoiler. Each has a deep procedural grille, every section of which is optimally angled to maximise the amount of air passing through. The car's configuration also allowed the engineers to locate an intercooler intake immediately behind the side windows, which in turn enabled them to reduce the dimension of the intakes on the flanks. The longer rear overhang reduces suction from the roof area, boosting rear downforce.
Although the cabin retains the F8 Tributo's technical identity – excluding the rear screen - meticulous development work was lavished on achieving the perfect combination of colour and trim to reflect the SP48 Unica's sleek, sporty and aggressive personality. A good example is the specially developed black laser-perforated Alcantara® used on the seats and most of the cabin trim, beneath which are glimpses of iridescent reddish-orange fabric that match the exterior colour. Its motif picks up the hexagonal motif of the grilles and the procedural livery on the roof, creating an appealing continuity between the car's interior and exterior. In the SP48 Unica cockpit, the eye is immediately drawn to the polished sill covers with the same laser-embossed hexagonal motif. Matte carbon-fibre imbues the cockpit with a sense of technicality and exclusivity, and is complemented by the Grigio Canna di Fucile accents.
Designed for a long-standing client who was deeply involved in every step of its creation, the one-off Ferrari SP48 Unica is a bold interpretation of a sports car and cleverly enhances its racing soul and vocation for speed. The SP48 Unica achieves its goal of transforming an existing model to masterful effect, taking inspiration from and paying homage to the company's core values of innovation and passion.