The Ferrari SP38, the latest offspring from Ferrari’s One-Off programme, has been unveiled at Fiorano where, after the ceremonial handover to one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers, the car was immediately put through its paces in a series of hot laps. Designed by the Ferrari Design Centre, headed by Flavio Manzoni, on the chassis and running gear of the 488 GTB, this unique car reflects the specific vision of a client with a deep passion for racing. The result is a model that can be driven both on road and on track, while at the same time expressing all the beauty and innovation inherent in Ferrari’s road cars.
The all-new bodywork, in a newly conceived three-layer metallic red, marks a radical departure from the language aesthetic of the donor car. The twin-turbo, twin-intercooler set-up of the award-winning 488 GTB inspired the team to reference the mighty F40 as an icon from which to instruct the project’s general direction.
Compared to the 488 chassis, the visual mass of SP38 appears concentrated over the rear wheels as the wedge design sharply stretches towards the front. In plan view, the strongly tapered nose expands towards muscular wheelarches, giving the car potency and agility. Specific inset headlights were designed to be as thin as possible, with the mandatory DRL (daytime running lights) units relocated to add character and functionality to a slim bumper lip reminiscent of the 308 GTB. On the side, the defining air scoop of the 488 GTB is completely concealed where the sheet metal folds in on itself from the low beltline on the door and into the rear wheelarch and three-quarter light.
The effect is dramatic, as it reinforces the importance of the rear volume while, at the same time, maintaining the air flow to the intercoolers at the base of the side window. The dynamic styling continues over the engine cover, which sheds its rear glass and is treated as a flip-up assembly in carbon fibre with shutlines slashing the flanks in a gesture directly reminiscent of the F40’s. Three transversal slats slash across the engine cover to evacuate engine heat, and the smooth integration of a substantial rear spoiler is a hint at the famous rear wing of the F40. The trailing edge of the spoiler links seamlessly with the wing and with the aerodynamic diffuser at the bottom, to create a suggestive frame surrounding the tail volume.