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Which classic Ferrari prototypes can you spot in the new P80/C?

Ferrari has just revealed a one-off track car that’s said to evoke the essence and beauty of the Scuderia’s most famous sports prototypes from the 1960s. It’s called the P80/C and is the most extreme and extensively engineered car to emerge from the Special Projects skunkworks yet…

McLaren should take note – Ferrari’s new P80/C proves that extreme aerodynamics needn’t possess a face only a mother could love. The unique track-only GT was commissioned by a very important client way back in 2015, who encouraged the designers and engineers in Modena to run wild with their imaginations and push the technological boundaries in order to create a modern sports prototype truly worthy of the legendary cars from which it was to be inspired. Free of the homologation constraints of a road car, Flavio Manzoni and his talented team did just that. They took a 488 GT3 as their base, predominantly because it’s a very good racing car but also because it’s 50mm longer than the 488 GTB and designers always wring their hands together with glee when they’ve got more space to play with. 

The result is a dramatic body that is somehow both incredibly well resolved and sleek yet outrageous and in-your-face at the same time. To us, it looks like a blend of the SP38 Deborah and the larger V12-powered FXX K. And if you study the design for a little longer, you really can pick out various aesthetic cues from those classic 1960s prototypes, such as the slatted rear decklid akin to that found on the 206 S, the clever headlight slits, which give the impression of the intakes on the nose of the 330 P3, and the unmistakeable circular rear hips of the 330 P4. Even the enormous bucket seats in the spartan cabin are trimmed in blue Alcantara, a nod to the dainty blue chairs found in the 250 LM. In fact, Ferrari is so convinced of the P80/C’s beauty that it’s designed the huge rear wing to be seamlessly detached for when the car will inevitably be exhibited on the concours lawn. 

It’s quick, too, as you can imagine – as it won’t be competing in any competitive race series, which would require the twin-turbocharged V8 engine to be sapped of power for the sake of balance of performance, the P80/C’s powertrain has been entirely unshackled. Maximum performance is key, and it certainly doesn’t look like it’s hanging around in the beautiful video produced by Blackbird Automotive above. Stick the kettle on and enjoy… 

Photos: Ferrari / Video: Blackbird Automotive

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