Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards

What is it to push the envelope on new technology and then walk it back?

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The LaFerrari is still an interesting car, long after the drama of the Porsche 918/McLaren P1/LaFerrari hybrid hypercar trichotomy has faded. You get the advanced tech of full carbon construction, cutting-edge aerodynamics and hybrid drive, but still assisting a high-revving naturally-aspirated V12. Now, what if we took a couple of those elements away and offered nothing substantial in return?

Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
Image: Ferrari
Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
Image: Ferrari
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Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
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Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
Image: Ferrari
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The Ferrari Daytona SP3 borrows the carbon construction from the LaFerrari, eschews hybrid drive in favor of the un-aided engine in the Ferrari 812 Competizione, and wraps it in a retro body meant to evoke Ferrari’s last great endurance racing win, the 1-2-3 at Daytona 1967. (Ferrari is gearing up to re-enter endurance racing, so the homage makes sense.)

This leaves us with a car that’s 3,270 pounds dry, with 828 horsepower and 514 lb-ft of torque, with peak power at 9,250 RPM and a rev limit just past it at 9,500.

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It’s not a one-off but a limited production model of the same category as the front-engined Monzas SP1 and SP2 from the past few years.

Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
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Image for article titled Ferrari's Newest Supercar Takes Two Steps Backwards
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This is not a bad car. There’s no way it’s a bad car. It does make me wonder, though, who it is for. Why go through all the trouble of making such an advanced car, only to walk back the hybrid drive and the futuristic styling? Wouldn’t you always be driving it, knowing that there’s a cheaper, older, less-limited version of the same car that’s faster and better?

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Or maybe I’m looking at it all wrong — maybe the hybrid drive is an impediment on a car like this. It’s something that is due to go obsolete faster than an internal combustion engine. We’ll have significantly better battery and electric drive tech in short order, but a huge V12 will always be a huge V12. Maybe this car is a bit of an admission that the LaFerrari, wonderful synthesis of old and new, tipped the scales too far on the wrong side?