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SP1: Fioravanti's take on Ferrari's F430.
Fioravanti Ferrari SP1

Several spy shots of the latest Ferrari Coachbuilt Special have been circulating the web for some months, but now, thanks to automotive detective Jeroen Booij, it is 'semi'-official. Fioravanti's take on the Ferrari F430 is called SP1 and has just been delivered to its owner Junichiro Hiramatsu.
Ferrari did not seem to like the revival of Special Coachbuilding, which was initiated by design houses like Giugiaro, Zagato, Pininfarina and new-comer Vandenbrink Design, who all presented their very own or client's vision of how a new Ferrari should look. They were all very well received by the public and welcomed as beautiful new Ferraris by the majority of the Tifosi. But Ferrari's major problem was: these cars got actually sold for a good buck!

Vandenbrink Giugiaro Pininfarina Zagato
Giugiaro GG50, Pininfarina P4/5, Vandenbrink GTO & Zagato 575 GTZ

You can imagine it bothered Ferrari that their customers started to hire independant designers to have their own unique one-off designed and built on the underpinnings of the famous Italian brand. So Ferrari decided to start their own coachbuilding program called 'Portfolio'. We spoke about this in an earlier article, questioning whether Ferrari was rightfully trying to claim the coachbuilding tradition or not. By this new 'Portfolio' program Ferrari can easily label each new coachbuilding initiative by any coachbuilder as unauthorized, which means they simply decide it will not be a Ferrari anymore when it is not sold through Ferrari and when the project does not comply to Ferrari's restrictions. The design houses who have decided to become authorized Portfolio coachbuilders are: Pininfarina, Zagato and Fioravanti.

The first Portfolio Special is by Fioravanti and is called 'SP1'. This F430 based one-off was built for the Japanese collector Junichiro Hiramatsu. According to Fioravanti, Hiramatsu is an admirer of Fioravanti's style and he especially liked the F100, an earlier (unauthorized) Ferrari conceptcar by Fioravanti dating back to 1998. Hiramatsu asked Ferrari if they could build him a car like that and so they turned to Fioravanti.

Fioravanti F100
Fiorvanti F100

The body of SP1 is almost completely new, except for the greenhouse (A- B- and C-pillars, wind screen and side windows) which is part of the stressed chassis structure. The new body panels are made of carbon fibre, because Mister Hiramatsu wanted the car to be as light as possible. The skirts, roof and rear bumper clearly show what exotic material they're made of.
Fioravanti Ferrari SP1

The rear end of the SP1 is a bit higher and the air intakes are shaped by much sharper lines. The tail lights are taken from the 599 GTB. The nose doesn't look very different than the standard F430, because of the stock head lights, but Fioravanti stretched the nose a bit to make it sleeker and lower. To match the stretched front end, Fioravanti had to apply some eye shadow around the stock head lights.

Fioravanti Ferrari SP1 head lights

The wheels are taken from the 430 Scuderia, but - knowing Hiramatsu paid several millions for his one-off - we wonder why they could not have designed a completely new and unique set of alloys. And while they're at it, why not design a new set of side mirrors matching the new body?

Fioravanti Ferrari SP1

'SP1' stands for ‘Special Project #1’ , but Fioravanti said it could also refer to the historic name ‘Sport Prototipo’. Despite being an officially sanctioned coachbuilding project, it seems te remain a semi-secret project. Ferrari did not want this news to spread. The company has not issued an official press release nor did they provide any official pictures. Ferrari did print some brochures, but they are only ment for Hiramatsu's private collection. For now we have to settle with the spy pics, first published by Autoblog.nl, and one unofficial image of Hiramatsu taking delivery of his SP1 at Maranello. The details known so far have been gathered by our own Dutch automotive reporter Jeroen Booij.

Fioravanti Ferrari SP1

Leonardo Fioravanti may be a new-comer to the coachbuilding scene, but he is no stranger to Ferrari. Between 1965 and 1984 he worked at Pininfarina, where he designed several Ferraris, of which the 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' is considered to be his masterpiece. In 1987 Leonardo started his own company and his last collaboration with Ferrari concerned the 575 SuperAmerica, for which Leonardo had developed the backward rotating hard top.

So now the first official Portfolio Ferrari is a fact. Ferrari intends to present one custom special project per year. If one decides to buy a sanctioned special coachbuilt Ferrari, he or she can go to Ferrari and choose one of the three authorized coachbuilders to work with, but this can only be done with the F430, the 612 Scaglietti and the Enzo, which is no longer in production. Exact price figures are not known, but it is said the factory charged more for Fioravanti's SP 1 than Pininfarina's P4/5 cost in total. Rumours are that Ferrari's asking price is so high that several projects have already been cancelled.

James Glickenhaus got a lot more for his money with his P4/5 by Pininfarina. In this case even the greenhouse was entirely reshaped and reconstructured to become an integral part of the overall design. Besides all the unique parts like the horizontally mounted radiator, lightweight mirrors and high tech head lights, P4/5 also has a unique set of wheels, which will never be applied to any other car in the world.

James Glickenhaus stated on Ferrarichat.com: "P4/5 slipped through a magic moment in Time. Moments like that are very rare." With Ferrari's new Portfolio program, moments like these will probably never return... unless you ditch the Ferrari badge.

Another Portfolio-restriction: unfortunately the 599 GTB Fiorano and the new California are not included, nor is it allowed to increase the power output or make any other technical modifications. Potential customers who feel the 599 or California are the perfect base for their own special one-off are forced to turn to an independant coachbuilder of their liking. They will officially loose the Ferrari badge for sure, but the money they save can directly be used for a unique set of wheels and some serious technical upgrades.  If I had the money, I wouldn't settle for less over a badge.

Click here for the SP1 gallery.

Source: Jeroen Booij for Autoweek.nl.
 
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