In addition to producing awesome supercars, Ferrari has been known to roll out a concept car from time to time.
Like most Ferraris created over the past half century, Prancing Horse concepts tend to be penned by Pininfarina. Some, like the Modulo, sported radical designs as they were never bound for production, some almost made it to production such as the Pinin sedan concept, while others demonstrated new design elements that were later incorporated into future models, such as the breathtakingly beautiful Mythos concept. Here are five of the best that have captured the imagination of Prancing Horse lovers over the years almost as much as those that ended up on the showroom floor.
Unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo concept was penned by Pininfarina’s Paolo Martin, and based on one of the twenty-five 512 S racing cars built for homologation purposes. Ferrari couldn’t sell or race all of them so car #23 was given to the coachbuilder to have some fun with. The experimental one-off prototype was a futuristic design study, characterized by two overlapping body shells, a canopy-style roof that slides forward permitting entry to the cabin as per the Lancia Stratos, 24 holes in the engine cover that revealed the 550-hp V12, and the wheels streamlined into the body, which made it almost impossible to turn.
Built to celebrate Pininfarina’s 50th anniversary, the Pinin sedan concept was unveiled at the 1980 Turin Motor Show. The first four-door Ferrari ever built, the Pinin project was the brainchild of Sergio Pininfarina who dreamed of an Italian interpretation of the likes of the Aston Martin Lagonda and Jaguar XJ. Built on a Ferrari 400GT chassis with a mock-up flat 12, Enzo Ferrari was so impressed with the Pinin he discussed turning into a production model. The proposal was ultimately dropped and the concept was sold during the mid-eighties, before being auctioned off in 2008. After extensive work, in 2010 it made its maiden run, 30 years after its first appearance.
Produced in 1989, the Ferrari Mythos was never meant for production. Its radical compact supercar design was implemented on the Ferrari Testarossa’s platform, retaining its 4.9-liter flat-twelve that sent 390 horsepower to the rear wheels. Elements of the two-seater roadster's race car design were borrowed by the Ferrari F50 years later. The Sultan of Brunei was so enamored with the Mythos that he instructed Pininfarina to build him two, fully-operational Mythos models for his awesome collection. The original remains at Pininfarina’s design center in Cambiano.
In 2000, the Ferrari Rossa was unveiled in Turin to make Pininfarina’s 70th anniversary. Built on the Ferrari 550 Maranello chassis, with the same front-engine rear-drive layout, the two-seater roadster was a throwback to the competition spiders of the Fifties, yet boasted design elements that were adopted by future models, such as the teardrop headlights that later featured on the Enzo. Power came from a 485-horsepower 5.5-liter V12, which is partly visible through the hood.
Ferrari’s most recent concept is the Sergio, unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show and named after Pininfarina’s late chairman. Based on a Ferrari 458 complete with its 570-hp 4.5-liter V8, the design study is distinguished by its radical barchetta body-style with no windshield, windows or roof. Instead it has a pair of racing helmets and a shape formed not only to generate down-force and cut through the air, but also to direct airflow over the occupants’ heads. Recent reports suggest the speedster could enter a five-model run priced at 3 million euros. For that, a windshield would be included, hopefully without affecting its 3.4 second 0-62 mph time and 199 mph top speed.