Top Gear’s Top 9: cars based on Ferraris… that aren’t Ferraris
What’s rarer than a Prancing Horse? One that’s been rebodied into something else
Touring Superleggera Arese RH95
Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera is the organisation that brought you the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, so it isn’t shy about taking Italian exotica and remoulding it into something even more special. So, when Touring gets its hands on a Ferrari F8 Tributo, this is what it’ll produce: the Arese RH95.
It keeps the standard 710bhp bi-turbo V8, but clothes it in all-new carbon panels and scissor doors. Only 18 will be made, so to get a rarer Ferrari, you’ll need a tailor-made one-off.Advertisement - Page continues below
The reborn Stratos, which finally went into limited production in 2019 after first being showcased 15 years earlier. Back then, it was based on the latest, greatest hardcore road-going Ferrari: the 430 Scuderia.
Italian coachbuilding firm Manifattura Automobili Torino kept the 520bhp 4.3-litre V8, but offered the option of a manual gearbox (denied in the Scud) and chopped length out of the wheelbase to give the new Stratos a stumpier, more agile chassis.
Glickenhaus P4/5 Competizione
Jim Glickenhaus’s P4/5 – the wildly rebodied Enzo supercar inspired by the 1960s P3 prototype as seen here in red – is one of the most stunning and successful coachbuilt Ferraris of all time. So much so, it was allowed to carry official Ferrari badges.
It in turn inspired a racing version, but instead of chopping up an Enzo, Glickenhaus based the P4/5 Comp on a Ferrari F430 GTC racer. Ferrari was none too happy about that, so this sinister matte black machine (also lurking in the garage) didn’t wear the Prancing Horse during its 2011 and 2012 adventures at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.Advertisement - Page continues below
Touring Superleggera Aero 3
Before Touring did the Arese, it had a go at a V12 Ferrari reimagining. Ambitious tactic. The finned Aero 3 used the foundations of the Ferrari F12, but the 15 examples constructed took styling inspiration from 1930s Italian racing cars. Power remained a heady 730bhp, but carbon panels instead of Ferrari’s aluminium dropped kerbweight by a healthy 150kg.
Ares Design '250 GTO'
Bit controversial this. Ferrari was somewhat undelighted by the idea of an upstart company rebodying an F12 or 812 in homage to Ferrari's most valuable car ever: the 250 GTO.
In fact, it been the subject of a court battle – in which Ferrari unsuccessfully attempted to block use of the 250 GTO’s shape. However, reference to this particular car has now been wiped from Ares Design’s website. Likelihood of making production? Let’s go with ‘microscopic’.
In other ‘sort of like a 250 GTO but built around a modern V12 Ferrari’ news, the Vandenbrink GTO is a Dutch classic car specialist’s idea of a retro Ferrari restomod, based on the 599 GTB.
A standard 650bhp version and an uprated 730bhp special were supposedly offered, but this looks to have been another reborn GTO which never actually saw the light of a billionaire car collector’s climate-controlled garage.
We’re briefly going to break our own rule here: this is, technically, a Ferrari. Sort of. But not one you’re likely to have heard of. The Conciso – Italian for ‘concise’ - was a one-off 1990s 328 GTS, rebuilt as a doorless, roofless speedster in a lightweight single-seater-inspired style.
Think of it as the closest you’ll get to a Ferrari-engined Ariel Atom and you can see the appeal. Imagine a modern ‘Concise’ based on a 296 GTB…Advertisement - Page continues below
RML Short Wheelbase
What if you really fancy a Ferrari 250 SWB, but don’t fancy paying an eight-figure sum – and then having to learn how to service a 1960s relic? Well, it’s hard cheese – unless you give British performance outfit RML a tinkle. The Northamptonshire firm which brought you the mighty Nissan Juke-R (a Juke spliced with the drivetrain of the GT-R) will build you a 250 SWB-esque shell out of carbon fibre and then bolt it on top of a 550 Maranello.
It’s good for 0-62mph in 4.1secs and a top whack of 185mph. Only 30 will be made, but that’s not the only British firm vying for your restomod Ferrari cash…
GTO Engineering Squalo
See, you could have one of these instead. While the RML is very much a retro body on 1990s GT foundations, the Squalo (Italian for ‘shark) from GTO Engineering is bespoke. But, it draws on all of the Buckinghamshire Ferrari fanatics’ experience in caring for aging dancing nags. And of course, their recent run of quite exquisite 250 SWB and 250 California ‘revivals’.
The Squalo therefore sits on its own chassis and has its own design of V12, but you can’t look at that pert little coupe and not see a heck of a lot of Sixties Ferrari in there, can you?Advertisement - Page continues below