Ferrari Monza Review 2021 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Car Review

Ferrari Monza

£ N/A
810
Published: 01 Jun 2021
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812 Superfast not crazy enough? Step this way, brave billionaires. One seat or two?

Good stuff

Savage, take-no-prisoners character. Possibly the most beautiful Ferrari of the decade

Bad stuff

If you can’t hear the manic engine over the wind, then what’s the point?

Overview

What is it?

A spectacular piece of business from Ferrari. Welcome to the first of Maranello’s new line of ‘Icona’ cars – limited editions inspired by Ferrari’s illustrious back catalogue. The Monza – a roofless, windowless rollerskate based on the 812 Superfast – is the first of these. Only 499 will be built, and you guessed it. They’re all sold out, at £1.4m a pop including tax.

The stunning bodywork is inspired by the 750 Monza and 860 Monza racing cars of the mid-1950s, referenced in the voluptuous front wing curves, those abrupt rear buttresses, and a choice of seating.

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Ferrari offered a duo of Monza bodystyles: hedonistic single-seat SP1, or this more sociable two-seat SP2. Ferrari won’t reveal what the split between SP1 and SP2 commissions was, but word is each Ferrari-approved buyer could only pick one. No matching pairs for your collection.

All of that gorgeous coachwork is carbon fibre, and it’s all expensively bespoke. Even the LED light units – unusually a slender lightbar instead of quad round-lenses at the rear – and those turbine-spoke wheels are fresh, unrecycled from other Ferraris.

Underneath of course, the Monza’s foundations are more familiar, but hardly ordinary. The front-mid-mounted 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine is lifted from Ferrari’s psychotic super-GT, the 812 Superfast. Having received a token 10bhp and 1lb ft power bump, it slots in under the new front-hinged clamshell bonnet, assaulting the usual seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox with a total of 799bhp and 530lb ft. There’s no SF90-style hybrid boost, and it’s rear-wheel drive. Gulp.

While the Monza has jettisoned anything resembling weather protection, it’s far from being a featherweight Caterham that’s had some opera lessons. The SP1 weighs in at 1,500kg dry, while this SP2 is 1,520kg. Ready to roll with fuel, fluids and a driver strapped inside, it’ll be knocking on the door of 1.7 tonnes.

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But you sense this is a rare thing in Ferrariland: a supercar that doesn’t sweat the numbers. Outlandish downforce claims are absent. Ferrari hasn’t bothered with a Fiorano lap time. Even the top speed is officially quoted as ‘over 186mph’. Daring you to go and find out, they are, while seeming to hint the Monza is all about the experience, not the data. And what an experience it is.

Photography: Johnny Fleetwood

What's the verdict?

A mind-blowing assault on your senses, but not the finest device to experience Ferrari’s phenomenal V12 engine from within

So, is the Monza the most pointless Ferrari ever? It lacks a smidge of practicality, and even on the deserted road of your fantasies, you can’t wring it out for fear of becoming a permanent fixture of the scenery you’re tearing past.

The Monza feels a like a bit of a riposte to naysayers who reckon supercars are now too liveable, too easy to drive, not scary or silly enough. Here’s a Ferrari that you can only drive on sunny days, and even if you’ve got an F1 track to yourself, it’ll still spit you off into the kitty litter if you look at the throttle pedal funny.

It’s a wild, unsanitised, utterly unhinged device – one we can’t make a rational case for. Of course the money would be better spent on an 812 GTS for enjoying the engine noise in, a 355 Spider for Sunday morning thrashes, and a million quid’s worth of petrol and tyres.

But that’s not how the hyper-rich think. Most of the satisfaction in owning a Monza will come from simply acquiring something only a select few hundred Ferrari aficionados were chosen for. It’s a trinket, but don’t dare disrespect it.

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