Ferrari reveals the P80/C: a one-off 488 GT3

By topgear, 25 March 2019

batch 190072 car ferrari p80 c

It's the first SP Ferrari to use a racecar as a base. It's also nuts

batch 190070 car ferrari p80 c

So here it is, the latest Ferrari one-off, the P80/C, and we’re calling this the best yet. Sure, a new Ferrari will provoke a debate so fierce it can get more heated than the surface of the sun, and these SP cars are often very personal interpretations of a theme.

batch 190071 car ferrari p80 c

But here’s why this one knocks it out of the park: it’s the most extreme yet because it’s also the first to use a racing car as its jumping-off point, which is a genius move in itself. But it also means it’s liberated from any road car homologation requirements, enabling all involved to do something wilder than usual.

batch 190074 car ferrari p80 c1

P80/C is based on a 488 GT3 chassis, so it’s 50mm longer than the standard 488 as well as being combat-ready. This allowed Ferrari’s Centro Stile to shift the visual balance forward, accentuating the rear end. Ferrari and its corse clienti division have raced so many of these cars now that they’ve accumulated a mountain of aerodynamic data.

batch 190081 car ferrari p80 c

The new car is said to be five per cent more efficient overall, and although elements of the rear diffuser are shared with the GT3, the front splitter and all the external surfaces are unique. The body is made entirely of carbonfibre; the most functional elements are left bare, the rest of the car finished in Rosso Vero.

batch 190083 car ferrari p80 c1

Ferrari says that P80/C’s aero treatment, in particular in the area above the engine bay, is influenced by the T-wing that appeared on the Scuderia’s F1 cars in 2017, and helps reduce the length of the flow over the rear, providing a “strong recompression of the flow rearwards, reinforcing the downforce generated by the tail and the wing.”

batch 190078 car ferrari p80 c2

Visually, the new car calls on a pool of historic references that include such beloved touchstones as the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 250 LM, the Dino 206 S and 330 P3/4, and is a contemporary homage to the period in Maranello history when the racing prototypes’ styling licks would often transition to the road cars.

(An excerpt from Ferrari's launch video of the P80/C from Ferrari's Youtube channel)

But it’s also determinedly doing its own thing: the side windows flow into the air intakes in a deliberate act of aesthetic disruption, helping imbue the front and rear with their own character while maintaining visual harmony overall. Looked at from the side and above, there’s a hint of Ford GT in the way the flying buttresses separate from the body. The concave rear glass and aluminium louvres on the engine cover are another nod to the 330P3/4.

batch 190076 car ferrari p80 c

There are no head and tail-lights to speak of, but a pair of small slashes in the bodywork at either end create an ocular effect. Viewed directly from behind, a huge carbonfibre wing predominates, but the clear line of sight into the car’s 660bhp 3.9-litre twin turbo V8 engine truly is something to behold.

batch 190082 car ferrari p80 c

P80/C also has an interesting duality: in race trim, it keeps the wing and uses 18in single nut wheels, but the aero addenda can be removed and 21in wheels fitted to accentuate the car’s form language.

batch 190073 car ferrari p80 c

These things are highly subjective, of course, but we can confirm that this latest SP car is the work of someone steeped in Ferrari history, with an acute aesthetic sense to match.

batch 190080 car ferrari p80 c1

So although this is most definitely a one-off, it’s no mere vanity project. This is a highly significant statement.

STORY Jason Barlow
VIDEO  Ferrari's Youtube Channel (Click HERE for the full video)

Related Articles