Having celebrated its 70th anniversary in unforgettable style in 2017, the Prancing Horse tackled 2018 absolutely conscious of the new challenges lying in store.
The year got off to a convincing start in Formula 1 with Sebastian Vettel dominating the first two races of the season. This sparked an intense head-to-head battle with Lewis Hamilton that saw the Ferrari driver roar to the top of the world rankings as the summer break arrived. But in the same period, the company was also reeling from the shock of the unexpected, all-too-early death of its Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne left a huge legacy which was embraced with fearlessness by new President John Elkann and the new CEO Louis Camilleri who had the task of presenting the new industrial plan that Italian-Canadian executive had worked so hard on. Shareholders were invited to the new Style Centre which was officially opened especially for the occasion, to listen to the two men sharing that vision of the company’s short-term future. Fifteen new cars in three years, a powerful focus on the future through major investment in R&D, and a response to climate change-related problems in the form of a range of which 60% will be hybrid models. That determined focus on tomorrow does not meaning reneging on the extraordinary wealth of creativity and solutions from the past. Rather it reinterprets and lends them new and unique technological and stylistic slants. An approach brilliantly epitomised by the first two products of the Icona project, the Monza SP1 and the Monza SP2, which were unveiled on Capital Market Day. The two cars, a single-seater and a two-seater respectively, both sport the most powerful naturally-aspirated V12 ever built by Ferrari, that of the 812 Superfast. They are the product of a concept that uses some of the most evocative cars from Ferrari history as the leitmotif for a whole new segment of limited edition special series models developed specifically with Ferrari clients and collectors in mind. Cars inspired by the barchette of the 1950s which were driven to victory in the international championships not just by the Scuderia Ferrari’s works drivers but also by gentlemen drivers who often raced against the legendary big names of the day.
The new models officially debuted at the Paris International Motor Show where the Prancing Horse also took the wraps off the Ferrari 488 Pista Spider, which had received its world premiere at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This is the most powerful and high performance production spider in the company’s history, thanks to an unprecedented weight-power ratio of 1.92 kg/cv. Its astonishing performance is due in great part to an engine that took the top spot at the International Engine of the Year Awards for the third consecutive time in 2018. The 3,902 cc twin-turbo V8 not only unleashes 720 cv but was also named "Best of the Best” of the winners of the last two decades at the same awards.
Unfortunately, the second part of the Formula 1 season failed to live up to its promising start as the Scuderia racked up fewer points than it deserved, allowing its rivals to snap up both titles. That said, there were some high points too such as Kimi Räikkönen’s triumph in the United States Grand Prix at Austin just a few races after the announcement that he would be parting company with Ferrari.