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The KC23: Uniquely Special

Ferrari’s Special Projects team unveil what might be their most spectacular design to date: a one-off supercar that almost defies description
Words: Adam Hay-Nicholls

The Ferrari that you’re looking at isn’t a concept. Nor is it a production car. It is a completely one-off commission. A track-focused yet elegant state-of-the-art supercar born from the penmanship of Ferrari’s Centro Stile, led by Flavio Manzoni, and one very imaginative, passionate and exacting customer. 

Christened KC23, this latest creation from the Special Projects programme is as innovative as it is striking, and has been commissioned by one of the prancing horse’s most dedicated collectors. Its futuristic bespoke body is underpinned by proven race car architecture, and with two different configurations the visual character changes from angel to devil car. 

Its innovations, both aesthetic and performance baiting, include motorised air intake vents and an imposing rear wing which is removable.

This exclusive video reveals Ferrari's latest creation: the KC23 - a one-off model that couples the power of the 488 GT3 EVO with ground-breaking aerodynamics

Under the skin is the heart and soul of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The 488 GT3 is the most successful track car in Maranello’s 76-year history, racking up over 530 victories and 119 championship wins, which isn’t a bad platform from which to construct the ultimate private Ferrari. Given the extreme nature of its V8 twin-turbo engine, chassis and suspension set-up, the KC23 has been designed exclusively for non-competitive track use as opposed to the road. 

But at standstill, the aerodynamic and cooling tricks hide themselves away. These active features revert to showcase sleek, undisturbed lines and sinuous form. It has a pure monolithic beauty, as if it were sculpted from a single block of metal.

Hit the engine start button, and that visual stance is transformed using custom kinematics to reveal its huge air intakes and active aerodynamics. The car then beckons to be pushed hard on the circuit. This transition is almost organic, switching mood and physicality from chic evening wear to punk rock aggression in the pursuit of downforce.

The KC23 will instantly take its place among classic Ferrari designs; while sleek and sinuous at a standstill, a push of the engine start button reveals racing-focused aerodynamic features

From the beginning, the KC23 was destined to be radical and untethered from homologation constraints, clothed in sophisticated almost timeless bodywork that would make this car an instant classic, holding its own against the rarest and most iconic silhouettes in the company’s back catalogue, while also offering a tantalising glimpse of decades to come. This goal required every one of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020’s lines to be redesigned, glass surfaces and light clusters included. 

The KC23 also boasts butterfly doors that open vertically, like those of the LaFerrari, adding to the theatre. Both the headlights and rear lights have been re-thought, with those at the front tipping a wink to the 499P endurance racer which just won an historic Le Mans 24 hours, and a dynamic methacrylate light blade at the back that’s been inspired by the Ferrari Vision Gran Turismo single-seater concept. 

Clad in specially-developed Gold Mercury paint that changes in sunlight, the KC23 has an exterior that will delight Ferrari fans around the world, coupled with a pared-back racing interior

The paintwork is another distinctive feature: a specially-developed four-layer aluminium livery called Gold Mercury. The liquid metal in the paint gives it an astonishingly luminous gleam in the sunlight, again like it’s a living, breathing being. The colour changes depending on the light and where you’re standing. It’s as captivating as the machine itself. 

The cabin has been kept as pared-back as the race car, with the exception of door panels and a dashboard finish on the passenger side. The button-covered steering yoke and panel of rocker switches are pure endurance racing. The custom-made Alcantara©-trimmed bucket seats compliment both the focused interior and urbane exterior. 

The doors of the KC23 open vertically in the style of the LaFerrari, while the headlights pay homage to the 499P Hypercar that recently triumphed at Le Mans

Sometimes Ferrari’s unique SP cars are never shown in public. In this case, the owner is keen to share his collaboration with the world. The KC23, the very pinnacle of Ferrari personalisation, will make its first public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK 13-16 July, before going on display at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello from 1 August to 2 October, much to the delight of the Ferraristi. 

It’s likely to inspire many Ferrari owners and lovers as to how the Ferrari of their dreams might look. For one visionary customer, that dream became a reality.