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Cliffhanger ending in story of Ferrari’s £2.5m showstopper

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Every once in a while Ferrari rolls out a limited-run special. The super-exclusive Sergio limits that production run to just six examples.

The Sergio, as anyone broadly familiar with Ferraris will instantly be able to tell, is based on the chassis and running gear of a 458 Speciale and some of the body of a 458 Spider. It has been built to celebrate Ferrari’s relationship with the Pininfarina styling house, which marked its 60th anniversary this year.

With that combination, you just know the Sergio, named naturally after the former Mr Farina, is going to be something very special to drive. Unfortunately, we have yet to get behind the wheel of the Sergio and don’t expect to either.

Ferrari selects its customers on discretion as much as anything else and seeing a Sergio in a magazine comparison test would probably make them a bit cross. Ferrari aren’t very pleasant when they have a tantrum.


The Sergio outputs the same 597bhp as the Speciale which results in a sprint to 62mph of just 3.0 seconds, as opposed to 3.4 seconds for that notable sluggard, the 458 Spider. Beyond that, we’d just be speculating.

There’s been quite a bit of back and forth about the design of the Sergio. If you’ve been in a relationship with your styling house for as long as Ferrari and Pininfarina have, they’ve long stopped taking offence at straight talk.

We first saw the Pininfarina Sergio at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and it looked like a typical show car; all rakish angles, no windscreen and chock-full of production impracticalities. It only needed beetle-wing doors and a yoke for a steering wheel to get the full house in show car bingo.

Actually putting this car into production would require radical rework and the Sergio model that Ferrari unveiled in Abu Dhabi when the first car was delivered to its new owner looked very different.


And, I might add, better. Yes, the basic proportioning was clearly that of a 458 Spider but there was much the same angled sweep of carbon fibre on the flanks and a rather watered-down version of the Pininfarina car’s nose. The transparent bar linking the headlights in particular is apparently a throwback to the original Ferrari Dino show car.

The cabin is less radical, with familiar 458 architecture bedecked with extra carbonfibre and Alcantara. Ferrari has ensured that each customer has been able to uniquely personalise their Sergio at the Maranello factory.

So, how much are we to bid for a car that’s a melange of 458 Speciale, 458 Spider and a few custom Pininfarina styling licks? Well, a Spider is £199,000, a Speciale is £208,000, so follow that trend and you arrive at a figure of £216,000 which is actually nothing like what Ferrari wants for the Sergio. Were you one of the anointed six, you would need to hand over a reputed £2.5million to get your hands on the keys. No, that wasn’t a typo.

Now, there will be some who see this as the most naked and opportunistic profiteering by Ferrari, aimed at efficiently separating oil-rich fools from their money; all that’s wrong with capitalism condensed into a few feet of expensive alloys and carbon.


I’m not so sure. If there’s a demand, why not? These people aren’t being forced into a purchase and they probably think that their Sergios will appreciate in value over time. Given the prices that some low-volume Ferraris are making, it would be a brave person who predicted Sergio residual values to take a nosedive.

The Ferrari Sergio has a certain in-built irrelevance. It’s a car that has been built for six lucky owners and is so valuable that the cars will rarely, if ever, be seen outside their climate-controlled cocoons.

It generates profits for Ferrari, it burnishes Pininfarina’s reputation and it might well make its owner a decent packet to boot. So everyone’s a winner then?

Apart from those of us who want to press our noses to the window and wonder, just for a moment, what it must be like to actually drive the thing. Proper tyre shrieking, rev counter yammering off the redline driving, because hidden far beneath the hype is a car that has been built to perform but will never be given its head. And that makes me just a bit sad.

I’m glad the Ferrari Sergio exists. But next time, Ferrari, build seven. And save one for the motoring journalists of the world to record for all-time on video, doing what it does best. And if we don’t manage to destroy it, you can send it to the crusher afterwards. I hate cliffhangers and something this good just can’t be left a secret.