The prancing horse logo sits on the engine of a Ferrari F430 luxury automobile, produced by Ferrari SpA. (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

Ferrari Reveals Closest Thing to an F1 Racer Available for Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Ferrari NV unveiled an open-top supercar that it billed as the closest thing to a Formula 1 racer ever built for the public market.

The carbon-fiber, 810-horsepower Monza will come in one-seat and two-seat versions, Ferrari’s marketing head, Nicola Boari, and chief designer Flavio Manzoni said Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy. Ferrari will manufacture fewer than 500 of the 12-cylinder machines, which will be capable of reaching 100 kilometers per hour in less than three seconds.

The Monza Sp1 and Monza Sp2 are part of a highly anticipated five-year strategy plan being presented Tuesday by Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri, who took over from a dying Sergio Marchionne in July. The new CEO plans to broaden Ferrari’s offering of limited-edition supercars -- which typically sell for more than $1 million -- and sell its first-ever SUV to boost profit margins, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

Camilleri’s strategy for the race-car maker will be closely watched by investors, especially whether he will stick with a goal of doubling profit to 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by 2022, a plan put forward by Marchionne. Camilleri was picked for the job by John Elkann, the leader of the Agnelli family that controls Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, during a dramatic July weekend as Marchionne’s health took a turn for the worse.

Ferrari Reveals Closest Thing to an F1 Racer Available for Sale

Tough Act

The newly-minted CEO stumbled out of the gate in August when Ferrari shares plunged the most in more than two years after he called Marchionne’s profit targets “aspirational.” The shares advanced 3 percent to 116.35 euros at 10:10 a.m. in Milan, giving a market value of 21 billion euros.

The Monza is heir to the iconic Barchetta model, Camilleri said. The price will be released at the Paris auto show next month. The Monzas have already been assigned to some of Ferrari’s most loyal clients, who had a preview of the car last night.

Special edition models could help Camilleri to boost profit without losing the exclusivity of the brand. Ferrari customers typically have to wait more than a year to get delivery of a new car. Limited editions, like the $2.1 million LaFerrari Aperta convertible, are often highly sought and go to the company’s most loyal customers. Still, the company faces competition in the market from the likes of Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

The new Ferrari CEO has a tough act to follow after Marchionne boosted Ferrari’s value by spinning it off from Fiat Chrysler and then doubling profit in just four years by raising production and introducing one-off models. The former chief, who died on July 25, was preparing to expand the manufacturer beyond sports cars and introduce hybrid electric vehicles, including its first ever SUV. The SUV is not expected to be shown at the strategy presentation.

Ferrari is banking on Camilleri getting up to speed quickly. While Marchionne was expecting to retire from Fiat Chrysler in 2019, he was meant to stay on at Ferrari for another five years. His succession plan was not as advanced as it was at Fiat Chrysler. Marchionne said in February that Ferrari aimed to double its profit to 2 billion euros within five years.

Elkann picked Camilleri as CEO while opting to take on Marchionne’s role as chairman of Ferrari. The race-car maker’s strategy is also seen as a test of his own acumen.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.