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Ferrari reveals one-off KC23 track car. Image by Ferrari.

Ferrari reveals one-off KC23 track car
The custom-built track car will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
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What's all this about?

Ferrari has revealed a one-off track car based on the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 – the most successful racing car in the Prancing Horse’s back catalogue. Dubbed the KC23 (don’t ask why), the car is making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before heading to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy, where it will remain until October 2.

I thought the 488 was out of production?

It is. You can’t buy one for the road, but Ferrari is still using it on the track. Since 2016, the 488 GT3 has racked up a whopping 530 victories and well over 100 championships to date. In fact, it’s Ferrari’s most successful racer in 76 years.

So this is a 488 GT3 in drag?

Not quite. Yes, the KC23 inherits its engine, chassis and layout from the GT3 Evo 2020, which means it’s powered by a 3.9-litre, twin-turbo V8. Due to FIA regulations, the output is limited to 600hp and 700Nm, while the suspension set-up is specifically designed for racing. As a result, Ferrari has designed the car exclusively for “non-competitive track use”, although it describes the KC23 as a “bold and extreme vision of what the closed-wheel racing of the future may look like.”

Hence the radical one-off design, completely redesigned with glass surfaces and new light clusters. Freed from the restraints of homologation, the car is designed to look as though it was sculpted from a single block of metal. And the design also hides some of the car’s technical features, including the side air intakes, which open automatically when the mid-rear-mounted V8 is switched on.

You mean it's a shape-shifter?

In a manner of speaking. The KC23 has air intakes that open and close, while the rear wing is removable, giving the car a cleaner image when the car is away from the race track. Other striking details include the butterfly doors that open vertically on single front hinges, which are fitted to the existing structure. There’s a clamshell bonnet, too, which needs just two pins to be removed before it can be lifted for maintenance. The glass surfaces are seamlessly integrated with no visible pillars, frames or seals, creating an aeronautics-inspired dome effect.

Then there’s the Gold Mercury livery that uses a four-layer aluminium paint. The liquid metal in the paint is intended to give the colour a luminous gleam in sunlight, while the colour itself is designed to change constantly depending on the type and angle of the light striking it. And while the car comes with 18-inch alloy wheels for track use, there are 21-inch front wheels and 22-inch rear wheels for use during static displays.

What about the inside?

Ferrari has tried to keep the cabin as similar to the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 as possible, although the door panels and dashboard finish on the passenger side are different. The seats are trimmed in Alcantara with an electro-welded logo, while a rear-facing video camera system removes the need for mirrors.

I guess none of this comes cheap?

That’s probably a safe bet. The one-off car was developed by Ferrari’s Special Projects programme over a period of three years, and was designed on commission from a customer. Naturally, Ferrari won’t say how much the car cost, but we suspect it was quite a lot more expensive than your average Ferrari road car.

Luka Flanagan - 16 Jul 2023

2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.

2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari KC23. Image by Ferrari.    - Ferrari road tests
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