The Ferrari KC23 is a ‘futuristic track car’, but you may not recognise it when it’s at full noise on a circuit.
Three years in the making, the KC23 is based upon the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 and was commissioned by one of the Maranello’s customers, delivering a one-off that apes futurism with a track twist that’s not beholden to homologation rules.
Produced by the Special Projects division, the KC23’s design was penned by the Ferrari Styling Centre, which is led by Ferrari vice president Flavio Manzoni who was responsible for vehicles including the LaFerrari through to the Daytona SP3.
The 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was chosen as the starting point for its unrivalled pedigree as competition car, having won more than 530 races and more than 119 championships since 2016, according to Ferrari.
That makes it the most successful race car in the maker’s history.
The underpinnings, then, don the KC23 with a mid-rear mounted twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 producing 442kW and 700Nm of torque – there’s no mention of a power bump, given here are no race rules to submit to – but that’s not best part.
Manzoni’s team, who say that the exterior look of the KC23 is intended to appear as if sculpted from a single block of metal, have given this Ferrari a party trick that only comes from pelting it around a racetrack.
Every single line of the 488 donor car has been touched – as have the headlights – to create a ‘dual configuration’.
That’s Ferrari-speak for one look at a standstill, yet a another as the KC23 is turned on, and gains speed – and a significant change at that.
A set of side air intakes, designed to deliver the same breathing qualities and performance as the 488 racer, give the KC23 its own moving identity, opening up to feed that V8-heart and while sporting its smoother look.
Fire up the KC23, and the side intakes will open using custom kinematics, ready for the athletic push ahead. A nose panel opens up to increase front downforce and overall aero stability, while a rear feeds the engine.
The result is a completely different silhouette to the 488, and one that brings surface ‘purity’ in its Mercury Gold hue, with the design minimising sharp angles and aggressive changes to bring that cohesive, solidified look with an integrated clamshell bonnet and integrated glasshouse.
The front lights are minimalist, and as you eyes roll over the roof – with a unique silhouette that demanded no changes to the donor car’s structure – you read the rear, where a set of methacrylate light blades stretch across the KC23’s tail.
The design flows and meshes seamlessly together – that is, until the rear wing interrupts to scream ‘race car’ at you. If it’s too much, it’s removeable too.
There’s also two sets of wheels – an 18-inch set for track use, while for showing off there’s a set that sees 21-inch front and 22-inch rears.
The KC23 is, though, still a race car, with the cockpit accessed by tall-standing ‘butterfly doors’ a la LaFerrari to present a cabin that sees a full roll-cage encapsulate racing seats and F1-style digital dash, all finished in black apart from the drilled racing pedals.
The KC23 will make its public track debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 13-16, before heading to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello from August 1 through October 2, 2023.