It may be minimalist in name and design, but the 1993 Ferrari Conciso offers an excessive amount of fun—as Jay Leno found out in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
The concept car’s owner, Franco Valobra, says the lightweight Ferrari concept cost a lot less than he was willing to pay for it too.
“Nobody bid on it. Nobody knew the story; nobody knew what the car was,” Valobra says about the car, which was offered at RM Sotheby’s Monaco Auction in 2018. “We were the only bidder, and we got it right away.”
Valobra knew exactly what he was bidding on. The unique one-off Italian concept, which he purchased for €109,250 ($122,550), is styled by Bernd Michalak’s Design Studio of Mainz. To create the masterpiece, Michalak started with a 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS and shaved off 800 pounds—nearly one-third the car’s original weight. It’s no wonder Michalak called it Conciso, which is Italian for concise.
The 328 GTS chassis wears an aluminum alloy bodyshell, a low-cut windshield, and is styled like nothing you’ve likely seen before, although Leno compares it to a Lamborghini Miura, another Italian sports car he recently admitted makes his heart skip a beat.
Valobra says Michalak considered the Conciso his “three-dimensional business card,” which showed off his design skills.
The mid-engine Ferrari retains its 270-horsepower 3.2-liter V-8, which (with less weight to move) can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in five seconds and reach a claimed top speed of 278 km/h (173 mph). Just in case driving that fast is a bit unsettling, the car has built-in helmet compartments on each side for easy access to protective headgear. And the Conciso doesn’t have doors, so occupants must step over (jump?) into the cockpit, like you would in an old race car.
“It’s very comfortable,” Valobra insists. “The only thing is getting in and getting out, which is part of the show. Wherever you arrive there’s a little crowd around, so you’d better be agile enough not to fall on your face.”
Leno suggests the lack of doors might be a concern for a woman wearing a skirt.
“I don’t think my wife has ever been it,” Valobra says with a laugh. “And never will.”
The ’93 Conciso debuted at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show and was awarded second prize at the 1994 Eurosign Design Awards, but Valobra’s car is the only one that was produced, which is a shame. “It’s really fun to drive. It’s really fantastic,” says Leno, enjoying the wind in his face. “It really is a go-cart.” A super-fast one, at that.
“Of course,” Valobra says, “you’re screwed when it rains.”
I think we’d find a way to manage somehow.