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Four Wild-Looking Ferrari Prototypes Heading to Auction During Monterey Car Week

Three are development mules for the LaFerrari hypercar.
A LaFerrari prototype.

It’s not often that prototype cars from major automakers come up for sale. If you’re in the market for some very interesting ones, though, today is your lucky day. Four test mules built by Ferrari will be sold by Mecum at its Monterey, California auction Aug. 18-20. Three of the vehicles are developmental cars for what would become the LaFerrari hypercar. The fourth is a prototype of the front-engined F12TDF.

None of the vehicles can be registered for use on the road. They are all relatively rough machines built to test various technologies. The oldest of the bunch, known as the “F150 Muletto M4,” is based on a Ferrari 458 Italia. It was built in 2011 primarily to verify the emissions compliance of the LaFerrari’s V12 engine. The second, a radical custom-bodied car built in 2012 known as the “F150 Mulotipo MP1,” was assembled to ensure all of the mechanical components played nicely together; primarily the LaFerrari’s carbon tub and its hybrid drivetrain. The final LaFerrari mule for sale, the “F150 Prototipe Preserie PS1,” very closely resembles the production car and was built to test the final layout of its components.

The three LaFerrari mules are the most interesting. All of them are powered by the automaker’s Type F140FE 789-horsepower V12. The MP1 appears to have 458 headlights and taillights, although the body is a one-off. To my eye, it resembles the Enzo quite a bit, particularly from the rear. It’s a little rough and unfinished, sure, but it’s a very interesting shape with cutting-edge underpinnings. Like the LaFerrari it helped develop, the MP1 features the aforementioned F140FE V12 working alongside a 161 hp oil-cooled electric motor mounted near the back of its 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Also for sale is the front-engined “MP4,” which is a late development mule for the V12-powered F12TDF. The MP4 closely resembles the final production car on the outside. Most of the prototype hardware is visible in the interior and under the hood.

The hypercar prototypes are really the ones to buy. The MP1 in particular stands above the others. The earlier M4 is just sort of an uglier 458 with a V12 and funny tailpipes. The PS1 is basically a near-production LaFerrari. Both represent interesting points in the development of the LaFerrari and would be great parts of any collection, but the MP1 is really the car to buy here. It’s rough, it’s ready, it’s a prototype Ferrari hypercar that damn sure looks like one. If I had millions of dollars, I would be willing to part with quite a few of them to get that MP1, street legal or not.

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