For many the best ‘prancing horse’ in history – the Ferrari F40 was born on the occasion of the 40th birthday of the company and the 90th birthday of the great Enzo Ferrari (1898 – 1988). The famous ‘Commendatore’, who before the F1 team had a motorcycle squad, personally led the development because he was aware of the fact that his end was near. He wanted to create a car that would be a reference for others and the crown of his career, the one that will defeat competitors on both road and track … And he succeeded! The Ferrari F40 is one of the best athletes in history, and its performance is arousing awe even after 30 years. It is also the last Ferrari with turbo gasoline until the arrival of the current 488 GTB.
The Ferrari F40 is actually a clean-born runner tailored to road use. The constructional philosophy that everything is built around the engine proved to be extremely successful both on the road and on the track. The V8 engine was taken from the 2936 c.c. GTO model and with the help of the IHI turbochargers it could develop a monumental 478 hp at 7,000 rpm and 577 rpm at 4000 rpm.
The design was signed by Pininfarina, and the construction of aluminum, lightweight and carbon fibers provided an exceptional strength with a mass of only 1369 kg. The air conditioner was part of the standard equipment, and the audio system wasn’t offered even with an extra charge. The first 50 produced copies had windows made of Lexan, and the later ones had glasses. How much weight was taken into consideration, is best illustrated by the fact that the buyer had to make a note during the order if he wanted carpets; and that only two liters of paint had been consumed on the entire body, so the carbon fiber structure were still visible on some parts.
All the knowledge gained in Formula 1 was used abundantly by the Italians. The Ferrari F40 had a huge rear spoiler, large side air intakes, but still the air resistance coefficient was only 0.34. So he was aerodynamically extremely effective and was one of the first athletes in history who had a floor designed in such a way to create a lower pressure field, in order to boost the downforce.
Although the Italians then claimed that the Ferrari F40 is the fastest car in the world, members of the Auto, Motor und Sport department have tested the maximum speed on the Nardo track. Ferrari sent two specimens, but none was able to exceed 321 km / h, while the Porsche 959 S with 515 hp was able to reach 339 km / h the very same day. The best result came from the Quattroroute magazine drivers, who reached 326 km / h, Road and Track measured 315 km / h, and Car and Driver 317 km / h.
But figures are not really crucial. Even if it couldn’t achieve the declared 324 km / h, it could reach a hundred within 4.1 seconds, which still praises the result. The impressive silhouette of the supersport with 436 cm of length 197 cm of width and 112 cm of height draws attention in every corner, and as a reminder of the crazy 80’s, there are 17-inch tires with the dimensions of 245/40 in the front and 335/35 in the rear. Impressive is the fact of two fuel tanks with a total capacity of 120 liters.
The initial production plans of just 200 copies were soon superseded and the number of 450 copies was reached. At the end, 1311 copies were produced. The price of the new one, accounting the inflation, would nowadays be about 700,000 euro, and for a good used copy it is necessary to spend at least 1.1 million euro. According to every criterion, the Ferrari F40 is a spectacular car.