The F40 is one of the great symbols of the 1980s as far as Ferrari is concerned. An icon of both style and performance to this day, Maranello’s blisteringly extreme supercar brought the look and substance of a track car to the road. The ultralight materials used for its chassis and bodyshell came directly from the racing world too. The Ferrari F40 was, amongst other things, the first production road car in history to sport composite body work panels.
It was also the last supercharged Ferrari until the launch of the California T in 2014. Equally significantly, the F40 is famous for being Enzo Ferrari’s final car.
The Ferrari F40 became an instant icon not just in Maranello but of the car world itself. The perfect car to celebrate the Prancing Horse’s 40th anniversary, after which it was named. It was an instant success too and collectors from all over the world clambered to get their hands on an F40 of their own. In the end, 1,311 examples came off the production line.
The Ferrari F40 had a 90-degree V8 engine with twin overhead camshafts per bank. Its capacity was larger and thus so was its compression ratio and, of course, power output. The 2.936 cc twin turbo engine actually punched out 478 hp at 7,000 rpm as well as delivering maximum torque of 577 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It also had dry sump lubrication while its two water-cooled IHI turbochargers fed air intake at 1.1 bar. The F40’s cilindrilongitudinal rear-engine was coupled with a five-speed all-synchromesh manual gearbox with a non-synchromesh version available as an optional for owners that wanted an even more extreme driving experience. The steel tubular chassis had composite elements. It was coupled with a bodyshell that, in a first for a production car, was made mainly of composite panels. The cockpit was ultra-sporty and spare to the point of minimalism. The only concession to comfort was air-conditioning provided as standard. The door release catch was a pull wire in the bare door pockets while the windows were plastic and opened or closed by either a manual winder on the inner door panel or sliding panels. The result, however, was a very light car: the Ferrari F40 had a dry weight of just 1,100 kg, in fact. This was also a factor in creating its legend as it was extreme on every level, from its looks to its technology and, of course, its performance: the F40 could sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and unleased a top speed of 324 kilometres an hour. In 1987.