Ferrari F40

The F40 was a car with a mission. In 1987 F40 Ferrari was in his 90th year, and celebrating his 40th anniversary as a car-maker. He was growing frail, and knew this would be his last major milestone. He could look back on almost a hundred GP wins, eight Fl world championships, nine Le Mans wins and thousands of other victories. With undimmed pride, he planned to crown it all with the undisputed king of road cars, the fastest Ferrari of them all. In his own words "the best Ferrari ever" The F40.

Ferrari, quite magnificently, stage-managed its launch at the Maranello factory in ]uly 1987. But there was substance behind the showmanship. The F40 was a genuinely great car, and it put Ferrari back where he believed he belonged. For a few months, the bristling-with-technology Porsche 959 had overtaken Ferrari's 288 GTO as the fastest road car in the world. The F40 brought the crown back to Maranello.

When it was introduced it was the fastest road car ever built, full stop. Its claimed top speed of 201 mph marked the first time that a road car had bettered 200. The 959 managed 'only' 197. And the F40 would reach 60mph in 3.5 seconds (factory claimed time), where the 959 wanted 3.7. To argue which was really the better car is meaningless. The F40 had the headlines.

It was completely unlike Stuttgart's complex four-wheel-drive supercar. It was essentially simple. Instead of the 959's electronic control systems, clever six-speed gearbox, and the luxuries of leather, air-conditioning and top-level hi-fi, the F40 took the race car approach of maximum power, minimum weight and classic rear-wheel drive.

The F40 was developed from the 288 GTO via the 288 Evoluzione. The latest leaps in aerodynamics gave it an aggressively angular shape (by Pininfarina), dominated by massive scoops and wings. A new generation of tyres gave it a low, super-wide stance. Lightweight materials and new construction methods helped shed a substantial 135kg. Out went the 288 GTO's surprisingly plush trim and generous equipment levels in favour of the spartan, stripped-bare look of the racer. Instead of the 288's ventilated leather seats it had thinly padded highbacked racing-style shells. Where the GTO had carpets and suede Alcantara trim, the F40 had naked Kevlar and carbonfibre. Each skeletal door weighed just 1.5kg; there were no carpets, electric windows, central locking, not even proper door handles just Mini-style cord pulls.

The vehicle weighed in at just 1100kg, while its twin-turbo V8 had grown to 2.9 litres, and power to 478bhp - at the time the most ever offered in a road car. Suspension was race-bred coils and wishbones; the brakes gigantic 13-inch discs, ventilated and cross-drilled, nestling in l0-inch wide front and 13-inch wide rear wheels, with massive Pirelli tyres. It was a racing car in all but name, with fearsome performance and take-no-prisoners manners. Even today, it is a superb tribute to F40's memory.

Facts & Figures

Production Numbers 1311
Production Period 1987 - 1992
Chassis Number Range 76204 - 95317
Body Style 2 seater sports coupe
Construction Closed 2 seater (Pininfarina design) - tubular frame - Composite body and steel chassis (kevlar/nomex engine cover and other design features)
Weight Empty 1100 kg
Body Size W : 1970 mm, H : 1124 mm, L : 4400 mm, Wheelbase : 2450mm, tracks : 1594 mm (F), 1606 mm (R)
Engine Model F120A 90° Light alloy V8
Engine Displacement 2936cc - bore 81.9 mm, stroke 69.5 mm
Compression Ratio 7.7 : 1
Superchargers Twin IHI RHB 53LW Turbochargers (max boost 1.1 bar) with 2 Behr Intercoolers
Ignition 2 integrated Weber Marelli IAW indirect injection-ignition systems
Spark Plugs Champion G61 (10 mm)
Cooling Forced water cooling - 2 automatic electric fans - 17 litre circuit
Lubrication Forced lubrication - dry sump - Savara filter and radiator - 8 kg circuit
Clutch 8.5 inch Borg & Beck dual-disk
Engine Power 478 bhp at 7000 rpm (= 162.8 HP/litre)
Engine Torque 425 lb ft at 4000 rpm (58.8 kgm)
Transmission 5 synchronized gears
Reduction Ratios 1st - 3.45, 2nd - 2.14, 3rd - 1.53, 4th - 1.20, 5th - 0.95, Reverse - 3.07
Final Drive Hypoid bevel pair, 11/30 (= 2.73)
Fuel Capacity 120 litres in 2 tanks
Suspension (Front) Independent suspension - transverse quadrilaterals - coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Front) Koni coaxial with transverse anti-roll bars
Suspension (Rear) Independent suspension - transverse quadrilaterals - coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Rear) Koni coaxial with transverse anti-roll bars
Wheels Speedline, light-alloy, detachable, F : 8J x 17, R : 10J x 17
Tyres Pirelli P Zero, F : 245/40 ZR17, R : 335/35 ZR17
Brakes 4 Brembo self-ventilating discs
Steering Rack and Pinion (steering radius - 11.6 m)
Electrical System 12 volt - 105A Bosch alternator - Ah 60 AC Delco battery
Maximum Speed 201 mph / 324 kph (Source: Factory Claim)
Acceleration (0-30 mph) 2.2 seconds (Source: Autocar & Motor)
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.5 seconds (Source: Autocar & Motor)
Acceleration (0-100 mph) 8.8 seconds (Source: Autocar & Motor)

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