Ferrari F50

The F50 is the logical successor of F40, which was so successful that about 1200 cars were built. After the failure of the Jaguar XJ220, Yamaha OX99-11 and other expensive super cars, Ferrari is more conservative on pricing at 329,000. It also guarantees that no more than 349 cars will be built. (It once guaranteed that only 500 F40s would be built, it turned out to be 1200 so that resale price fell considerably and hurt the image of the company.)

The F50's engine is unquestionably the core of the car, with 4.7 litres, the high reving 5 valves per cylinder V12 is capable of a record-breaking specific output of 109.2 BHP/litre, eclipsing the F355's 108.7 BHP/litre to be the most efficient normally aspirated engine. Combining with the light weight of 1230 kg and close-ratio 6 speeds box (which compensates for the less impressive torque of 347 ft-lb), 0-60mph can be achieved in only 3.6sec, which is only eclipsed by the mighty McLaren F1.

The chassis is also extraordinary. Carbon fibre is inevitable, but the whole chassis and suspensions are bolted on the engine / transmission like Formula One cars, thus producing an ultra-rigid and simultaneously light structure. If it were not open top and being so big, it would have been probably lighter than McLaren F1's 1138kg.

On the road, the F50 is very stable, accurate in handling at any speed, and the huge tires and down force generated by the big rear spoiler enable high speed cornering stability. It runs faster than the F40 on race tracks, thanks to a better chassis, but slower at mid-range acceleration than the 425 ft-lb predecessor. Because the F50's engine is so highly tuned, it enables less room for improvement compare with the turbocharged F40. Ferrari used the F40 as their GT racer. But in real world, without modifications, the F50 is far faster than the F40.

The F50 is also relatively easy to drive than other exotic supercars like the McLaren F1, XJ220 and the Lamborghini Diablo. But it is not better made. Everything is for performance enhancement, so don't expect McLaren's 10 disc CD changer and Bugatti's wood and leather cabin. Dashboard and other interior trimming are black carbon fiber. Racing bucket seats have no adjustment.

Facts & Figures

Production Numbers 349
Production Period 1995 - 1997
Chassis Number Range 99999 - ?
Body Style 2 seater sports coupe
Construction Closed/open 2 seater (Pininfarina design) - honeycomb carbon fibre and Kevlar
Weight Empty 1230 kg
Body Size W : 1986 mm, H : 1120 mm, L : 4481 mm, Wheelbase : 2581mm, tracks : 1621 mm (F), 1603 mm (R)
Engine Model F130 65° Light alloy V12
Engine Displacement 4698cc - bore 85.0 mm, stroke 69.0 mm
Compression Ratio 11.3 : 1
Ignition Bosch static electronic - Motronic M2.7 injection
Spark Plugs ?
Cooling Forced water cooling - 2 automatic electric fans - 20 litre circuit
Lubrication Forced lubrication - 11.5 litre circuit
Clutch Dry twin plate
Engine Power 513 bhp at 8500 rpm (= 109.2 HP/litre)
Engine Torque 347 lb ft at 6500 rpm (48.0 kgm)
Transmission 6 synchronized gears
Reduction Ratios 1st - 2.93, 2nd - 2.16, 3rd - 1.68, 4th - 1.36, 5th - 1.11, 6th - 0.90, Reverse - 2.53
Final Drive Hypoid bevel pair, 11/41 (= 3.70)
Fuel Capacity 105 litres in a rubber tank
Suspension (Front) Unequal length A-arms, coil springs, push-rod spring control, anti roll-bar
Shock Absorbers (Front) ?
Suspension (Rear) Unequal length A-arms, coil springs, push-rod spring control, anti roll-bar
Shock Absorbers (Rear) ?
Wheels Magnesium alloy, detachable, F : 8.5J x 18, R : 13J x 18
Tyres Pirelli P Zero, F : 245/35 ZR18, R : 335/30 ZR18
Brakes 4 Brembo self-ventilating discs
Steering Rack and Pinion with power assist (steering radius - 12.6 m)
Electrical System ?
Maximum Speed 202 mph / 325 kph (Source: Factory Claim)
Acceleration (0-30 mph) 2.2 seconds (Source: Factory Claim)
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 3.8 seconds (Source: Car & Driver)
Acceleration (0-100 mph) 8.0 seconds (Source: Factory Claim)

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