The F40 defined an era of superars. It's time to remember how great of a vehicle this is.
The Ferrari F40 remains a supercar icon of the late 1980s and early ‘90s, along with the Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 959. On July 21, the turbocharged coupe celebrates the 30th anniversary since the Prancing Horse’s official unveiling of the now famous model at the Civic Centre in Maranello, which is now the site of the Ferrari Museum. For a detailed look at the F40, check out our 200-photo Mega Gallery, below.
The F40 commemorated 40 years of business for Ferrari, and the Prancing Horse meant it to be the ultimate expression of the firm’s engineering prowess. Making the coupe even more special, this was the last model with significant input from Enzo Ferrari before his death in August 1988.
"I have never experienced a presentation like that of the F40. When the car was unveiled, a buzz passed through the room followed by thunderous applause,” Ermanno Bonfiglioli, Ferrari’s then Head of Special Projects, told the company in an announcement. “No one, except for close associates of Enzo Ferrari, had yet seen it.”
The Prancing Horse developed the F40 in secret and at an incredibly rapid pace. It was on the road within 13 months of development starting, and the engine design started in June 1986. An evolution of the turbocharged unit in the 288 GTO, the 2.9-liter biturbo V8 pumped out 478 horsepower (356 kilowatts)
The company also used lightweight components wherever possible. For example, the firm used magnesium for the oil sump, cylinder-head covers, intake manifolds, and gearbox bell-housing. The tubular steel frame featured Kevlar reinforcement panels. Carbon fiber body panels and plastic windows shed more pounds.
“We obtained precisely the car we wanted, with few comforts and no compromises,” Dario Benuzzi, Ferrari test driver, said. “With no power steering, power brakes or electronic devices, it demands the skill and commitment of the driver but generously repays it with a unique driving experience.”
Ferrari built just over 1,300 units of the F40 from 1987 to 1992. Today, they regularly fetch over $1 million at auction. If that price is too steep, Amalgam Collection makes a gorgeously detailed 1:8 scale model for $10,160 or a 1:18 version for $595. Or build your own by picking up the $90 Lego kit.