To mark its 40th anniversary of producing iconic sports cars, Ferrari created a car that is truly amazing even by today’s standards. Decades have gone by and the F40, which was the last car presented by Enzo Ferrari before his death, is still regarded by many as the best supercar of all time. The F40, a Pininfarina-designed sports car, was designed for a purpose – to be an exceptional car to drive. Pininfarina designers spent months in the wind tunnel creating the F40’s aerodynamic and attractive shape. The car is only rivaled in appearance by the Lamborghini Countach, and many consider the Ferrari F40 the better-looking car
Because the F40 was so purposefully designed, much of the common 1980s styling cues weren’t incorporated, making it appear modern even today. While its styling was certainly breathtaking, even more interesting was the fact that the F40 looked like a car that would be limited to the track, but it was completely legal for the street. In essence, the F40 is a racecar for regular road use. When compared with other sporty road cars, the F40 buries the competition without much of a struggle. Due to its legendary good looks, amazing performance and the fact that it is incredibly rare, the F40 is the dream car of almost all automotive enthusiasts.
We could wax on all day about the F40’s exterior, but the bottom line is that this car was designed to be a high-performance vehicle. Its mid-mounted 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 produced 478 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque.
While the engine’s power is nothing short of shocking, the rest of the car is astounding in the way that it is entirely designed to properly manage that power and use it to its fullest. The F40 was built on a steel chassis frame based on the Ferrari GTO Evoluzione, but it was modified to be stiffer, and composite components were bonded to the frame to make the chassis even stronger. Many of the body panels were also made of composite material, which helped keep the F40 lightweight.
The F40 could rocket from 0-60 in under 4 seconds and had a top speed of 201 mph. When the car needed to slow or stop, its large cross-drilled ventilated disc brakes came to the rescue.
The purposeful design extends even to the interior of the car. Unlike modern supercars, the F40 didn’t feature much in terms of amenities. Other than the standard air conditioning, red cloth covered sports seats, a headliner, felt covered dash and a rubber heel mat its innards were extremely spartan. It had manual windows (early models had plastic sliding windows), and a pull wire for a door release. Its stripped down interior only accentuated its racecar feel.
The F40 is still considered the best supercar of all time by many because other supercars simply don’t compare. The F40 wasn’t built to be some technologically advanced supercar, and it wasn’t built to compete with other supercars, although the Porsche 959 is largely considered its chief rival.
The F40 was built to be powerful in every sense of the word. It was a car designed for enthusiasts. Ferrari never intended to race the F40, but that didn’t stop some privateer racers from entering it in races and placing well at racing series like the Super GT and International Motor Sports Association. Most of all, the F40 was Enzo Ferrari’s final gift to the world, and car enthusiast everywhere love it for what it is – a truly phenomenal car.