The motoring press’s response to the Ferrari F40 in 1987 was nothing short of sensational. This car--the last road-going model personally approved by Enzo Ferrari--was the successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO and designed to showcase the marque in its 40th year. It achieved its aim by making no compromises, and combining the best of the 288 GTO whilst adding a host of cutting-edge advancements.
The Ferrari F40 used an evolutionary version of the 288 GTO’s chassis and double-wishbone suspension, as well as using the same 96-inch wheelbase. But the body--made of lightweight composite and aluminium--was instantly recognisable, with an integrated rear wing and drooping nose somewhat reminiscent of the Porsche 911 Flachbau. It was extremely aerodynamically efficient, with a cd of just 0.34. Everything was focused towards reducing weight: plastic windows, no leather trim, radio or even glovebox were fitted. Even door handles and carpets were considered unnecessary, as the final 1,100kg kerb weight testifies.
The engine was a 2.9-litre twin turbo V-8 (again, descended from that used in the 288 GTO) that made 478hp and propelled the car from 0-60 in 4 seconds en route to a top speed of just over 200 mph.
A total of 1,315 examples of the Ferrari F40 were built from 1987 to 1992. It was the first road–legal production car to break the 200mph barrier, and during its production run it held the crown as the world’s fastest production car. Today the Ferrari F40 is considered to be one of the most collectable cars of its era and all models are highly sought-after. It has few challengers, with only the Porsche 959, the McLaren F1, and the Jaguar XJ 220 being in the same ball park.