Ferrari F40

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ferrari F40
Manufacturer Ferrari
Production 1987–1992 (1,311 produced)[1][2][3]
Assembly Maranello, Italy
Designer Pininfarina (Leonardo Fioravanti)[2]
Body and chassis
Class Sports car (S)
Body style 2-door berlinetta
Layout Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive[4]
Engine 2,936 cc (2.9 L) twin-turbocharged Tipo F120A V8 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp), rear, longitudinal, 90°[1]
Transmission 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,450 mm (96 in)
Length 4,358 mm (171.6 in)
Width 1,970 mm (78 in)
Height 1,124 mm (44.3 in)
Curb weight 1,369 kg (3,018 lb)[5]
Predecessor Ferrari 288 GTO
Successor Ferrari F50

The Ferrari F40 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupé sports car[4] built from 1987 to 1992, with the LM and GTE race car versions continuing production until 1994 and 1996 respectively.[2] The successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO, it was designed to celebrate Ferrari's 40th anniversary and was the last Ferrari automobile personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. At the time it was Ferrari's fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car for sale.[6]

The car debuted with a planned production total of 400 and a factory suggested retail price of approximately US$400,000 in 1987 ($840,000 today), although some buyers were reported to have paid as much as US$1.6 million in contrast to its 1999 value of £140,000. 1,311 F40s were manufactured in total.[7][8]



As early as 1984, the Maranello factory had begun development of an evolution model of the 288 GTO intended to compete against the Porsche 959 in FIA Group B. However, when the FIA brought an end to the Group B category for the 1986 season, Enzo Ferrari was left with five 288 GTO Evoluzione development cars, and no series in which to campaign them. Enzo's desire to leave a legacy in his final supercar allowed the Evoluzione program to be further developed to produce a car exclusively for road use.[9] In response to the quite simple, but very expensive car with relatively little out of the ordinary being called a "cynical money-making exercise" aimed at speculators, a figure from the Ferrari marketing department was quoted as saying "We wanted it to be very fast, sporting in the extreme and Spartan," "Customers had been saying our cars were becoming too plush and comfortable." "The F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance. It isn't a laboratory for the future, as the 959 is. It is not Star Wars. And it wasn't created because Porsche built the 959. It would have happened anyway."[10]

Drivetrain and suspension[edit]

Power came from an enlarged, 2.9L (2936 cc) version of the GTO's IHI twin turbocharged V8 developing 478 bhp. The F40 did without a catalytic converter until 1990 when US regulations made them a requirement for emissions control reasons. The flanking exhaust pipes guide exhaust gases from each bank of cylinders while the central pipe guides gases released from the wastegate of the turbochargers. Engines with catalytic converters bear F120D code.

The suspension setup was similar to the GTO's double wishbone setup, though many parts were upgraded and settings were changed; the unusually low ground clearance prompted Ferrari to include the ability to raise the vehicle's ground clearance when necessary.[11]

Body and interior[edit]

Ferrari F40

The body was an entirely new design by Pininfarina featuring panels made of Kevlar, carbon fiber, and aluminum for strength and low weight, and intense aerodynamic testing was employed. Weight was further minimized through the use of a plastic windshield and windows. The cars did have air conditioning, but had no sound system, door handles, glove box, leather trim, carpets, or door panels. The first 50 cars produced had sliding Lexan windows, while later cars were fitted with wind down windows.[12]


The F40 was designed with aerodynamics in mind. For speed the car relied more on its shape than its power. Frontal area was reduced, and airflow greatly smoothed, but stability rather than terminal velocity was a primary concern. So too was cooling as the forced induction engine generated a great deal of heat. In consequence, the car was somewhat like an open-wheel racing car with a body. It had a partial undertray to smooth airflow beneath the radiator, front section, and the cabin, and a second one with diffusers behind the motor, but the engine bay was not sealed. Nonetheless, the F40 had an impressively low drag coefficient of 0.34 with lift controlled by its spoilers and wing.[13]


An F40 Competizione on display at Museo dell'automobile di Torino
F40 LM

The factory never intended to race the F40, but the car saw competition as early as 1989 when it debuted in the Laguna Seca Raceway round of the IMSA, appearing in the GTO category, with a LM evolution model driven by Jean Alesi, finishing third to the two faster spaceframed four wheel drive Audi 90 and beating a host of other factory backed spaceframe specials that dominated the races. Despite lack of factory backing, the car would soon have another successful season there under a host of guest drivers such as Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Jacques Laffite and Hurley Haywood taking a total of three second places and one third.

Although the F40 would not return to IMSA for the following season, it would later be a popular choice by privateers to compete in numerous domestic GT series including JGTC. In 1994, the car made its debut in international competitions, with one car campaigned in the BPR Global GT Series by Strandell, winning at the 4 Hours of Vallelunga.[14]

In 1995, the number of F40s climbed to four, developed independently by Pilot-Aldix Racing (F40 LM) and Strandell (F40 GTE, racing under the Ferrari Club Italia banner), winning the 4 Hours of Anderstorp. No longer competitive against the McLaren F1 GTR, the Ferrari F40 returned for another year in 1996, managing to repeat the previous year's Anderstorp win, and from then on it was no longer seen in GT racing.[15]


The F40 Competizione is a non-sponsored, more powerful version of the F40 LM cars that were being raced, which was the result of consumer requests following the order of a French importer who wanted to enter one in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 10 examples were built, the first two being called F40 LM's, and the remaining 8 being F40 Competizione, as Ferrari felt that the LM tag was too restrictive.[16]

An F40 Competizione can be found today in the Automobile Museum of Turin.[17]


The F40's light curb weight of 1,369 kg (3,018 lb)[5] and high power output of 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp) at 7000 rpm gave the vehicle tremendous performance potential. The first independent measurements put 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 321 km/h (199 mph) onto the French Sport Auto September 1988 cover.

The next opportunity to reach the claimed top speed was a shootout at Nardò Ring organized by Auto, Motor und Sport. Ferrari sent two F40 but neither could reach more than 321 km/h (199 mph), beaten by the 515 hp Porsche 959 S reaching 339 km/h (211 mph) and the Ruf CTR reaching 342 km/h (213 mph). Both were limited production with only 29 built, so while the F40 never was the world's fastest sports car as self-appraised by Ferrari, it could still claim the title of the fastest with over 500 units to be built until the arrival of the Lamborghini Diablo.[18][19][20] One year later the Italian magazine Quattroroute published a top speed of 326 km/h (202.6 mph). In tests outside of Italy the 200 mph mark wasn't reached however. Road and Track measured 196 mph (315 km/h) for both the European and US version while Car and Driver measured 197 mph (317 km/h).[5][21][22]

Test results by Car and Driver:

  • 0–30 mph (48 km/h): 1.8 s[5]
  • 0–40 mph (64 km/h): 2.5 s[5]
  • 0–50 mph (80 km/h): 3.6 s[5]
  • 0–60 mph (97 km/h): 4.2 s[5]
  • 0–70 mph (113 km/h): 4.9 s[5]
  • 0–80 mph (129 km/h): 5.7 s[5]
  • 0–90 mph (145 km/h): 7.2 s[5]
  • 0–100 mph (161 km/h): 8.3 s[5]
  • 0–110 mph (177 km/h): 9.5 s[5]
  • 0–120 mph (193 km/h): 11.0 s[5]
  • 0–130 mph (209 km/h): 13.5 s[5]
  • 0–140 mph (225 km/h): 15.6 s[5]
  • 0–150 mph (241 km/h): 18.0 s[5]
  • 0–160 mph (257 km/h): 21.3 s[5]
  • 0–170 mph (274 km/h): 26.3 s[5]
  • 30 mph (48 km/h)-50 mph (80 km/h): 12.1 s, using 5th gear (~1968 rpm @ 50 mph)[5]
  • 50 mph (80 km/h)-70 mph (113 km/h): 12.2 s, using 5th gear[5]
  • Standing 14 mile (402m): 12.1 s @ 122 mph (196 km/h)[5]
  • Braking 70-0 mph: 218 ft (113–0 km/h: 66 m)[5]
  • Observed fuel economy: 9 miles per US gallon (26 L/100 km)[5]
  • Top speed: 197 mph (317 km/h)[5]

Test results by AMS:

  • 0-80 km/h (50 mph): 3.8 s
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph): 4.6 s
  • 0-120 km/h (75 mph): 5.6 s
  • 0-160 km/h (99 mph): 8.1 s
  • 0-180 km/h (112 mph): 9.3 s
  • 0-200 km/h (124 mph): 11.0 s
  • Top speed: 321 km/h (199 mph)


When the F40 was revealed in 1987 it received mixed reactions. Dennis Simanaitis praised its looks in Road & Track,[23] but others were unimpressed. Observers considered it as a cynical attempt to cash in on speculators money after seeing how much was paid for used 288 GTOs and the high demand for the Porsche 959.[24] Speculators were expecting Enzo Ferrari's death and to benefit from raising prices.[25] It was estimated in 1990 that only 10 percent of the delivered F40 were used for driving.[26]

People could watch speculators selling the cars to each other at public auctions with ever ricing prices up to over 7 times the list price in 1989 (before the bubble burst) which made it even more desirable.[27] Playing a main role in contemporary video games like F40 Pursuit Simulator (Crazy Cars II), Turbo Outrun, The Duel: Test Drive II, Miami Chase, Formula One: Built to Win and Out Run Europa also increased its fame. It appeared on many magazine covers and children's bedroom wall posters.

In 1988 Ferrari invited journalists to test at their home track Fiorano Circuit and bring a Porsche 959 along for comparison. The Automobile Magazine and Car magazine made an overall verdict, for both of them the Porsche 959 was the better car.[28][29]

Gordon Murray analysed the car in Motor Trend 07/1990: "It's the lack of weight that makes the Ferrari so exciting. There's nothing else magic about the car at all...They're asking two- and three-inch-diameter steel tubes at chassis base datum level to do all the work, and it shows - you can feel the chassis flexing on the circuit and it wobbles all over the place on the road. It really does shake about. And, of course, once you excite the chassis the door panels start rattling and squeaking. Whereas the other cars feel taut and solid, this one's like a big go-kart with a plastic body on it."
He severely criticized the old racing technology: "It's not even '60s technology, from a frame point of view, it's '50s twin-tube technology, not even a spaceframe. It's only got local frames to hold the bulkhead to the dash, attach the front suspension, rear suspension and rollbar. And then you have the marketing Kevlar glues in with a quarter inch of rubber."[30]

Car and Driver called the car a "mix of sheer terror and raw excitement". Most fun was accelerating in first gear from 15 mph, "pure terror" was driving on a busy highway. Rear vision was so bad that lane changes required "leaps of faith". It was found unfit for daily road use, "clunky and cantankerous" around town, "so mechanically delinquent that an onboard mechanic is advised", to describe driver discomfort "Bangkok debtors' prison" was used. In a comparison test the Lamborghini Diablo was found better looking by the civilians while the testers opted for the F40.[5][31] When Car and Driver declared the Porsche 911 Turbo the quickest A-to-B four-wheeled transport on American highways, the "nervous" Ferrari F40 wasn't found competitive because of being a 30-minute car. "After that, you'd like a cool drink and a brief nap." [32]

In 2011, in Top Gear series 16, episode 6, the F40 was compared against the Porsche 959. Both cars were introduced as the "greatest supercar the world had ever seen". However, they never completed a lap on the Test Track, as the F40 failed to start and the 959 had problems with the turbos.[33][34]

Evo magazine's 2013 "Ferrari F40 buying guide" started with "For many it’s the greatest road-going Ferrari of all". An expert explained its popularity among the Ferrari cognoscenti: "They will never be allowed to make another F40 in today’s world of red tape and health and safety. That is what makes it so special and so desirable."[8]

In issue 11/2013 Auto Bild Sportscars compared 7 supercars. The Ferrari F40 came last by a long way with the overall verdict boring. [35]

Full official first specs[edit]

Those published by Ferrari details referring to the model presentation.[1]


  • Top speed: 324 km/h (201 mph)
  • Acceleration:
    • 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 4.1 sec.
    • 0–400 m: 11.9 sec.
    • 0–1000 m: 20.9 sec.
  • Track Tests
    • Bedford Autodrome: 1:25.50[36]
    • Tsukuba: 1:03.73[37]
    • Suzuka: 2:25.265[38]


  • Type: rear mid, longitudinal, 90° V8
  • Bore/stroke: 82 x 69.5 mm
  • Unitary displacement: 367.03 cc
  • Total displacement: 2936 cc
  • Compression ratio: 7.7 : 1
  • Maximum power: 385.5 kW (478 hp) at 7000 rpm
  • Power per litre: 163 horsepower/l
  • Maximum torque: 577 Nm (58.8 kgm) (424 lb-ft) at 4000 rpm
  • Valve actuation: twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
  • Fuel feed: Weber-Marelli electronic injection, twin turbos
  • Ignition: Weber-Marelli electronic, single spark plug per cylinder
  • Lubrication: dry sump
  • Clutch: twin-plate


  • Type: two-seater berlinetta
  • Length: 4358 mm (171.57 inches)
  • Width: 1970 mm (77.56 inches)
  • Height: 1123 mm (44.21 inches)
  • Wheelbase: 2450 mm (96.46 inches)
  • Front track: 1594 mm (62.76 inches)
  • Rear track: 1606 mm (63.23 inches)
  • Weight: 1100 kg (dry) (2425 pounds)


  • Frame: tubular steel and composites
  • Front suspension: independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
  • Rear suspension: independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
  • Brakes: discs
  • Transmission: 5-speed + reverse
  • Steering: rack and pinion
  • Fuel tank: capacity 120 litres (31.7006 US gallons)
  • Front tyres: 235/45 ZR 17 or 245/40 ZR 17
  • Rear tyres: 335/35 ZR 17

Fuel consumption[edit]

  • EPA premium gasoline, 2.9L, 8 cyl, Manual 5-spd 1990-1992[39]
    • Combined 13 miles per U.S. gallon (18 L/100 km; 16 mpg‑imp)
    • City 11 miles per U.S. gallon (21 L/100 km; 13 mpg‑imp)
    • Highway 16 miles per U.S. gallon (15 L/100 km; 19 mpg‑imp)

F40 US Patent For Ornamental Design[edit]

  • Number: D306,274
  • Date of Patent: February 27, 1990
  • Terms: 14 Years; IAW Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) Chapter 1500, Section 1505 Allowance and Term of Design Patent [R-08.2012] & 35 U.S.C. 173 Term of design patent. Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of fourteen years from the date of grant.
  • Expired: Yes
  • Renewable: No
  • Amendments: None however if there is, it will not renew or extend the terms of patent; IAW MPEP Ch. 1500 Sec. 1509 Reissue of a Design Patent [R-11.2013]

The term of a design patent may not be extended by reissue. Ex parte Lawrence, 70 USPQ 326 (Comm’r Pat. 1946).

  • Copyright/Trademark: None at the time of patent. Since inventor of the ornamental design (Leonardo Fioravanti) is not from Ferrari S.p.A. but rather from Pininfarina S.p.A..

Various Toys and Die-cast Models of Ferrari F40[edit]

The Ferrari F40 was a very popular car even among toy and model makers. Here are some of the various toy brands who made a smaller scale of the famous Ferrari F40.

  • Tamiya 1/10 Scale Ferrari F40 R/C, original release 1991, Re-released in 2005.
  • Tamiya 1/24 Scale Ferrari F40 model kit
  • Lego Creator Ferrari F40
  • Bburago 1/18th Scale Ferrari F40
  • Hot Wheels 1/18th Scale Ferrari F40
  • Kyosho 1/64th Scale, 1/12th Scale Ferrari F40
  • Pocher 1/8th Scale Ferrari F40


  1. ^ a b c "F40". Ferrari S.p.A. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40". TopSpeed. 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Ferrari's best-selling cars: in pictures". Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2016-10-12. Ferrari F40 (1987-1992) / Sales 1,311 
  4. ^ a b Ceppos, Rich (February 1991). "Ferrari F40" (PDF). Car and Driver. No. February 1991. Hearst Corporation. p. 37. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Car and Driver February 1991". Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Chris Evans Breakfast Show - Photos". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  7. ^ "1987 Ferrari F40". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  8. ^ a b Tomalin, Peter (January 31, 2013). "Ferrari F40 buying guide". Evo. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  9. ^ "Ferrari F40". 
  10. ^ Andrew Frankel. "Ferrari F40 1987-1992 Review - Autocar". 
  11. ^ "Dream Road Ferrari F40 | Dream Road". 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  12. ^ "Ferrari F40". 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  13. ^ "1987-1992 Ferrari F40". Top Speed. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  14. ^ "Strandell placing 1st in the 4 Hours of Vallelunga". Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "1990 Ferrari F40 Images, Information and History". 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  16. ^ "F40 Competizione on the Ferrari site". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ferrari F40 Competizione". Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 25/1988
  19. ^ Bernd Woytal (18 October 2015). "Ferrari F40 gegen Porsche 959: Nonplusultra-Supersportler der 80er - Auto Motor und Sport". auto motor und sport. 
  20. ^ 1987 Ruf CTR "Yellowbird" 911 Turbo Driven, Car and Driver, November 2012, Jethro Bovington
  21. ^ Road & Track September 1991
  22. ^ Road & Track October 1991
  23. ^ "First Look Flashback: 1987 Ferrari F40". Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  24. ^ Car March 1994
  25. ^ Classic Cars September 2008
  26. ^ Sport Auto 10/1990
  27. ^ "AMS Ferrari F40". Retrieved 2016-02-21. 
  28. ^ Car July 1988
  29. ^ Automobile Magazine August 1988
  30. ^ Motor Trend July 1990 p.44-52
  31. ^ "Car and Driver April 1992". Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  32. ^ "Car and Driver July 1995". Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  33. ^ "1980s Supercar Powertest - BBC Top Gear". Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  34. ^ &
  35. ^ "Supercar comparison test 2013". Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  36. ^ "Ranking Track Bedford Autodrome West 1.7 mi". Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  37. ^ "Best Motoring - The weekend is right here but...". Facebook. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  38. ^ "Best Motoring 2000 01 Super Battle in Suzuka Ferrari F50 F40 F355 Porsche GT2 Porsche GT3". YouTube. 2015-08-30. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  39. ^ "Compare Side-by-Side". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 


  • Buckley, Martin; Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 
  • "Ferrari F40". Ferrari Forum. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 

External links[edit]