Skip to main content

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 Italian supercar

The F40 was christened in honour of forty years of the Ferrari marque. It was boss Enzo Ferrari's brainchild ... but even he had to get board approval! Once given, the F40 project was passed to stylists Pininfarina. It took only a year for the F40 to go from concept to production. It helped that it was based on the Ferrari 288 GTO. In theory, the F40 was a roadster. It required little modification, though, to go racing. In large part, that was down to its weight - or lack of it. For a car that cost $275,000, there was a noticeable lack of creature comforts. The cabin verged on the spartan!

The F40's low weight was due to the composite materials used in its bodywork. They were 20% lighter than their metallic equivalents. That - plus the absence of interior décor - meant the F40 tipped the scales at just 2,425lb. When that was combined with the 288 GTO V8 motor, the results were explosive! The 3-litre twin-turbocharged engine was fitted with sequential ignition and fuel injection. There were silver/cadmium con-rod bushes - and nicasil-coated liners. That all added up to 478bhp. If needed, another 200bhp came courtesy of 'competition mode'.

The F40 topped out at 201mph. 0-60 arrived in 3.9s. At the time of its release - in 1987 - that made it the fastest road car Ferrari had yet produced. It remained in production until 1992. Even the standard version featured a raft of competition parts. It had Group C brakes, 3-piece wheels, and removable rear bodywork. Oh, and soft fuel cells. The Ferrari F40's racing pedigree could not have been clearer!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FN Four

In terms of breakthroughs in the history of motorcycling, there cannot be many to rival the first in-line four engine. Belgium was the birthplace of this landmark layout. FN was the much-to-be-thanked manufacturer.The FN Four first hit the highway in 1911. It produced 4bhp. That, from a 491 cc capacity. At the time, such figures described state-of-the-art technology. Top speed for the FN Four was 40mph. Not bad - for an 8-valve inlet-over-exhaust set-up. Oh, it was air-cooled.The FN Four was light - tipping the scales at 165lb dry. Not only the motor, but the chassis, too, was avant-garde. It featured an early form of telescopic forks. A new-fangled clutch - and 2-speed 'box - only added to the FN Four's slick box of tricks. Solid shaft-drive output the power. Who, then, designed this visionary vintage? You will not hear the name Paul Kelekom shouted from motorcycling's rooftops. But, you should - for it was he who fashioned the FN Four. In so doing, he ki…

Chrysler Airflow

The Chrysler Airflow was where Art met Science! The lines of its bodywork were drawn from aerodynamics - at a time when that discipline was a mere glint in a boffin's eye! Certainly, it was far from being routinely used in automotive design. Indeed, the Airflow was the first production car to feature the fledgling craft. A 'wind tunnel' was duly developed. Even today, such systems are considered arcane ... but, in the early '30s, they were tantamount to a black art! The engineering wizards overseeing the project were Carl Breer, Fred Zeder, and Owen Skelton. Breer was the catalyst ... he had been first to be smitten by the science of aerodynamics. Zeder and Skelton soon followed suit. And it did no harm at all when Orville Wright - father of aviation - was brought on board! More than 50 test cars were built. By means, then, of painstaking refinements, the Chrysler Airflow gradually took shape.But the Airflow was not just about aerodynamics. 'Weight lo…

NSU Ro80

The styling of the NSU Ro80 was ahead of its time. At first glance, masses of glass were straight out of science-fiction. Closer inspection revealed the gently rising line of its profile - giving it a low front, high back stance - which would influence automotive design for years to come. The 5-seater body was supremely aerodynamic for a saloon car - making cruising at speed a breeze. So flawless was it outwardly that it was hardly touched in ten years of production. Just the tail-lights were modified, on later versions.The Ro80's handling was equally impressive. FWD - and precision power-steering - kept it perfectly pointed. The long-travel strut suspension soaked up bumps. High-efficiency disc brakes were fitted all round. The 3-speed semi-automatic transmission swept through the gears with aplomb. Top speed was a sound 112mph.But, of course, nothing is perfect. The Ro80 was powered by a twin-rotor Wankel engine. Unfortunately - in a rush to get the car into showroom…