The F40 is fabled for its inimitable looks and turbocharged technology – and for being the final production car developed under the direction of the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari. Known as Il Commendatore, Enzo died in 1988, bringing to an end his absolute rule over the world’s most famous marque. Ferrari launched the F40 in 1987 in celebration of its 40th year in business. This model followed the limited-production 288 GTO as the company’s ultimate road-going statement and remained in production through 1992. Ferrari built just over 1,300 examples.
The F40’s aluminium-and-composite bodywork enveloped a tubular chassis, and the car’s rear body section – sporting an aerodynamic basket-handle rear spoiler – rose to reveal a 2.9-litre V-8 engine that drove the rear wheels. The engine was mounted longitudinally and featured twin turbochargers, a first for a Ferrari road car. It produced 478 hp, which at the time made the F40 Ferrari’s most powerful streetcar ever.
The car weighed less than 1,130 kg thanks to its lightweight bodywork and spartan interior; it lacked such details as door panels, carpets, and a radio. The combination of ascetic design and turbocharged power enabled the F40 to sprint from zero to 100 kph in under 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 320 kph, according to Ferrari. But despite its capabilities, the F40 never raced as part of a factory-backed campaign.