ZINVO's Favorite Cars: The Ferarri F40
In honor of Throwback Thursday #tbt, ZINVO Watches takes a look at the Ferrari F40. Join us as we rediscover this oldie but goodie.
In 2017, we are officially in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) era. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon have all invested heavily into AI and its potential to make our lives easier. The advancement in computer technology, in general, has always been integrated throughout the years into supercars. The Porsche 959, for example, was one of the first vehicles to use sensors and computers in a supercar in 1988. But there was another supercar produced in that same year that was even more impressive despite lacking computers: the Ferrari F40.
Built from 1987 to 1992, the F40 was the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. Although only 400 units were originally planned, Ferrari eventually made 1311 F40s because of the tremendous demand. The Ferrari F40 was the first streetcar ever to be certified to go over 200mph. However, the F40 was built for all-out performance—there was no leather trim and no computers to speak of. It was entirely mechanical, thus, essentially integrating the driver into the driving experience.
Being a rear-mid-engine design, the 2.9 liter V8 Twin-Turbo turns out 480 horsepower, which is incredible from such a small engine. The exhaust system is a Tubi style exhaust, which was manufactured by a well-known Formula 1 exhaust company in Maranello, Italy. Even though the design of the chassis was said to be old-school-Ferrari and the last of an era, it was still made of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and aluminum, which were all new and revolutionary materials at the time. Nobody will argue though that the engine and powertrain were superb for its time. Imagine going 0-60 MPH in 4.2 seconds 27 years ago.
By all standards, the Ferrari F40 is the ultimate supercar and it was built for driving and most importantly, racing. The 480 horsepower engine moving less than 3,000 lbs of weight creates an unmatched experience. The extreme throttle response and torque are still relevant today, while the mechanical gearshift and handling are superb compared to today’s computerized descendants. Just "point and shoot, " and the vehicle follows. Breaks are great, and performance is outstanding. Again, imagine how it felt in 1988.
The F40 was the supercar to end all supercars, despite it not being normally aspirated, but rather heavily supercharged. The impact of the F40 was widespread in the 1980s as illustrated by the prominence of F40 posters found in the bedrooms of aspiring teens. Many drivers back then, and even today, say that it is one of the most exciting cars they have ever driven.
While still a beauty to look at as seen in these pictures with the ZINVO Blade Silver, the F40 is completely stripped down so that it can be as light as possible. For example, the F40 has no power windows, no power steering, no radio, no ABS, absolutely no driver aid, and no air or hydraulic lifts either. This makes the driver closely connected to the workings of the vehicle. This type of experience is sadly not available today since electronics, computers, and software have taken over and have put a layer between the driver and the vehicle.
It is therefore not surprising that the Ferrari F40 has appreciated in value to a whopping $2 million. It offers an experience that was at the peak of an era without sensors, software, and computers. An era that was pure and that handed full control to the driver instead of aiding him. The Ferrari F40 was the last car Enzo Ferrari "blessed," and we certainly grateful that he did.