Ferrari F40: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ferrari F40
Ferrari F40 at Auto Salon Singen Germany 432393386.jpg
Manufacturer Ferrari
Parent company Fiat Group
Production 1987–1992
(1,315 produced)
Assembly Maranello, Italy
Predecessor Ferrari 288 GTO
Successor Ferrari F50
Class Sports car
Body style(s) Berlinetta (2-door coupé)
Layout Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine(s) 2,936 cc (2.9 L) twin-turbocharged V8 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp)
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,451 mm (96.5 in)
Length 4,430 mm (174 in)
Width 1,980 mm (78 in)
Height 1,130 mm (44 in)
Curb weight 1,100 kg (2,400 lb)
Designer Pininfarina

The Ferrari F40 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupé sports car produced by Ferrari from 1987 to 1992 as the successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO. From 1987 to 1989 it held the title as the world's fastest street-legal production car, and during its years of production, was Ferrari's fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car.

The car debuted with a factory suggested retail price of approximately US$400,000,[citation needed] although some buyers were reported as paying as much as US$1.6 million.[citation needed] A total of 1,315 F40s were produced.[1]

Contents

History

Advertisements

Concept

Ostensibly, the F40 was conceived as the successor to the 288 GTO and designed to compete with vehicles such as the Porsche 959 and Lamborghini Countach; for Ferrari management, the vehicle was a major statement piece. Over a period of several years prior to the F40's conception, the company's dominance in racing had waned significantly, and even in Formula One, an arena they had once dominated, victories had become sparse. Enzo Ferrari had recently turned 90 years old, and was keenly aware that time was not on his side. He wanted his new sports car to serve as his final statement-maker, a vehicle encompassing the best in track-developed technology and capable of being a showcase for what the Ferrari engineers were capable of creating. The company's upcoming 40th anniversary provided just the right occasion for the car to debut.

As he had predicted it would be, the F40 was the last car to be commissioned by Enzo before his death.

Development

Origin

As early as 1984, the Maranello factory had begun development of an evolution model of the 288 GTO intended to compete against the 959 in FIA Group B. However, when the FIA brought an end to the Group B category for the 1986 season, Enzo 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.

Drivetrain and suspension

Power came from an enlarged, 2.9 L (2936 cc) version of the GTO's twin IHI turbocharged V8 developing 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp) under 110 kPa (16 psi) of boost. The F40 did without a catalytic converter until 1990 when US regulations made them a requirement for emissions control reasons.

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.

Body and interior

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 (see below). Weight was further minimized through the use of a plastic windshield and windows and no carpets, sound system, or door handles were installed although the cars did have air conditioning. Early cars had fixed windows, although newer windows that could be rolled down were installed into later cars.

Aerodynamics

An F40 on the M5 UK

The F40 was designed with aerodynamics in mind, and is very much a creation of its time. 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 Cd of 0.34 with lift controlled by its spoilers and wing.

Racing

An F40 LM on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The factory never intended to race the F40, but the car saw competition as early as 1989 when it debuted in the Laguna Seca 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 cars campaigned in the BPR Global GT Series by Strandell, winning at the 4 Hours of Vallelunga. 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.

Succession

The F40 was discontinued in 1992 and in 1995 was succeeded by the F50, which remained competitive until a newer generation of factory-backed GT1 cars came along.

Performance

Rear view of a Ferrari F40 in Melbourne, Australia.

The F40's light weight of 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) and high power output of 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp) at 7000 rpm gave the vehicle tremendous performance potential. Road tests have produced 0-100 km/h (62 mph) times as low as 3.8 seconds (while the track only version came in at 3.2 seconds), with 0-160 km/h (100 mph) in 7.6 seconds and 0-200 km/h (125 mph) in 11 seconds giving the F40 a slight advantage in acceleration over the Porsche 959, its primary competitor at the time.

The F40 was the first road legal production car to break the 200 mph (322 km/h) barrier. From its introduction in 1987 until 1989 (when it was overtaken by the Lamborghini Diablo), it held the record as the world's fastest production car, with a top speed of 324 km/h (201 mph). The F40 was publicly proven capable of its rated top speed in 1992 through an infamous incident in which a Japanese dealership owner proved the car's potential by filming himself touching its top speed on an expressway only to be arrested after he sold a videotape to an undercover policeman. By that time, he already sold ten thousand videos.[2]

During the 2006 Bonneville Speed Week, Amir Rosenbaum of Spectre Performance managed to take his F40 with small boost and air intake modifications to 226 miles per hour (364 km/h).[3]

References

Citations

External links

Preceded by
Porsche 959
Fastest street-legal production car
324 km/h (201 mph)
Succeeded by
Lamborghini Diablo

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message