The Ferarri F40 is Beautifully Engineered
The first road-going production car to break the 200mph barrier. A twin-turbocharged machine without compromise. According to Top Gear, the F40 is “the greatest supercar the world has ever seen.”
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 was Ferrari’s fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car. The car had no traction control, and was one of the few to utilize turbochargers.
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 flanking exhaust pipes guide exhaust gases from each bank of cylinders while the central pipe guides gases released from the wastegate of the turbochargers.
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.
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. Although the cars did have air conditioning, no carpets, sound system, or door handles were installed. The first 50 cars produced had sliding Lexan windows, while later cars were fitted with normal windows that could be rolled down. Due to the extensive use of lightweight materials, the F40 weighed a mere 2425lbs.
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 Cd of 0.34 with lift controlled by its spoilers and wing.
- Configuration Type F120 A 90º V8
- Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
- Construction alloy block and head
- Displacement 2.936 liter / 179.2 cu in
- Bore / Stroke 82.0 mm (3.2 in) / 69.5 mm (2.7 in)
- Compression 7.8:1
- Valvetrain 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
- Fuel feed Weber-Marelli Fuel Injection
- Aspiration Two IHI Turbos with two Behr intercoolers
- Power 478 bhp / 357 KW @ 7000 rpm
- Torque 577 Nm / 426 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
- BHP/Liter 163 bhp / liter
- Chassis kevlar body on steel spaceframe, integrated with composite materials
- Suspension (fr/r) unequal A arms, coaxial springs, Koni hydraulic shock absorbers, anti roll bar
- Steering rack-and-pinion
- Brakes ventilated discs, all-round
- Gearbox 5 speed Manual
- Drive Rear wheel drive
- Power to weight 0.43 bhp / kg
- Top Speed 324 km/h (201 mph)
- 0-60 mph 3.5 s
- 0-100 mph 8.2 s