By: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

In 1986, Enzo Ferrari entrusted his technicians with the manufacture of a car being the most spectacular feasible and boasting extraordinary performance, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the most legendary car brand in the history of automobile.
The outcome was the F40, based on the 1984 Ferrari GTO Evoluzione.
Its development took place from 1985, so the unutterable Enzo could see the car of his dreams becoming into reality (1987) before his death in 1988.
This ´berlinetta´ is conceptually related to the Grand Tours from the fifties and sixties, that attained important victories in car races.
The first thing that powerfully draws one´s attention in the F40 is its huge aerodynamic aileron and the very scarce distance between the framework and the floor.
Impressive both the suction nozzles and the ducts, together with the grilles allowing the entrance and exit of air.
The 2.9 litre V-8 engine is visible through the very beautiful transparent.
This powerplant reaching 478 H.P is a masterpiece of engineering and nice design, with its components molded in cast aluminium (made in a very thorough way, with great craft and skill) and its plaited stainless steel tubes.
Both the brakes and the steering wheel demand an experienced driver with strength in his arms and legs.
The pedals are 100% metal and on the right we´ve got the familiar polished gear lever linked to a manual transmission crankcase featuring 5 speeds.
The buyers can choose between a gearbox with continuous synchronized transmission or another one intended for competition, Ferrari even offers an optional kit increasing the power beyond 600 H.P.
The framework is made of carbon fiber, Kevlar and a mixture of different elements with reinforced stainless steel.
The streamlined contours of the chassis are a work by Pininfarina, with a drag coefficient (CX) of 0,34 for an area of resisting surface of 0,63 m2, in spite of the remarkable size of the back aileron.
In their turn, the elevation coefficients (Cz) are also very reduced (0,04 and 0,15 for both the back and front axle).

Three possible positions of adjustment of height of the seat during driving allow the F40 chassis to be raised to save a hole on the road, descending again until almost touching the asphalt both for normal and at high speed driving, with an automatic lowering of the framework of approximately 2 cm as regards the normal level when the speed of 120 km/h is exceeded, improving both the aerodynamics and the stability, with the pilot being able to lift the car in identical degree by means of a button, which eases the parking manoeuvres.
The five speed gearbox is located in line with the engine and there are the already quoted choice between the synchromesh version and the one featuring claws clutch and being integrated with a limited slide and autolock ZF differential.
Though to a great extent it is a competition roadster contributing the best of the existing technology for sporting cars, it´s likewise conceived for its use on conventional motorways and even through the streets of the great cities (in spite of being able to reach 95 km/h in first gear).
The braking system consists of four ventilated discs with four piston aluminium calibres.
The rubber gasoline tanks located on both sides, arise from aeronautic design and wear a special filling cap like the ones used in the endurance races.
Only 400 units were made.
Although the starting selling price of the F40 Maranello was around 200,000 dollars, very soon, from 1988, and as it is frequent with Ferrari, the F40 experienced a brutal appreciation in second hand, both among private collectors and enthusiast racing pilots and currently is almost impossible to get this hot car, pride of the main factory at Maranello, under a price of one million dollars.

Engine: DOHC V-8 2936 cm3 turbo and back longitudinal location.
Compression: 7,8:1
Feed: 2 turbocompressors IHI with two intermediary coolers.
Ignition: By means of electronic booster IAW Weber-Marelli.
Ignition Distribution: 4 valves per cylinder and two camshafts.
Cooling Sytem: One front radiator.
Steering: Rack and Pinion.
Maximum Torque: 577 Nm (58.8 kg) at 4000 rpm.
Power: 478 H.P and 7000 rpm.
Transmission: Five Speeds Manual.
Suspension: Independent to the four wheels and front and back stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Front and back discs.
Wheelbase: 2,45 m.
Weight: 1100 kg.
Tank: 120 litres.
Top speed: 324 km/h.
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 3,5 seg.
Acceleration from 0 to 200 km/h: 21 seg.

© Copyright José Manuel Serrano Esparza