Why the Ferrari F40 is the worst car Ferrari has ever made.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you read any review of a supercar, particularly if it has a turbocharged engine, the review always makes some sort of a comparison to the F40? The F40 is raw, uncompromising, and difficult to drive. Comfort was not high on its designers’ priority list. Its massive turbos paired with lack of traction control mean that the driver must have a serious respect for the gas pedal as well as a solid understanding of the concept of oversteer and how exactly opposite lock works. The car is not without its shortcomings. The sickly green colored epoxy that was used to hold the carbon Kevlar panels together appears, on some cars, to have been put on by a slightly drunk four year-old. The F40 has a raw magnetism that equates to a car that epitomizes the Ferrari mystique.
The new Ferrari 488 GTB is extraordinarily fast. But does a car being fast necessarily mean that it is a sports car? The 488 GTB is a masterpiece of engineering! However, it is my opinion that it is not a “real” Ferrari. It reminds me more of a Nissan GT-R (R35) that went on vacation to Italy for plastic surgery and a style make over. If you look at a company like Buick, with the possible exception of the Grand National, they have never made a single car of any significant note. Had Buick introduced the “Buick 488 GTB” I would be absolutely awestruck and impressed. I still would not consider it a proper driver’s car but I would be impressed.
Almost 30 years after the F40 was introduced it is still the yardstick by which supercars are measured. There have been a few serious competitors since that time but the list is incredibly short. The F40 ruined it all because today those of us who are passionate about driving cannot forget about what we are missing anytime we get behind the wheel of the latest ludicrously fast, immensely forgiving, impeccably engineered and computerized new supercar.
Still disagree with me? Then ask yourself this question. Someone walks up to you carrying two keys in his/her hands. In one hand is a key to a brand new 488 GTB; in the other is a key to a F40. You can only have one. Can you honestly tell me that you would even consider taking the 488?
The F40 was the last car that Enzo Ferrari was involved with before his death. I think what the F40, and in fact Ferrari is really about can be summed up in this quote.
If you love to DRIVE, welcome to 3 Pedals 0 BS, a digital home for those of us who believe that driving involves both hands and both feet, that electronic differentials and traction control (while masterpieces of engineering) pollute the joy of driving, and that REAL CARS have three pedals on the floor. My name is Jeff Mason and I am proud to lead this Tribe.