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 had no traction control, and was one of the few to utilize turbochargers.
The car debuted with a factory suggested retail price of approximately US$400,000,although some buyers were reported to have paid as much as US$1.6 million. A total of 1,315 F40s were produced.
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 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.
As he had predicted it would be, the F40 was the last car to be commissioned by Enzo before his death.