In the prosperous 1980s, the Italian supercar maker Ferrari sold an astounding 1,315 units of the legendary F40 flagship vehicle. With its blistering acceleration and cutting-edge technology, the F40 propelled the company into a new era of performance-focused automobiles. However, by the mid-1990s, Ferrari required a successor to the F40 that could live up to its reputation. As a result, the carmaker built the fascinating Ferrari F50.
The F50 was designed to commemorate Ferrari’s 50th anniversary and was the closest product the brand has ever built to a road-going Formula One vehicle. The F50 had neither power steering, power-assisted braking, nor anti-lock brakes because of its rigorous, pure commitment to maximum performance. Nonetheless, it utilized advanced composites, F1-style construction techniques, and aerodynamics to its fullest extent.
When it was shown at the 1995 Geneva Salon, Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo announced that just 349 of the new model would be built. The Ferrari F50, while sometimes eclipsed by the F40, is nevertheless a masterpiece in its own right. What is it about this Ferrari that makes it one of the greatest sports cars of the 1990s? Continue reading to find out what we think.
Design And Performance Were At The Forefront Of Ferrari F50’s Appeal
The F50, by far the most disputed Ferrari ever made, was designed by Pininfarina in quite an unconventional way. Pietro Camardella came up with the final design by combining elements from his previous work, like the F40 and the Mythos concept, into a new design philosophy.
Clients could choose from five colors on the F50, unlike the red-only GTO and F40 models, which only had one color option. There were two distinct colors of red, yellow, black, and silver, with the racing red paint being the most popular. Air conditioning was standard, as it was on the F40, and the seats were upholstered in leather with fabric inserts, with the choice of standard/large seat sizes.
A multicolored lighted display screen in the binnacle in front of the driver replaced the conventional dials on the instrument panel. Aside from that, the F40’s minimalist aesthetic persisted. A pair of custom wheels were created just for the F50. The front and rear measurements of these center-lock magnesium alloys were 18×8.5 inches and 18×13 inches, respectively.
Replacing the F40’s turbocharged V-8, the F50’s mid-mounted F130B 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V-12 was a development of the 3.5-liter V-12 seen in the 1990 Ferrari 641 F1 racing vehicle. This car has a superb tone and performance with a naturally aspirated V-12 engine fastened directly to the chassis.
The F50 produced 512 horsepower, up from 471 horsepower in the F40, but torque dropped from 425 lb-ft to 347 lb-ft due to the switch from turbocharging to natural aspiration. Owners could reach 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds with the F50’s six-speed manual gearbox, which was capable of pushing the car’s peak speed up to 202 mph.
Returning to the construction, The F50 utilized a monocoque frame made of composite materials, with a motor adapted from a Formula One vehicle from 1990. It was touted as the closest thing to a street-legal Formula One vehicle. The front suspension was attached directly to the carbon fiber passenger area, with a tubular structure protruding forward to accommodate the radiator and auxiliary equipment.
The motor was fastened to the back of the cell, acting as a load-carrying element for the gearbox and rear suspension, precisely like on modern Formula One vehicles.
With The F50 GT, Ferrari F50 Tried Its Hand At Racing
“How did this get started?” you wonder. The Ferrari F50 GT was a racing variant of the F50 that was designed to participate in the BPR Global GT Series against opponents like the McLaren F1 GTR. The vehicle was developed in partnership with Dallara and Michelotto. Following the death of the series, Ferrari was not happy with the inclusion of homologation specials like the Porsche 911 GT1 in the new FIA GT Championship. And, because they didn’t have the money, they decided to give up.
Production of the F50 lasted from 1995 to 1997, with chassis numbers ranging from 101919 to 1107575. The Ferrari F50 is the second rarest of the five Ferrari halo cars, with just 349 produced. It’s noteworthy that Ferrari decided to only sell the F50 in a Targa version. Isn’t it great to be able to hear that magnificent motor?
Many consider the F50 to be a less desirable model than the F40, which was the final automobile built by Enzo Ferrari. We aren’t on the same page. In contrast, the F50 has weathered the test of time well, as most disputed supercars do. Collectors’ appreciation of this one-of-a-kind automobile has pushed prices well over the seven-figure mark. Not only that, but because it has a low, wide stance with a rear wing, it is one of the best-preserved cars from the 1990s in terms of how it looks.
We can still admire this 1990s classic sports automobile, even if it’s too rare and pricey for most people to own. Ferrari F50 has lately seen a rebirth in the automotive press after years of neglect. The audience appears to be embracing the F50, and we’ve all come to admire its pure performance.
Watch: Very Rare Ferrari F50 Makes London’s Streets Its Playground
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