Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Ferrari F40 - Everything You Need To Know | Up to Speed

Difficulty: 0

(car engine revving)

- Super cars, you know I love 'em, but you can't

talk about 'em without mentioning one of the oldest

and most famous sports car manufacturers ever.

They made one of the most iconic super cars in the world.

The poster was almost certainly

on your bedroom wall when you were a kid.

With that weird wedgie shape,

in that blazing Rosso Corsa paint,

and that incredible sound it made.

(F40 engine revving)

It was the ultimate Ferrari.

This is everything that you need to know

to get up to speed on the Ferrari F40.

(upbeat music)

It's 1982 and the Federation Internationale De L'Automobile,

or FiA, decided to make up some new rules for rally racing,

but what they actually did was pretty much

just throw the rules right out.

They called this set of rules Group B

and with nearly free reign and an almost entirely

blank slate, manufacturers went wild.

The Group B cars were becoming fire-breathing monsters

and the public was going nuts for 'em.


But, rather than throw technological prowess at a car

like Porsche did with the 959,

Ferrari wanted to go another direction.

They used the classic formula of less weight plus more power

equals fastest car to develop the incredible 288 GTO,

but by the time they built the 200 production cars

required by the FiA,

the other Group B cars had become even more

ridiculously quick so they added a ton of aero and power

and in 1986, the 288 GTO Evoluzione was born.

Unfortunately, that's right when Group B died.

The FiA decided it was time to burn the no-rules-rule-book

and all Group B cars were banned from competition.

That left Ferrari with a badass race car locked up

in its garage and no where to race it.

At this point 88 year old Enzo Ferrari said to himself,

self you're getting pretty old,

but this car company you started is really neat

and it's coming up on 40 years old now.

Maybe you should build one of the last really cool cars

before you make that trip to the big race track in the sky.

So old Enzo decided he could still make

something out of all that effort

that went into the now pointless 288 GTO Evoluzione

and commissioned his engineers

to build the best car in the world.

He wanted a street car with no compromises;

the F40 and he wanted it fast.

Both fast on the road and, you know, soon.

It had to debut in time for Ferrari's 40th anniversary

and make it to 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show.

So the F40 would be designed, tested,

and launched in only 13 months; that is insanity.

Ermanno Bonfiglioli, head of special projects for Ferrari

in the 1980s, said it went by in a flash.

The chassis and bodywork development

ran right along side the drive train development

which is not how it usually works.

Luckily, Nicola Materazzi at famous design house:

Pininfarina had just drawn up the Evoluzione.

So, fellow Pininfarina designers, Leonardo Fioravanti

and Pietro Camardella started with that

and transformed it into an automotive masterpiece.

They did comprehensive wind tunnel testing

to optimize the aero dynamics for what was to be

the fastest Ferrari ever.

The F40's nose swooped down and practically kissed the road.

NACA ducts, that means air inlets, were everywhere

and the huge squared off wing placed right at the angle

by designer Aldo Brovarone.

Development had all been done in super secret

and only a handful of people close to Enzo

had even seen the car.

It was way more of a surprise than

Drake's secret love child.

No one knew what to expect and the unveiling

left the entire room completely speechless.

The F40 might as well have been a road going spaceship.


- Oh my god Morty what did you do,

you killed the Simpsons Morty. (stuttering)

- The interior meant business.

Driving business.

No stitch leather dash covers here, nope.

The dash was just covered in felt to reduce glare.

There were no door panels or even interior door handles.

You pulled a cord to open the door.

The side windows and even the windshield

were plastic to save weight,

but Ferrari did add air conditioning.

- That, I love.

- That's just the air conditioner.

- I want it.

- Who cared about door panels anyway when you could look

right at the carbon fiber the doors were made out of.

The front and rear clam shells were also carbon fiber

while the rest of the cars 11 panels were bonded Kevlar

all built around a tubular steel frame.

The F40 was the first production car made with

all composite body panels and it weighed 3,000 pounds.

That's very light for a super car.

Pushing all this awesome light weight racey stuff

was a 2.9 liter, twin-turbo V8

turning out 278 horse power at a screaming 7,000 RPM

and 425 pound feet-o-torque at 4,000 RPM.

Ferrari paid special attention to the weight of the engine

and they used a lot of ultra expensive,

ultra light magnesium alloys instead of aluminum.

It helped the F40 scoot to 60 miles an hour in four seconds

and through the quarter mile in under 12.

And though Ferrari claimed a somewhat controversial

top speed of 201 miles an hour, none ever reached 200

in any test on any track outside of Italy.

Still, 199 was enough to top Porsche's more extravagant 959

and its piddly 195 miles an hour.

The numbers were impressive but the F40's handling

was a major challenge to get right.

Ferrari test driver, Dario Benuzzi was handed a ridiculously

powerful car with a new age composite body,

no power steering, no brakes,

and told to work it out pronto,

but Benuzzi ultimately turned the F40

into a well balanced track weapon.

Calling it the Ferrari he was most proud of working on.

Ferrari announced they would build 400 F40's,

but demand was unexpectedly high

with more than 3,000 people trying to order one.

In the end they built 1,311.

Some loved its UFO look, some really didn't,

but everyone knew Enzo wasn't gonna be around

for much longer and the F40 would be his last car.

It was showing up all over video games, magazine covers

and wall posters, the public was fired up.

Speculators started snapping the cars up

and driving prices higher.

Ferrari's asking price was $200,000, but Formula 1 driver,

Nigel Mansell, sold his for one million British pounds

in 1990; what a dick.

Enzo Ferrari passed away in August of 1988,

thrilled that he was still around to sign off on

his epic final project and see the F40

become the world's fastest production car.

But throughout the F40's five year production,

reviews were actually mixed.

Mansell loved his, but McLaren Formula 1 race car designer,

Gorodon Murray slammed it, calling it wobbly

and saying it felt like a big go kart

with a plastic body on it.

The press gave it plenty of praise,

but some car magazines that tested it against the Porsche

preferred the more refined 959.

The F40 really didn't compromise in terms

of road performance so it was a brutal street car.

Ferrari never intended for it to be a race car

which seemed like rather obvious other option.

Customers started to ask for a racing version,

Ferrari resisted until Daniel Marin,

manager of a French Ferrari importer talked them into it.

They commissioned a limited run of F40 LM race cars

from a race tuning shop, Michelotto Automobile.

The shop modified virtually every part of the F40

and the resulting LM cars were way lighter,

way more aerodynamic, and way more powerful.

They weighed in at 2,300 pounds, made over 700 horse power

and could hustle up to 229 miles per hour.

You thought the plain old F40 sounded good,

the LM made eargasms.

(F40 LM engine revving)

In 1989, the first LM race that Laguna Seca

in the IMSA series here in the US.

Even though the cars were originally named for the 24 hours

of them all, they didn't race there

and Ferrari switched the name to F40 Competitzione.

They nabbed some podium finishes in IMSA

and several wins at other international GT racing series.

But it never attained real racing notoriety.

With all of today's safety regulations and red tape,

a street legal super car like the F40

could never be made again.

The F40 is the purest distillation of Ferrari racing prowess

into a road car and it was an absolutely fitting solute

to the life of an automotive hero.

(F40 revving)

We make a video every single day.

To make sure you don't miss any of them,

click this guy right here.

You wanna see a video about Ferrari's enemy,

Ferruccio Lamborghini check out this episode of Up To Speed.

Want to know how aero dynamics work?

Check out this episode of Science Garage.

Follow me on Instagram @JamesPumphrey

follow Donut @DonutMedia.

I love you.

The Description of Ferrari F40 - Everything You Need To Know | Up to Speed