The Ferrari F40 is known for three major feats: It was the company’s final turbocharged car until the California T was introduced in 2014, it’s the last Ferrari approved by Mr. Enzo himself, and it’s an important piece in Maranello’s line of range-topping supercars , a car the Enzo and LaFerrari pay homage to. But there is more to the F40 story, especially as far as development goes. Although Ferrari never intended to race the F40, the supercar eventually made its track debut in 1989 at Laguna Seca. It was a natural fit as the F40 was actually based on a race car. More specifically, on the Group B rally evolution of its predecessor, the 288 GTO .
In 1984, as soon as Porsche started racing 959-spec version of the 911 — soon to become a road-legal supercar — Ferrari had begun development of a Group B version of the 288 GTO. Dubbed Evoluzione, this extreme iteration of the GTO arrived a bit late to the party, as the FIA axed the Group B category for the 1986 season. The Italians were left with five Evoluzione prototype and no series to put them to good use in. Unlike other manufacturers, who modified their Group B cars to compete in other racing series, Ferrari used the Evoluzione development cars to build the F40. The end result was the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car that Ferrari sold to the public up to 1987, and the spectacular supercar we all know today.
Although it’s been 24 years since the F40 was discontinued, the F50’s predecessor continues to enjoy the massive attention it gets from automotive outlets. The folks over at EVO drove one in the Swiss Alps earlier in 2014, while XCAR showcased it with help from John Pogson, one of the very few people to race the F40. Now, XCAR is back to pay yet another tribute to Ferrari’s brilliant machine with the same driver in the spotlight. Hit the play button for 17 minutes of F40 goodness.