• Here’s Why the Ferrari F50 Is Better Than the F40

This video proves that the Ferrari F50 doesn’t get the attention it deserves

LISTEN 02:25

The F50 is one of the greatest Ferraris ever built. Loved by purists for its naturally aspirated V-12 engine and F1-inspired technology, the F50 is already a full-fledged classic, despite being only 25 years old as of 2020. But the F50 has also been overshadowed by the F40, its spiritual predecessor. Tiff Needell thinks that is unfair and took a red F50 for a spin on the Scottish highlands to prove his point.

Here's Why the Ferrari F50 Is Better Than the F40
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As he points out, the F40 and F50 are completely different beasts. The F40 continued the legacy of the 288 GTO with a twin-turbo V-8 engine, going a bit against Ferrari’s V-12 tradition. The F50 marked a return to the roots with its naturally aspirated V-12, which was based on an engine that Ferrari previous used in Formula One and in the 333 SP race car.

Released eight years after the F40, the F50 was obviously the more powerful Ferrari.

At 512 horsepower, it delivered 41 horses more than the F40.

However, the naturally aspirated V-12 provided 347 pound-feet of torque, 79 pound-feet below the F40, so we could say they were actually on par. Officially, the F50 was almost a half-second quicker to 60 mph with a 3.8-second benchmark. Its top speed was also five-mph higher at 202 mph.

Here's Why the Ferrari F50 Is Better Than the F40
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They also drove like different cars. While the F40 is often described as a rough race car for the road, the F50 is famous for its smoother and more refined ride. Finally, whereas the F40 was built in an impressive 1,315 units, the F50 was limited to just 349 examples. So the F50 is more exclusive and more expensive to buy in 2020.

Here's Why the Ferrari F50 Is Better Than the F40
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This doesn’t mean that it’s the better supercar. It is if you’re looking to buy one as an investment, but at the end of the day is better only if you want to stick to Ferrari tradition, its F1-inspired tech, and the iconic naturally aspirated V-12 engine. But I can agree with Needell that the Ferrari F50 doesn’t get the attention it deserves, at least when compared to the F40.

Ferrari F50 specifications
Engine 4.7-liter 60-valve V-12 With Chain-Driven Quad Camshafts And Dry-Sump Lubrication
Power (Horsepower) 512 @ 8,500
Torque (Pound-feet) 347 @ 6,500
0-60 mph (Seconds) 3.8 seconds
Top Speed (MPH) 202 mph
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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