The Fab Four

For the 30th Anniversary celebration issue of an Italian Automotive magazine, we were fortunate enough to manage an exclusive shooting in Fiorano track, gathering together the “Fab Four” instant-collectable supercars produced in Maranello. Dario Benuzzi, Ferrari test driver since 1969, joined this unique reunion bringing to the technical centre and test track (owned by Ferrari factory) the personal Piero Ferrari’s F50. LaFerrari was the works car used by the company for tests and press review, F40 and Enzo were owned by private customers that “loaned” them for the event, thrilled at the idea to share such an epic day.
After the ``usual photo`` in front of what was the personal office of Enzo Ferrari, engines started, and wheels step on the racetrack on which, over 70 years, has been tested and developed all the prototypes, f1 and road-going cars with the famous Prancing Horse on the nose.
F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari are powered by a naturally aspirated V12 rear engine longitudinally-mounted, F40 instead has a twin-turbocharged V8 in the same configuration: about 2600 horsepower and worth of 6-7 MLN (more or less!) fluttering making an orchestra symphony.
With F40, a new line-up dedicated to the extreme Ferrari enthusiast born. At the beginning of the project has been declared a limited production of just a few hundreds of units, but, at the end of the assembly-line in 1992, the number was slight to 1337. It would be bound that after the clamour caused by the presentation of this supercar (and the awareness it would not be feasible for a wider public) costumers’ request went in a hurry and copious. On 21st July 1987, Enzo Ferrari (passed away the 14th August 1988) attended the last launch of a car built by his own factory and conceived “behind his back” to celebrate the 40 Anniversary of the Maranello brand. A soulful racetrack car with road configuration – F40 is the godfather of an extreme and exclusive Ferrari family line.
The extreme F50 has been unveiled two years early the actual anniversary scheduled for 1997; however, it is the car conceived to celebrate the half-century of Ferrari production. It was 1995 and, to re-define the supercar hierarchy whose boss was F40, where needed (if possible) technology and development strictly derived from F-1, to adapt to a “series” car. Maranello’s factory succeeded: the F50 is the “without compromise” closest thing to a road-going Formula One car that Ferrari had ever built. And, to carry on the limited-series extreme Ferrari, it was the admission “ticket” to a much more exclusive club to join: production stops at just 349 examples. The client could choose five different colours for their new prancing horse instant-collectable: yellow, silver, black and two shades of red.
Then, in 2002, it was time to honour the company’s founder with an unparallel performance and breathtaking design supercar adorned by his name. Unveiled at Paris Motor Show in 2002, the Enzo has been conceived during the most successful F1 period for Scuderia Ferrari – it was the Michael Schumacher’s era and, from 1999 to 2004, Ferrari won six Manufacturers’ Championship in a row. It is reasonable to match the production of this formidable car, which has a strong connection to Formula One racing, with the glorious years that Ferrari was going through in competitions.  The body was composed by Kevlar and carbon fibre panels – aerodynamic was studied by Pininfarina in his wind tunnel and, in total, were built 399 units of this millennial hypercar.
Continuing the Ferrari’s long-running configuration for sports prototypes and extreme cars, LaFerrari is powered by a V12 engine mounted behind the driver and, to the present, is the latest V12 supercar produced in Maranello with this configuration. Although Enzo Ferrari used to say “don’t put the cart before the horse”, in 1963 he has been convinced to adopt the rear-mounted engine layout for the 250 Le Mans project. Having a hot lap in Fiorano with Dario Benuzzi driving LaFerrari he tells us that during the development they were asking themselves: “Will we be able to top the Enzo?”. Getting gears one by one and going fully down on the throttle, he smiled satisfied: “We definitely manage to do so…”.


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