Ferrari F40 Competizione – Hot Wheels

1989 Ferrari F40 Competizione
Hot Wheels - X5507 (diecast)

Published 04/11/18

In 1987, to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, they revealed the Ferrari F40. The F40 came as the successor to their 288 GTO. As a side note, it was the last Ferrari automobile personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. At the time it was Ferrari’s fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car for sale. The project started in 1984, when Ferrari needed something to compete against the Porsche 959 in FIA’s Group B. But when FIA terminated Group B in 1986, Ferrari had five 288 GTO Evoluzione development cars but no where to race them. So they decided that they would develop them to produce a car exclusively for road use.

Autocar May 18th, 1988:
The approach Ferrari has taken to the F40’s creation – and, indeed, its very motives in making the car – are not without detractors. By comparison with that technological tour de force, the four-wheel-drive computer-controlled Porsche 959, the F40 is a simple car. It is essentially a fairly light mid-engined two-seater packing a great deal of power, with little out of the ordinary in its layout or build apart from its composite materials construction.Some observers have condemned this approach and Ferrari’s motives as a cynical money-making exercise hatched after Maranello’s marketing men saw how much buyers were paying for the limited edition 288 GTO secondhand – and how hot was demand for the 959 at £150,000. An outraged Ferrari dismisses these suggestions as ludicrous. Giovanni Perfetti, from the marketing department says the F40 harks back to Ferrari’s roots. “We wanted it to be very fast, sporting in the extreme and Spartan,” he says. “Customers had been saying our cars were becoming too plush and comfortable. “The F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance. It isn’t a laboratory for the future, as the 959 is. It is not Star Wars. And it wasn’t created because Porsche built the 959. It would have happened anyway.”

The engine was an evolution of the twin-turbocharged V8 of the 288 GTO. Twin-turbocharged, displacing 2936 cm³ and with DOHC and 4 valves/cylinder, it produced 477 hp that could take the car up to 324 km/h. The chassis was a tubular steel frame with composite elements covered by a body that was an entirely new design by Pininfarina. It featured panels made of Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum for strength and low weight.

F40 Competizione
Seems appropriate…

Two years after the original F40 made its debut, Ferrari got a request for two cars to race at La Sarthe, and these two special editions were the F40 LM. More requests arrived, and in the end Ferrari built a total of 10 of these special F40 “LM”. However, Ferrari thought that the Le Mans tag was too restrictive for a race car, so the subsequent eight cars received a F40 Competizione badge. The engine was tweaked to deliver 690 hp at 8100 rpm – reportedly good enough for a top speed of 367 km/h and a 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. The whole car became even lighter, the chassis stiffened and the body received various aerodynamic alterations to cut down on air resistance.

Motor Trend July 1990 p.44-52:
Gordon Murray wrote “It’s the lack of weight that makes the Ferrari so exciting. There’s nothing else magic about the car at all…They’re asking two- and three-inch-diameter steel tubes at chassis base datum level to do all the work, and it shows – you can feel the chassis flexing on the circuit and it wobbles all over the place on the road. It really does shake about. And, of course, once you excite the chassis the door panels start rattling and squeaking. Whereas the other cars feel taut and solid, this one’s like a big go-kart with a plastic body on it.”

People say that the F40 is better than the 959 because “it has soul”. So that’s what soul is? Really? 🤔

F40 Competizione
While I’m not the greatest fan of the F40, I do like the F40 Competizione.

I’ll be blunt: I don’t like the F40. Never did, not even when it was brand new. I always thought that the 288 GTO was a much cooler car. In my eyes the F40 has always been a crude and rough rocket on wheels with a Ferrari badge. That’s not what I thought (or think) a “supercar” should be. BUT, I like the F40 Competizione, I really do. Why? Because it’s a race car, NOT a passenger (super) car, and I can totally understand and appreciate a race car that will look crude. It doesn’t need to be comfortable, or smooth or nice to drive, it just needs to get there fast.

All in all, a VERY nice model.

Since I needed a F40 for the of the Garage, the F40 Competizione was the perfect version. And here it is, from Hot Wheels’ Elite line. Nothing fancy but all in all a VERY nice model, that I found for a very reasonable price. The only problem that I see is the off-roadness in chassis height. I will try to correct that, and it will look very good beside my 959s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *