Thursday, 30 March 2017

Ferrari F40 LM

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The archetypal 1980s supercar poster-boy, the F40 was Enzo's last sign-off - a celebration of the 40th anniversary of his first car, and a boisterous 90th birthday present to himself. The 2.9-litre engine with its twin IHI turbos produced 478bhp, which was all channelled entirely without electronic intervention through cartoonishly fat rear tyres. It was a real contender in the late-eighties supercar wars, able to hit 60mph in 3.9s and top the mythical double-ton, and it looked like a full-on race car. (Despite, er, not actually being designed to race.) It's a legend. Everyone wants one, and anyone who says otherwise is a filthy liar.

While not being specifically designed to race, however, the F40 LM proved that it could more than hold its own on track if you were sufficiently persuasive. The LM was an in-house Ferrari development to create customer cars suitable for endurance racing; the chassis was extensively reinforced with carbon-fibre, while the already legendary handling was further improved by the addition of new Koni springs and dampers and thicker anti-roll bars. Larger 355mm Brembo brakes were useful given the power hike to 720bhp, thanks to increased boost pressure and compression ratio, bigger intercoolers, more aggressive cams and an all-new engine management system.
The model largely retained the stock road-car looks, although subtle addenda were added to aid both cooling and downforce - check out the little NACA duct on the nose. There was also a discreet carbon-fibre chin spoiler, while the headlights now sat behind Lexan covers. And you see the hinged centre-section of the rear wing? That's adjustable from inside the cockpit. Interior weight savings brought the overall kerb weight down to just 1,050kg, and the F40 LM was capable of accelerating to 60mph in 3.1s, going on to 229mph. A mighty, mighty car.

Spotted at 75MM - more pics here.

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