The Ferrari badge is a medal of prestige. Rich history, instant recognition and performance inspired by unrelenting Italian passion to be the best. However, not every Italian stallion was born equal… Flagship Ferraris represent the very best of the house that Enzo built bringing the latest technology from Formula One to the road. There have been some incredible incarnations and at Salon Privé we got up close and personal with every Ferrari of note from the past few decades. The question is which is best? 1, 2, 3, 4, I Declare a Ferrari War!
This machine is a living legend. The last car Enzo Ferrari signed off himself before his death as well as being the first road legal car to achieve over 200MPH. When a Group B variant of the 288 GTO had nowhere to compete after the series was disbanded, the F40 was born out of those ashes. A race car for the road, this twin-turbocharged 2.9 litre V8 monster can be a bit of a handful when the turbos kick in quite aggressively at about 4,000RPM. No computers to save the day, in the cockpit of the F40 you are on your own. A car from an era when driving fast required a union between man and machine. This car was originally slated for a low volume production run but due to its popularity 1,315 were built. A Ferrari from a era when men didn’t spend half an hour in front of a mirror in the morning and to drive quickly required a finely tuned skill set.
Talk about the “difficult second album.” How do you follow on from something like the F40? Launching in 1995, this open-top supercar boasted a Formula One derived V12 engine producing 750BHP. Notorious for biting back at drivers who overstepped the cars limitations, it was fast but also very edgy. Its V12 engine was an absolute tower of power and could get the car from 0-62MPH in just 3.7 seconds. Only 349 were ever produced and with this being the last manual Ferrari flagship, it will no doubt become a key collectors car.
In 2002 Ferrari unleashed what will undoubtably become one of the greatest prancing horses in the Italian firms history. Named after the founder, the Ferrari Enzo was a revolution brining the latest technology from racing to those lucky enough to take one home. A mid-mounted 6.0 litre V12 engine launches the car from 0-62MPH in 3.6 seconds revving all the way to 7,800RPM. Shaped in the wind tunnel, the Enzo can produce 1,700lb of downforce at 186MPH. F1 inspired LED lights on the steering wheel tells the driver when to shift the semi-automatic gearbox which can swap cogs in 150 milliseconds. 400 Ferrari Enzo were made with the last one being given to the Pope before going on to be sold for charity.
The newest and most technologically advanced Ferrari to enter the stable. LaFerrari, as its name suggests, is the ultimate Ferrari to date. Powered by a 6.3 litre naturally aspirated V12 engine with 789BHP at its disposal as well as an electric motor inspired by F1 KERS adding 161BHP. Total output sits at 950BHP and 715lb-ft of torque. 0-62MPH is destroyed in 3 seconds, 0-186MPH in as little as 15.5 seconds. Make no mistake, LaFerrari is both beauty and the beast. 499 cars are set to be built at a cost of £1,040,000 each. Active aerodynamics change the profile of the car at speed to maintain stability.
The greatest Ferrari of all time?
So there you go, four Ferrari kings that are each legends in their own rights. What one would we take? For us the Ferrari F40 represents a breed of car that can no longer exist in todays world. A car with so much power, performance and lack of safety that it would give your local health and safety officer a heart attack. It is beautifully analogue and reserves the right to remind you that you need to be good enough to drive it quickly. You don’t pass judgement on it, it passes judgment on you.