Ferrari F50 - Best Ferraris ever

Ferrari's follow-up to the F40 didn't gain the same cult status, but is arguably the better car to drive

Years: 1995-1997Engine: 4.7-litre V12, 513bhpTransmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel driveTop speed: 202mphNumber built: 349Current value: £1.3million

With the success of the F40, Ferrari realised it was onto a nice little earner by celebrating its anniversary with a special edition, limited run supercar. But with the 50 birthday of Ferrari on the horizon, how exactly could the Italian firm better the F40? Simple: create the F50.

This time around, the limited-run supercar would feature Formula One technology, as power came from a 4.7-litre V12 that was based on the 3.5-litre V12 used in the 1990 Ferrari 641 F1 car, raced by Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. It was also used in the successful 333SP sportscar in the mid 1990s. However, unlike the F1 car, the F50 used a conventional six-speed gearbox with Ferrari's traditional H-pattern open gate gearlever, instead of a semi-auto.

The F50's bodywork was designed by Pininfarina, but its bloated shape and combination of curves and F40-style rear wing didn't do the car any favours. That race-inspired V12 needed plenty of cooling, too, so there are lots of cut-outs in the bodywork, and the whole rear end is a large grille to let hot air out of the engine bay.

As well as the F1-sourced engine, the F50 featured F1-style pushrod suspension with in-board springs and dampers, and adaptive dampers developed from the electronics used in Formula One. The lightweight Speedline magnesium alloy wheels had bespoke rubber supplied by F1 tyre supplier Goodyear, while the car's 1,230kg dry weight meant this +500bhp machine had a claimed top speed of 202mph.

Unfortunately, the F50 isn't quite as sought after as the F40. While only 349 were built - compared to over 1,300 F40s - prices today are level pegging between the two. This is a shame, because when our sister magazine Evo brought the 288 GTO, F40, F50 and Enzo together, the F50 proved to be the best car on test, thanks to its communicative steering and natural responses that were unspoilt by electronic assistance.

Recommended

Best Italian modern classic cars 2022
Best Italian modern classics - Header image
Modern classics

Best Italian modern classic cars 2022

We’ve trawled the market to bring you the best modern classics Italy has to offer
24 May 2022
New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV set for naturally aspirated V12 power
Ferrari SUV teaser
Ferrari

New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV set for naturally aspirated V12 power

The Ferrari Purosangue will be the brand’s first-ever SUV, and will receive the bombastic V12 engine from its flagship sports cars
5 May 2022
Ferrari SP48 Unica unveiled as one-off V8 berlinetta
Ferrari SP48 Unica - front
Ferrari

Ferrari SP48 Unica unveiled as one-off V8 berlinetta

The Ferrari SP48 Unica is the latest car from the brand’s Special Projects programme, featuring a bespoke body and F8 Tributo power
5 May 2022
The 10 BIG questions for the 2022 Formula One season answered
Two Formula 1 cars on track
Formula One

The 10 BIG questions for the 2022 Formula One season answered

Totally reinvented cars, new-generation drivers on the up and a resumption of the intense Hamilton-Verstappen rivalry – F1 in 2022 promises to be a cr…
16 Mar 2022

Most Popular

New Kia Niro EV prototype review
Kia Niro EV  prototype - front
Kia Niro

New Kia Niro EV prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype version of the 201bhp Kia Niro EV
22 May 2022
Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695
Citroen Ami UK - front static
Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695

The compact quadricycle is pricier than first thought, but the Citroen Ami will still be the UK’s cheapest ‘car’
24 May 2022