You may have seen a few reviews coming out this week for the new SF90XX Stradale. And, well, perhaps they're not quite as glowing as might be expected for a new, limited-edition Ferrari. We’re used to saying nine and 10 out of 10, not eight. According to some, Maranello's ambitious attempt to make a road-legal XX seems to have compromised the SF90 on track; and what are you meant to do with a 1,000hp Ferrari circuit car on the road? But such is progress - Ferrari’s staple mid-engined berlinetta is the 830hp 296 GTB, so the super duper special ones have to raise the bar even further. But not step on the toes of the track-only XXs. It all feels a bit much.
There’s never been much excuse required for harking back to the glory days, but never more so than this week. And when presented with an F50 this sublime. Today it has basically the same power as an M3, less torque than an AMG A45, and next to nothing when it comes to talent-enhancing tech. Once upon a time, many weren’t so sure of the F50’s credentials. Today it looks like pretty much peak Ferrari supercar.
Typically with these sorts of stories, we add to what’s known already with a bit of extra research and some ad details. But with the F50 it’s hard not to be completely consumed by it, to learn everything possible about it and spend the whole day deep diving a Ferrari icon. Rarer (much rarer) than an F40, cooler than an Enzo, one of the best-sounding supercars ever and cruelly misunderstood at launch. The videos, articles and threads are so tempting to spend a whole day getting lost in them. There are notable supercars - then there’s the F50.
We’ll avoid that this time around, though this PH forum discussion from 2008 is interesting, questioning why the F50 wasn’t really being discussed anymore. That was always the issue, wasn’t it? Surrounded by the seemingly cardinal sin of being slower than an F40, the F50’s carbon construction, stripped-out nature and V12 derived from an F1 car (!) was overlooked. Crazy, really - though it did mean that, according to PH 15 years ago, they were available for £320,000…
Not any longer. As the world moved towards turbocharging, automatic gearboxes and electrification (and more power than could ever really be used), so the F50 has become appreciated as one of the all-time greats - a 9,000rpm, 520hp V12, six-speed manual and not a driver-aid in sight. It was raw, pure, exhilarating Ferrari at its very best.
So it’s four million pounds. And you thought an F40 was a lot. But such is the reverence that now (rightly) surrounds the ‘50 as the only manual V12 F-car. This one is utterly glorious, too, Classiche-certified and still with fewer than 2,500 miles recorded despite now being more than 25 years old. It comes with all the original paperwork, hardtop and factory luggage - even the shoe bag and flight case. The weave is visible even in the pictures, the engine bay pristine, the interior perfect - it’s astonishing. Currently UK registered, too, so just the thing for a Euromillions splurge. What a car.
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