Gold is the traditional 50th-anniversary gift, but Ferrari gave its enthusiasts a rarer and more iconic gift – one that holds its value and status more than 20 years after its introduction. The Ferrari F50, created to mark the brand’s 50th anniversary, is a one-of-a-kind supercar that was in the shadow of the F40 until recently. Now, the F50 is among the modern Ferrari supercars that command the most interest among collectors. This Ferrari F50 review explores the unique features and attributes that distinguish it from other supercars of its time. Ferrari manufactured the two-seater F50 between 1995 and 1997 as a successor to the beloved F40. The Ferrari Enzo then replaced the F50. This car is also the last road car from Ferrari to have a Formula One Engine. Thanks to that V12 engine, the F50 horsepower figure stands at an impressive 510hp. Price-wise, the Ferrari F50 can cost more than $3 million (depending on its age and condition).
The Ferrari F50 was revealed at the 1995 Geneva Auto Salon. During the unveiling, Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo announced that only 349 units of the F50 would be produced – one less than the number of F50 models the company expected to sell. The decision to manufacture the F50 in such low numbers was in consideration of the slump in the supercar/sports car market that Ferrari had observed from the beginning of the ‘90s. The vehicle's name was a nod to Ferrari’s celebration of their 50th anniversary. The design of the F50 is attributed to Lorenzo Ramaciotti and Pietro Camardella of Pininfarina. Assembly was then done at Ferrari’s headquarters and research center in Maranello, Italy.
The Ferrari F50 is equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V12 engine, unlike the turbocharged V8 engines of its predecessors, namely the Ferrari 288 GTO and Ferrari F40. This engine is based on the 1990 Ferrari 641 Formula One Grand Prix engine – a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V12 powerplant that made 680 hp at 12,750 rpm. Because of this engine and several other F1-derived elements like F1-like aerodynamic styling and a carbon-fiber chassis, the Ferrari F50 was described as the closest you could get to a road-legal F1 car. The engine features a 65-degree V angle and is mounted longitudinally behind the cabin. This design contributes to the engine’s distinctive sound. The power plant can produce 510 horsepower (or 520 PS) at 8,500 rpm, making it one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines. Also worth noting is that the Ferrari F50 weighs just 2,710 lbs despite carrying a massive V12 engine. Thanks to its powerful engine and low weight rating, the Ferrari F50 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h), making it one of the fastest cars of its production era. So, it was no surprise that the F50 was named the ‘extreme machine’ of the 90s. Paired to the F50’s engine is an open-gated six-speed manual transmission that delivers precise and direct gear shifts, giving drivers complete control.
The Ferrari F50 interior is similar to that of a Formula 1 car because it lacks the amenities that modern sports cars usually have. An F1 car is all about performance, not comfort or convenience, as seen in the F50's interior design. It doesn’t have airbags or a radio/infotainment system, but offers manually operated windows, body-hugging racing-style bucket seats that hold you in position when cornering, and two dials for climate control near the gear lever. However, despite the above, the F50 interior is still more premium than that of the F40 because it is upholstered with rich leather, has door handles, and has door cubbies that can hold small items like keys or wallets.
The exterior looks of the Ferrari F50 rub car enthusiasts in different ways. Some love it, but some don’t, stating it did not have the raw beauty of the F40. The F50 exterior design has little in common with other Ferrari models, featuring two giant hood intakes resembling nostrils, a dramatic rear wing, and exhaust slots. The Ferrari’s focus with this design was to enhance the car's aerodynamic capabilities for better performance. The F50 measures about 176 inches long, 78 inches wide, and 44 inches high. This supercar is also available with three top options– a soft top, an open/convertible top, or a hardtop that provides the vehicle with its ‘coupe mode.’ Before the LaFerrari Aperta, the F50 was the only open-roof Ferrari supercar. The two giant hood intakes are connected to fans underneath to suck air in for better engine cooling. This design resulted in what people now call pronounced ‘nostrils’ contributing to the car’s aggressive appearance. While some admit the purposeful and bold styling of the exterior is attractive in a unique way, others favor the sleek appearance of the F40 more. At the back, this car features quad tail lights recessed into the rear bodywork, and one of the largest rear spoilers ever to feature on a Ferrari supercar. Also standard is a body-color bumper with integrated quad exhaust outlets and a rear diffuser. On top of its engine, the F50 features a see-through plastic engine cover that lets you see the mighty V12 engine. Ferrari offered five color choices for the F50– yellow, black, silver, and two shades of red.
One innovative system worth noting in the F50 is its air intake system that utilizes two fans at the end of each hood intake to draw a lot of air into the engine. Thanks to this system, the car’s naturally aspirated V12 engine mixes fuel with plenty of oxygen, resulting in potent performance. The F50 also has a suspension system that employs push-rod actuated shock absorbers, a technology borrowed from Formula One. This system provided control over the car's handling dynamics and contributed to its exceptional performance on the road. Also worth noting is that the Ferrari F50 has an axle-lift function that can be activated by clicking a switch on the left side of the steering wheel. This function raises the front of the car by a few inches, enabling the vehicle to clear bumps, low curbs, or steep driveways.
A clean, well-maintained Ferrari F50 can go for even up to $4 million now, but it was only sometimes like this. At its introduction, the F50 came with a manufacturer-suggested retail price of $475,000. However, its limited edition status eventually caused its price to increase. The highest reported sale from an F50 was 5.4 million in 2022, while the lowest retail price recorded for the vehicle was $373,221. The price of the F50 varies depending on factors such as mileage, maintenance history, and overall condition. So, is the Ferrari F50 worth all the zeros? It depends on the perspective of the buyer. For collectors and enthusiasts who value rarity, historical significance, and the thrill of owning a piece of automotive history, the F50 is worth the investment. In addition, the car’s association with Formula One technology, limited production numbers, and the overall allure of the Ferrari brand contribute to its desirability and make it worth the purchase. However, some buyers agree that from a practical standpoint, owning an F50 should be an unrealized aspiration. As one of the rarest Ferraris today and a collectible, the F50’s price could skyrocket in the coming years, commanding an exclusive price tag that only a particular type of enthusiast can afford. Considering the high cost of acquisition maintenance and the evolving landscape of modern supercars, some buyers find it more reasonable to invest in more contemporary high-performance vehicles that offer more advanced technologies and conveniences.
The Ferrari F50 is a remarkable representation of the brand's 50th anniversary, offering enthusiasts a unique and iconic gift that transcends time. With only 349 units manufactured, the F50 is one of those vehicles that will be revered as a rare and collectible item. If you want to be among the envied owners of the F50, you are in the right place. Exotic Car Trader is a dependable online platform that provides seamless car transitions. We offer buying and selling solutions, taking care of every aspect and simplifying the buying process. So, if you are selling, you do not have to worry about taking pictures, listing, or setting up private sales– we will handle everything. In addition, if you are looking for your dream car, take advantage of our trade-in service. We can help you upgrade to a more recent Ferrari or get a collector’s item. Ultimately, the Ferrari F50 remains an enduring symbol of Ferrari's commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering and performance, leaving an indelible mark on the legacy of supercars.
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