Leno waited until now to drive an F40. Could the famous supercar really live up to the hype for him?
Over two decades after the Ferrari F40’s introduction, the coupe has become a motoring icon of its era. Think about supercars of the late ‘80s, and your mind likely jumps to either this beautiful Prancing Horse or a Lamborghini Countach. Now, Jay Leno gets to drive one for the very first time, and he starts calling this Pininfarina-designed beauty his “favorite Ferrari” after just a little bit of time behind the wheel.
This 1990 F40 comes from around the mid-point of the coupe’s production from 1987 to 1992. Under that beautiful, red tail is the car’s famous 2.9-liter biturbo V8. It still sounds fantastic, especially with the Tubi exhaust on this one. The rest of Ferrari’s design focuses on giving the engine as few pounds to move around as possible. Other than air conditioning, there aren’t too many amenities in the spartan interior. This F40 features roll-up windows, which is almost a luxury by the vehicles standards because some have Lexan sliders.
It’s amazing how quickly Leno falls in love with driving this F40. He compares it to a slightly more modern evolution of the great Ferraris from the ‘60s. Despite the huge performance potential, the coupe is apparently quite fun at legal speeds, too. There’s bountiful acceleration on the highway and feels lithe on the back roads. Without any modern driver aids, the person behind the wheel must constantly pay attention. The style taps into Leno’s preferred feeling of being in control of a vehicle. Plus, he repeatedly remarks about how much fun using the gated gearshift is.
The F40 in this week’s video belongs Leno’s buddy David Lee, but the denim-clad comedian gives the impression of being quite smitten with the car. We wouldn’t be too surprised if one of these iconic Ferraris doesn’t get a spot in Jay’s garage before too long. With prices now topping $2 million, we’ll have to stick with the Lego version.