How much improvement has Maranello made in 3 decades?


It might seem odd to compare a 30 year-old supercar to a modern one, but auto journalists think of all kinds of crazy comparisons. That’s what this drag race between a Ferrari F40 and Ferrari 488 Pista is all about. Plus, it will show just how much engineering improvement the Italian automaker has introduced to its top-end models over the past 30 years. At least, that’s the justification for the race, but we know it’s just to see these two titans duke it out.

You always have to look at the specs before a race like this, even though what plays out in the real world can be wildly different. While the 488 Pista is easy to drive, the F40 requires more finesse and skill of the person behind the wheel.

Anyway, the Ferrari F40 has 478-horsepower on tap, a respectable number today but it was considered a lot when the supercar debuted. Maranello has published the official 0-62 time as 4.1 seconds, which today doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as it did 30 years ago.

Then there’s the 488 Pista, which offers some of the latest and greatest tech. With that advanced engineering comes 720-hp and a blistering 0-62 time of 2.85 seconds. Just as anyone would suspect, based on specs alone the newer Ferrari should absolutely dominate this race.

However, driver skill can make all the difference in a race like this. Both are being driven by older British auto journalists, not racecar drivers, so consider that. Which do you think will win?

As you can see in the video, the guy driving the Ferrari F40 struggles getting it into second gear. Before that, he was actually keeping up with the 488 Pista. Then the modern supercar just pulls away, gapping the F40 by several car lengths. We really have to wonder how this would’ve played out had someone who really knew how to drive the 30 year-old supercar had been behind the wheel. For now we can only speculate.