The Ferrari F40 is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic supercars of an entire generation. Pared down, lightweight and focussed, it’s the car that graced many bedroom walls when it first made its debut in the late 1980s. It’s therefore no surprise that it would be a highlight for designer Samir Sadikhov, who decided to pay hommage to the legendary supercar with a new ‘tribute’ model, designed on his own time away from his day job.
“For car designers like us, the F40 is a design icon. Its combination of racing genes and minimalism generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today. [That’s why] I wanted to give a design tribute to the F40,” Sadikhov says of the project he created as a personal design exercise for non-commercial reasons. “As a petrolhead and a car designer I wanted to keep the spirit of the F40 icon. I spent more than a year to work on the exterior and interior design [and] added some extra time for the monocoque structure as a design study.”
The elongated and widened body is set off by distinctive air deflectors, powerful wheelarches and prominent iconic F40 spoiler. The large rear spoiler increases downforce on the driven rear axle and in so doing improves power transmission.
Despite its size, the aerodynamic elements are key in enabling air to flow optimally along the sides of the vehicle. The bodysides are in elegant counterpoint to the marked athleticism of front and rear. The longer wheelbase and elongated hood appear to stretch the F40’s silhouette.
The all-around shoulderline is also the starting point for the subtle, finely sculpted surfaces of the bodyside. It follows the development of the shadowy areas behind the front wheel all the way to the lit surfaces above the rear wheels. This interplay between light and shade lends movement and dynamic intensity to the generous surfaces of the vehicle’s sides.
As with the front end, the vehicle’s tail is broad and muscular in design. Generous surfaces generate presence while the horizontal elements emphasize width. Quad taillights are also a nostalgic throwback to a distinctive and dynamic element of iconic F40.
Pared down to a minimum, the interior of the F40 Tribute puts its lightweight design on show and renders its racing character elegantly tangible. All interior elements are there out of absolute necessity.
The controls are presented in a highly concentrated format. The instruments provide information primarily on engine and road speed, as well as all parameters relating to engine condition. Only three piezoelectric buttons grace the center console, allowing the driver to shift gears.
The original Ferrari F40’s iconic pentagonal wheels inspired Sadikhov to design the modern interpretation in matte and high-gloss bi-color, which offer an additional unique highlight. Air control holes in the spokes, meanwhile, serve to further optimize the wheel rims’ aerodynamics and lightweight attributes.
The F40 was Ferrari’s fastest, most powerful and most expensive car as well as being the world’s fastest street-legal production car during its years of production. In the most literal sense, it was designed as the successor to the company’s GTO supercar, but the project’s meaning ran deeper. It became one of the most iconic supercars in history.
The F40 Tribute celebrates many of the original’s characteristic features without copying them, and some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. “I wanted people to sense the character resemblance rather than see it straight off,” says Sadikhov.