Born in 1898, Enzo Ferrari dedicated his life to the pursuit of automotive perfection. The Cavallino Rampante, or prancing horse, is a symbol of motoring excellence. From the first Ferrari 125 S in 1947, to the staggeringly good and spectacularly fast 1990s Ferraris, each and every car that has emerged from the Maranello factory has an air of exotic mystique unmatched by any other manufacturer. Here are the best Ferraris of the 1990s.
On Top of the World - Nineties Ferraris
‘Il Commendatore’ Enzo Ferrari had a vision to make ‘cars everyone dreams of driving’ and he was right. Everyone wants to drive a Ferrari. After unveiling some outstanding Ferraris in the 80s, their 1990s cars pushed the limits even further and were some of the most visionary and beautiful to come out of Maranello. Here are some of the very best Ferraris from the Nineties.
Ferrari 456 GT
The 456 GT isn’t the most famous of the 1990s Ferraris, nor, according to some prancing horse purists, is it the prettiest, but it is the car that reaffirmed Ferrari’s credentials as the world’s finest maker of four-seat grand tourers. This was an era-defining car. The 436hp, 5.5-litre V12 was a spectacular engine and the first mounted up front since the 412 in 1985. The combination of refined style, classic Italian elegance, supercar performance and luxurious comfort made the 456 the ultimate GT car of its time.
Introduced in 1994 as a replacement for the excellent 348, the Pininfarina-designed F355 is a sultry mid-90s supercar combining elegant style and blistering performance. It came with an upgraded 3.5-litre V8 under the long, sloping bonnet and it was the benchmark sports car in its class. It was the last of the nineties Ferraris to use pop-up headlights, but the first road car in the world equipped with an F1-style flappy-paddle gearbox.
The legendary F50 was the closest Ferrari have come to producing a street-legal F1 car. Made to celebrate Ferrari’s half century, the motorsport-derived 4.7-litre engine was possibly the greatest V12 ever seen in a road car. It was brutally fast, hitting 60mph in 3.7 seconds and powering to over 200mph. The F50 was a perfectly balanced, uncompromising supercar. Without rival, it was the most jaw-droppingly beautiful of the 90s Ferraris.
Ferrari 550 Maranello
New Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo decreed their new flagship grand tourer should be front-engined instead of its trademark mid-mounted position. A huge risk, especially as it effectively replaced the Testarossa, but one that paid off handsomely. The 5.5-litre V12 produced almost 500hp and was a sensational car both mechanically and visually. This classic of all 90s Ferraris was – and remains – one of the world’s greatest driver’s cars.
Ferrari 360 Modena
An all-new design to usher in an all-new millennium, the stunning 360 Modena was named after the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari. The naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V8 propelled the Modena to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. Moving away from the chiselled physique of the F355, the new 360 was a gorgeously curvy, voluptuous sports car that took design cues from earlier classic Ferraris. It was polished and precise and – as with all 1990s Ferraris – it combined raw, hardcore power with genuine Italian emotion.
1990s - Ferrari F1
While Ferrari is the most successful team in Formula One history, the nineties were barren years, even with F1 legends at the wheels including Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger and – one of the greatest of all time – Michael Schumacher. The seven-time world champion joined Scuderia Ferrari in 1996 from Benetton and, despite a number of great race wins and their first Constructor’s title since 1983, the F1 driver’s title eluded Ferrari until 2000, when Schumacher was all-conquering.