With Luca di Montezemolo bidding farewell to Ferrari this week after 23 years at the company’s helm, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on some of the finest road cars that have rolled out of Maranello under his watch. And that list includes some pretty special motor cars. Do you agree with our top 10? Click 'Add your comment' at the foot of the page and tell us which great Luca Ferraris we've missed out.
Click here to read about the Ferrari brain drain - with the R&D chief defecting to BMW this week, too.
1) F50 – Di Montezemolo dared to build a successor to Enzo’s F40
Once overlooked in the pantheon of great Ferraris, the F50 is now a cult classic with values pushing stratospheric heights. It’s not hard to see why; a carbonfibre tub and a spine-tingling V12 engine not all that dissimilar to the one in the back of Jean Alesi’s 1992 Grand Prix car. Epic.
2) F355 – He oversaw one of the last truly pretty Ferraris
Succeeding the unloved 348, the F355 was the star that helped turn Ferrari’s fortunes around in the mid-nineties. With a 380bhp V8 revving to a heady 8250rpm under its slatted engine cover and that prettily proportioned Pininfarina bodywork, it’s now entering classic status with values beginning to climb.
3) 550 Maranello – A front-engined GT in the best Ferrari tradition
With 5.5 litres of sonorous V12 ahead of the driver the 550 Maranello was an epic grand tourer with Daytona DNA in its blood. It helped sustain Ferrari sales into the new millennium, running from 1996 to 2002 before evolving into the similarly successful 575. Another sign that Luca di Montezemolo understands the sports car market.
4) Enzo – The car that took Ferrari into hypercar territory
If a car was to be named after old man Ferrari himself it had to be a pretty special one, and the tech-laden, V12-powered Enzo delivered in spades. When journalists asked di Montezemolo at his swansong Paris motor show press conference which Ferrari he’d choose to drive away through the Maranello gates in, he chose the Enzo.
5) F430 – Because it was a sales behemoth – and it was great to drive
Ferrari shifted well over 17,000 430s, huge volumes by supercar standards. Although an evolution of the 360 Modena that preceded it (also a big sales success), it was night-and-day different to drive with electrifying yet friendly handling. Hardcore Scuderia version was an instant classic.
6) 599 GTO – He brought back the GTO name - and didn’t make a mess of it
Okay, perhaps it’s not the first Ferrari you might associate with those three letters, or even the second. But the 599 GTO was a stirring machine all the same. Essentially a road-going variant of the 599XX track car it packed a 671bhp punch and could get round Fiorano quicker than an Enzo.
7) 458 Italia – He brought a game-changing supercar to market
If the jump from the 360 Modena to the 430 was a big one, the 458 represents a quantum leap. A car with abilities so extraordinary not even McLaren’s best efforts could eclipse it and, with turbocharged engines in the pipeline, one that will see Ferrari into a downsized future.
8) FF – Because he was bold enough to make a Ferrari shooting brake
No-one can say Ferrari were frightened of exploring niche markets under di Montezemolo. A four-seat, four-wheel drive, breadvan-styled luxury supercar – a brave car, but one with a huge breadth of abilities. Ferrari still innovates, alright - and LDM's the man who drove the wanton modernity.
9) F12 Berlinetta – The fastest front-engined Ferrari road car, ever
Few Ferraris are slow, but the F12’s stats are prodigious even by Maranello’s standards: 730bhp from 6262cc (without the help of turbocharging), 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds and 211mph flat out. It wasn’t just a better car than the 599 – it was cartoonishly, impossibly fast by comparison.
10) LaFerrari – Ferrari’s first hybrid
A hybrid Ferrari, but one with a 739bhp 6.3-litre V12 to go with its 160bhp electric motor, both powering the rear wheels. It’s a hypercar that can charge in more ways than one. We’ll gloss over the name. Luca: we'll miss you and your electrifying Ferraris...