The meaning behind some of Ferrari’s names and numbers

Article by Christian A., on July 18, 2017

Haven’t you ever wondered how Ferrari’s names and numbers were actually derived? As it is Ferrari’s 70th year in the industry, we believe that it’s only fair that we shed light on this.

After all, the designated letters and numbers like the 275GTB/4 for example can be a tad confusing to some. To explain the meaning of its names, we have gathered a simple guideline as to how these names were made.

Limited edition supercars

When it comes to limited edition supercars, the F40 is probably the easiest one to remember. The name was made in line with Ferrari’s 40th anniversary in 1987. The same goes for the F50, which marks the company’s 50th year although it was launched a couple of years ahead of the actual anniversary in 1995. This was to make sure that the US-bound F50s were sold prior to the effectivity of stricter emissions in the country.

It was later on followed with the introduction of the Enzo Ferrari (named after the founder) in 2003, but an F60 was apparently used as a name for an F1 car and another limited edition Ferrari, the F12 Spyder, which was made exclusively for the US market. At the end, the same limited edition model was cut shorter to Enzo. And then we have the Ferrari LaFerrari or Ferrari the Ferrari when translated in English.

Three-digit numbers

Ferrari has this fixation on three-digit numbers during the nineties. For example, we all know the model as 360 instead of the Modena or the 550/575 instead of Maranello. As a matter of fact, the 599 was originally named as the 599 GTB Fiorano. More recently, they’ve started reviving older names like the California which started as the legendary 250 California and was followed up by the 365 California during the sixties.

The GTC4 meanwhile was derived from the 365GTC/4 and Lusso takes its name after the 250 Lusso which brings us the name GTC4Lusso. And the latest name for a Superfast was actually a revival for the 812.

Models from the 1980s

Ferrari had a blast from the past during the eighties, naming their cars from the older classics such as the Testarossa and the Mondial. Now, the name Testarossa has been linked to the 250 as two separate words.

The most memorable name was also brought back from the past with the 288 GTO even if the 288 number was not officially assigned by Ferrari since the car is simply called the Ferrari GTO.

Ferrari 275GTB/4 or 4Cam

Did you know that the 4Cam moniker was replaced by 365GTV/4 which later on became what we now know as the Daytona? Well, the reason behind the name change was that Ferrari won at the Daytona 24 hours race in 1967. Interestingly, the Boxer name (from the seventies) was derived from the boxer engine that the Berlinetta Boxer actually doesn’t have.

Ferrari 250GT Competizione and Tour De France

Ferrari began using official names for road cars during the fifties. This resulted to a combination of numbers and letters like the 250GT. Similarly, the Tour De France name was made for the 250GTs with the long wheelbase.

As for the 250 FT Passo Corto or the SWB, if you translate these words in English, you will get the Short Wheel Base or SWB for short. On the same note, the 250 GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

Dino 268SP with the 2.6 litre V8 engine

This name was derived from thecapacity and the number of cylinders. (i.e., the 246 is actually a 2.4 liter 6 cylinder engine). The same naming scheme was applied to the V8 engine Dino Series Ferraris until the 348.

Ferrari 124 125 1.5 litre V12 engine

This numbering system represents the cubic capacity of the engine cylinder. When 125 was multiplied by 12 cylinders it becomes 1500cc thus the name 1.5 liter V12.

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