Cars

Ferrari's Geneva Show Stars

Ferrari's Geneva Show Stars

Ferrari has chosen the Geneva Motor Show to launch more than 40 all-new models over the years. We reflect on some of the most significant and spectacular debuts
Words

Chris Rees

1953 - Ferrari 250 MM
The very first Ferrari launched ever at the Geneva Motor Show was a truly glorious one. The 250 MM was based on the 1952 Mille Miglia-winning Ferrari 250 S prototype, resulting in the 1953 production model using the ‘MM’ name after the epic road race. Using the new Gioachino Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12 engine, its performance was tested and proven at the Mille Miglia and many other events. Shining under the Geneva spotlights, its elegant Pinin Farina coupe bodywork broke new design ground.

1957 - Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet
Grand touring convertibles had not really featured in Ferrari’s catalogue before 1957; they had been left to coachbuilders such as Boano (which showed a 250 GT Cabriolet at the 1956 Geneva Salon). Then at Geneva in 1957, a new era was ushered in by the Pinin Farina-designed 250 GT Cabriolet, afforded ‘official’ status as a Ferrari model. Classically elegant and beautifully proportioned, it represented the pinnacle of refined style in the 1950s.

1984 - Ferrari GTO
Superficially, the GTO unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1984 might have resembled the contemporary Ferrari 308, but its elegantly curvaceous exterior belied the beast that it in fact was. Fully justifying the use of the legendary ‘GTO’ badge, it was very close to being a racing car for the road, as evidenced by its use of lightweight composite materials and adjustable suspension. Its 2.8-litre, eight-cylinder engine (which lent it, unofficially, a ‘288’ prefix) was twin-turbocharged and capable of 400hp – extraordinary for the time.

Ferrari grabbed attention in 1994 with the launch of the F333 SP racer at Geneva
Ferrari grabbed attention in 1994 with the launch of the F333 SP racer at Geneva

1994 - Ferrari F333 SP
Competition cars are usually launched well away from the glitz and glamour of motor shows, but the F333 SP was different. The very last in the line of Ferrari closed-wheel racers was shown at Geneva in 1994. Within 12 months, the actual car from the Geneva show stand had triumphed at the 12 Hours of Sebring race. Victory garlands would fall like leaves upon the F333 SP during its racing career, which spectacularly consisted of 47 international wins and 12 championships. Undoubtedly the highlight was victory in the 1998 Daytona 24 Hours race.

Celebrating 50 years of Ferrari in style at Geneva 1995 with the fabled F50
Celebrating 50 years of Ferrari in style at Geneva 1995 with the fabled F50

1995 - Ferrari F50
What better way could there be for Ferrari to celebrate its 50th anniversary than to make the ultra-desirable F50? In fact, the F50 arrived a little prematurely for that golden 50th, being unveiled at the March 1995 Geneva Motor Show. This was the closest thing to a road-going Formula 1 car that Ferrari had yet built, using F1-style construction, materials and aerodynamics. Its utterly hardcore specification included zero power assistance for the steering and brakes, while its 520hp V12 engine provided unmatched performance.

1999 - Ferrari 360 Modena
A new era for Ferrari mid-engined V8 berlinettas arrived at the 1999 Geneva Salon with the 360 Modena. This was the first production Ferrari with every major part – chassis, bodyshell and suspension – made entirely of aluminium. Geneva would then be selected as the launch occasion for the 360 Spider (in 2000) and 360 Challenge Stradale (2003).

The incredible LaFerrari was the star of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show
The incredible LaFerrari was the star of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show

2013 - LaFerrari
Geneva 2013 was the occasion chosen to launch Ferrari’s first ever hybrid-powered car. And what a spectacular machine the LaFerrari was: its 963hp petrol/electric powerplant was the most potent ever in a Ferrari road car, and its F1-inspired technology made it the world’s most advanced – and desirable – supercar.

The 2018 Ferrari show-stopper at Geneva was the racetrack-honed 488 Pista
The 2018 Ferrari show-stopper at Geneva was the racetrack-honed 488 Pista

2018 - Ferrari 488 Pista
After 2015’s 488 GTB debut at Geneva, Ferrari again chose the Swiss motor show to unveil its latest ‘Special Series’ car, the 488 Pista. With its 720hp V8 turbo engine, special lightweight parts and F1-derived aerodynamics, it’s the closest thing to a track-only car that you can get in a Ferrari road car.

 

Ferrari