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Monday, May 25, 2020

The first prancing horse species that adopted the 4-wheel drive system

If you think that the Ferrari FF is the first Ferrari 4-wheel drive vehicle? That's not quite right and should be corrected, in fact, the Ferrari 408 4RM is the first Ferrari species that adopts a 4-wheel drive system. 
1987 Ferrari 408 4RM is the first Ferrari species that adopts a 4-wheel drive system. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3cIC8Ls)
The Italian premium car manufacturer built the 408 4RM with two main aims. First and foremost it would act as a car test bed to explore future production technologies. Secondly (and more speculatively) Ferrari was keen to procure the kind of consultancy work that helped drive profits at Porsche and Lotus.

The Italian firm reasoned that the Ferrari-branded engineering division could rival the best in the business and the 408 4RM was commissioned to demonstrate their state-of-the-art design capability. As we all know, this car is specifically built for the study design purposes only in 1987.
Interior view of 1987 Ferrari 408 4RM. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2z4swfG)
Two examples were completed. The first (70183) came with a pressed stainless steel monocoque. The second (78610) and a spare were formed from aluminum honeycomb chemically bonded with epoxy resin. The initial aluminum variant was manufactured in collaboration with Canadian firm Alcan. 

Both types came with detachable front and rear subframes and a 2550mm wheelbase. And the 408 4RM signaled Ferrari's first crack at reinventing four-wheel drive with a complex, hydraulically operated system.
1987 Ferrari 408 4RM used a rear-mid-mounted, quad-cam, four-liter V8 was good for 300bhp. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2z4swfG)
It would have been a bit of a corker, we think. Ferrari was truly on form at that stage and there are signs of that genius in the 4RM, too. A rear-mid-mounted, quad-cam, four-liter V8 was good for 300bhp, and it was dry-sumped to keep the oil where it needed to be in the corners. And, considering it was propelling just 1,340 kilos, it'd be pretty brisk, to say the least.
Finally, the 4RM boasted fully independent, dual-wishbone suspension front and rear, plus a four-wheel-drive system, which would have made for quite the B-road belter indeed. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SUPERCARNOSTALGIA | TOPGEAR]
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