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The father of all hypercars

2 years ago

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Gavin Green | Journalist


28 October 2022

There is, I believe, a very good argument that the Ferrari 288 GTO was the world’s first hypercar, even if that’s not actually its name. Ferrari only ever called it ‘GTO’, the ‘288’ referring to its approximate engine capacity and exact cylinder count only ever applied informally and in retrospect.

Of course, there were fast cars of limited production and high prices well before it was unveiled at the 1984 Geneva Motor Show (I was there), but their link to today’s breed of hypercar is tenuous at best. With the 288 GTO, the lineage is crystal clear. Even Ferrari will tell you that the GTO was the starting point. For it was the car that proved there was a market for low volume cars of extreme performance that sold at very high price.

The Porsche 959 followed soon after. Then, in quick succession, we saw the Ferrari F40 (1987), Jaguar XJ220 (1992), Bugatti EB110 (1992), McLaren F1 (1994) and, having discovered a highly profitable formula, Ferrari again with the F50 (1995).

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