Ferrari Testarossa is a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car manufactured by Ferrari and went into production in 1984 to replace the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer.
It was unveiled at the 1984 Paris Auto Show as a two-door coupe.
The Testarossa name was a reference to the World Sportscar Championship winning 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa racing car. In Italian Testa Rossa means redhead, a reference to the red-painted cam covers of the engine.
Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer had many design faults such as a cabin that got increasingly hot from the indoor plumbing that ran between the front-mounted radiator, lack of luggage space, midships mounted engine placement, and its position.
Ferrari Testarossa was designed to be bigger than its predecessor to address these issues. It is half a foot wider than the Boxer at 77.8 inches and had a longer wheelbase at 100.4 inches. This extra space was then used to accommodate luggage in a storage space under the front hood lid.
The increased length allowed for the creation of extra storage space behind the seats in the cabin, and the headroom was also increased with a roofline half an inch taller than the Boxer.
Ferrari Testarossa was designed by Pininfarina, and the project was led by design chief Leonardo Fioravanti. The design was originated by Emanuele Nicosia, under the supervision of Leonardo Fioravanti.
Leonardo Fioravanti was one of the leading aerodynamics experts at his time and was famed for his intuition on how to set up the layout of the car.
The extravagance of the side intakes was necessary to keep the engine under the required heating levels. But the American Highway and Safety regulations dictated that the side vents could not be left open. To address this issue, the design team decided to reduce the number of side vents to the bare minimum but then decided to left them as they are and to make them a statement of style.
This unique side vent design soon became an emblem of the high performance of the late 1980s and early 1990s and was commonly known as the cheese graters or egg slicers.
The side vents and their strakes ran from the doors to the rear fenders to comply with regulations enforced by several key markets outlawing large openings on cars.
The aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.36 degrees was significantly lower than the 0.42 degrees of the Lamborghini Countach. Due to this, Ferrari Testarossa did not need a rear spoiler.
Ferrari Testarossa had twin side radiators near the engine at the rear. The air coming through the side vents passed through the engine bay and exited through the vents at the engine lid and the tail.
This radiator system eliminates the need for much piping when compared to the traditional single radiator in the front of the car. Vacant space left in the front was then used to supply better airflow to the cabin, thus allowing better cooling and ventilation.
A single high mounted side view mirror was included on the driver’s side. On the US-spec cars, the mirror was lowered to a more normal placement for the 1987 model year and a passenger side-view mirror was included to comply with highway and safety regulations.
The naturally aspirated Tipo F113 V12 was an evolution of the Ferrari BB512i, and its engine came with near identical displacement and compression ratio, with the main difference being the addition of four-valve cylinder heads that were painted in red.
The naturally aspirated 4.9-liter longitudinally-mounted 180 degrees Ferrari V12 engine has a dual overhead cam four-valves per cylinder (48 valves in total) and is lubricated via a dry sump system. The fuel compression ratio was an impressive 9.20:1. This powertrain was then mated to a five-speed manual gearbox to deliver the power to the rear wheels of the car.
The maximum power output was measured at 385hp at 6300rpm and the maximum torque was measured at 361 lb-ft at 4500rpm.
The US-spec cars had the same engine but the addition of catalytic converters resulted in reduced 380hp maximum power output.
When unveiled for the 1985 model year, Ferrari Testarossa was equipped with magnesium single bolt knockoff style alloy wheels with a 16.33-inch diameter. These wheels were wrapped in Michelin TRX 240/45 VR 415 tires at the front and 280/45 VR 415 at the rear.
In 1986 model year, the Ferrari Testarossa was now equipped with standard 16-inch alloy wheels with a width of 8 inches in the front and 10 inches in the rear. Goodyear Gatorback 225/50 VR 16 tires in the front and 255/50 VR 16 tires in the rear were also included as standard.
The rear suspension system consisted of an independent unequal-length wishbone, coil springs, twin telescopic shock absorbers on each side, and an anti-roll bar.
The entire drivetrain and the suspension setup were designed in a way to be removed as a unit from underneath the car so the engine and timing belts could be services.
In 1988 mid-model year, the suspension setup was revised and the single-bolt knockoff style wheels were replaced with standard five-bolt Ferrari alloy wheels, but the design was similar to the original wheels installed at the Testarossa’s debut.
Disc brakes were all around with 309mm in the front and 310mm in the rear.
Ferrari Testarossa had a curb weight of 1708kg.
Ferrari Testarossa could reach 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. 0-100mph took only 11.4 seconds. It also ran the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds. The top speed was measured at 180mph.
Ferrari Testarossa Spider
A one-off Ferrari Testarossa Spider was built for the use of then Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli to celebrate his 20 years of chairmanship of the company.
Ferrari Testarossa Spider had a unique white magnolia leather interior with a dark blue stripe running above the matte black sills, and a white electronically operated soft top that could be manually stowed away. It was finished in Argento Nürburgring color.
Ferrari Testarossa Spider was delivered to Gianni Agnelli in four months and it featured a solid silver Ferrari logo on the hood instead of an aluminum one.
It was mechanically identical to the EU spec Ferrari Testarossa and was equipped with the 4.9-liter V12 engine. The power output was 390hp and the top speed was significantly reduced due to the addition of excess weight caused by the reinforcement procedures done on the chassis.
However, it was equipped with a special transmission unit made by Valeo instead of the standard five-speed manual unit. It was a hybrid incorporating both manual and automatic systems, and with a touch of a button, the driver could set it to be completely automatic or manual. This transmission unit was installed on special request by Gianni Agnelli as he suffered from a chronic leg injury.
It featured a shorter windscreen and door windows when compared to the Ferrari Testarossa.
The Agnelli Ferrari Testarossa Spider was auctioned off in 2016 at a price of $1 million.
Ferrari refused to produce Ferrari Testarossa Spider as a production variant, despite many requests from customers. This was due to the structural and technical issues that would be difficult to resolve.
So, third-party coachbuilders like Pininfarina and Koenig offered Spider conversions on special customer requests.
Ferrari 512 TR
Ferrari 512 TR was redesigned by Pietro Camardella at Pininfarina. It was redesigned for better integration of newly added spoilers and the new engine cover.
Ferrari 512 TR’s engine was extensively revised and now featured Nikasil liners along with a new air intake system. Bosch engine management system, larger intake valves, and a revised exhaust system were added. This resulted in slightly more maximum power output and a broader powerband for better acceleration.
Ferrari 512 TR is equipped with a 4.9-liter longitudinally rear-mounted V12 engine. Four valves per cylinder (48 valves in total). The lubrication is done via a dry-sump system. The fuel compression ratio is 10.00:1.
A new single-plate clutch, sliding ball bearings, and better angle for the gearshift knob resulted in better gear shifting.
Maximum power output is now measured at 422hp at 6750rpm.
Ferrari 512 TR could reach 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and 0-100mph in 10.7 seconds. It ran the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds and the top speed was measured at 195mph.
The brake system now featured large cross-drilled front rotors for better braking.
The steering system was also revised and now more responsive than the old system. Low profile tires and new shock absorbers resulted in better handling.
The interior was reworked and now featured a center console split from the dashboard. Climate controls were also relocated.
Ferrari 512 TR was equipped with alloy wheels 18×8 in the front and 18×10.5 in the rear along with 235/40 ZR 18 in the front and 295/35 ZR 18 in the rear.
The front brake calipers got a diameter of 315mm and the rear brakes got a diameter of 310mm.
The curb weight of Ferrari 512 TR was measured at 1656kg.
In 1995, a recall was issued due to fuel hose fitting issues caused by variances in temperature and environmental factors.
Production started in 1991 and wrapped up in 1994, with 2261 cars produced in total.
Ferrari F512 M
Ferrari F512 M was the latest iteration of the Ferrari Testarossa. The front and rear lights were redesigned and the pop-up style headlights are now replaced with fixed units and the lower front fascia has been restyled to look more unique.
It is equipped with a 4.9-liter Tipo F113G longitudinally-mounted v12 engine. This engine features four-valves per cylinder (48 valves in total) and is lubricated via a dry sump system. The fuel compression ratio is 10.40:1. New titanium connecting rods and a new crankshaft was added to reduce weight by 7.25kg. Rev limiter is 7500rpm.
The maximum power output is measured at 434hp at 6750rm. The maximum torque was measured at 370 lb-ft at 5500rpm.
It could reach 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, and 0-100mph takes only 10.2 seconds.
Ferrari 512M can run the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds. The top speed is measured at 196mph.
The interior of the Ferrari 512M also received minor updates and the gear knob now has a chrome finish, the aluminum pedals are drilled, and air conditioning is now included as standard. Carbon fiber bucket seats were also standard to reduce weight further. The dashboard now featured Ferrari and Pininfarina badges.
Ferrari 512M is now equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels with an 8-inch diameter in the front and 10.5 inches in the rear. Pirelli P Zero tires were also included as standard.
The front disc brakes have a diameter of 315mm and 310mm in the rear.
Only 501 Ferrari F512M cars were produced from 1994 to 1996.