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Ferrari Testarossa: Production & History

Ferrari Testarossa Parked Against Traffic

Heir to the 512 BBi, the Ferrari Testarossa broke from tradition with a bold and innovative design that makes it a favorite among Chicago Ferrari aficionados. Among those design updates were a set of larger side intakes that would become the most recognizable feature of the Ferrari Testarossa.

This 12-cylinder mid-engine automobile was produced from 1984 to 1991 and included two model revisions in production between 1992 and 1996: the 512 TR and F512 M. Including the revised models, nearly 10,000 Ferrari Testarossas were released.

Ferrari Testarossa Engine & Specs

The Ferrari Testarossa engine was the first time a Ferrari road car sported a flat-12 cylinder configuration outfitted with four valves per cylinder, yet it maintained the same 4.9L capacity of the 512 BBi engine. Longitudinally mounted and paired with a five-speed transmission, the 4.9L flat-12 featured an electronic ignition system with fuel injection, delivering 385 hp (6,300 RPM) and 361 lb-ft of torque (4,500 RPM).

The Testarossa engine continued to push the envelope on speed as well, with impressive track times for a road car:

  • 0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds
  • 0-100 mph: 11.4 seconds
  • Quarter Mile: 13.5 seconds
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

The subsequent 512 TR and F512 M featured upgraded engines and improved specs:

  • 512 TR: A 4.9L flat-12 rated at 428 hp (6,750 RPM) and 362 lb-ft of torque (5,500 RPM)
  • F512 M: A 4.9L flat-12 capable of 440 hp (6,750 RPM) and 370 lb-ft of torque (5,500 RPM)
Ferrari Testarossa on Street

512 TR & F512 M

The 512 TR specs and the F512 M specs are just part of the updates the Testarossa received for these special editions.

The 512 TR interior also received updates. The center console split from the dashboard and the climate controls were shifted. The exterior saw a redesign that put the model in-line with the recently released 348, including adjustments for new spoilers and a new engine cover.

The F512 M followed the 512 TR and was the last version of the Testarossa produced — with a total of 501 models (75 of which were right-handed). Interior upgrades include drilled aluminum pedals, a chromed gearshift knob, and standard air conditioning along with the choice of carbon fibre bucket seating. The exterior traded pop-up headlamps for fixed square units and the rear taillamps were rounded out with an updated bumper to a uniform style tip to tail.

Ferrari Testarossa Design

The Ferrari Testarossa was available in right or left hand drive, marking the first time in a decade a 12-cylinder Ferrari was produced for the US market. The model also heralded the return to different sizing for front and rear wheels, sporting 10J x 16 rear wheels and 8J x 16 front wheels. Independent, unequal length wishbone suspensions used coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar, while large ventilated disc brakes (with twin hydraulic circuits) brought stopping power to the Testarossa.

The Pininfarina-designed successor to the Boxer series was visually different from its predecessor, despite still featuring a mid-mounted flat-12.

  • The sharp-nosed wedge profile disappeared, replaced by a softer, rounded front end.
  • Front wings flowed into deeply straked door panels that grew wider down the length of the body, turning to wide rear wings.
  • The rear abandoned the paired circular taillights that had been a styling feature for over a decade in exchange for a full-width slatting black louvre concealing rectangular rear taillights.
Ferrari Testarossa Interior

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At Ferrari Lake Forest, we work hard to help Chicago drivers to find the Ferrari they’ve been dreaming of. Contact us today to learn more about classic Ferraris and how we can help you find a Ferrari Testarossa for sale.

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