Ferrari Testarossa

From Ferrari Wiki

Revision as of 02:11, 13 February 2009 by Budlight (Budlight | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Ferrari Testarossa
Automotive industryFerrari
Parent companyFiat
AssemblyMaranello, Italy
PredecessorFerrari BB 512i
SuccessorFerrari 550 Maranello
Car classificationSports car
Car body style2-door Berlinetta
Automobile layoutRear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed Manual transmission
Automotive designPininfarina

The Ferrari Testarossa is a 12-cylinder Mid-engine design Sports car manufactured by Ferrari, which went into production in 1984 as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. The Pininfarina-designed car was originally produced from 1984 to 1991, with two model revisions following the ending of Testarossa production and the introduction of the 512 TR and F512 M which were produced from 1992 to 1996. Almost 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making it one of the most common Ferrari models, despite its high price and exotic design.[1][2] In 1995, the F512 M retailed for $220,000.[3]

The Testarossa is a two-door Coupe with a fixed roof that premiered at the 1984 Paris Auto Show.[4] All versions of the Testarossa had the power fed through the wheels from a rear-mounted, five-speed Manual transmission. The Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout (engine between the axles but behind the cabin) keeps the Centre of gravity in the middle of the car, which increases stability and improves the car's cornering ability, and thus results in a standing Weight distribution of 40% front: 60% rear.[1] The original Testarossa was re-engineered for 1992 and released as the 512 TR, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, effectively as a completely new car,[2] and an improved weight distribution of 41% front: 59% rear.[5] The F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show.[2] The car dropped the TR initials and added the M which in Italian language stood for modificata, or translated to modified, and was the final version of the Testarossa,[4][2] and continued its predecessor's weight distribution improvement of 42% front: 58% rear.[6] The F512 M was Ferrari's last Mid-engine 12-cylinder car, apart from the F50 and Ferrari Enzo, featuring the company's last Flat engine. The Testarossa was replaced in 1996 by the Front-engine design 550 Maranello coupe.

The vehicle should not be confused with the Ferrari TR "Testa Rossa" of the late 1950s and early 1960s, which were GT Sports car racing that ran in the World Sportscar Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[2]



A Testarossa engine with red cam covers.
File:Ferrari Testarossa - 003.jpg
One of the side intakes on a 512TR which leads to the radiators mounted on the back of the car.

The Testarossa name, which means "red head" in Italian language, comes from the red-painted cam covers on the Flat-12 engine.[7] Of course, the Double entendre with a red-headed woman was intentional; in fact, Ferrari and Pininfarina regularly use descriptive terms related to a female's body when describing the style of their automobiles.


The Testarossa can trace its roots back to the faults of the 1981 512i BB.[7] The problems that the Testarossa was conceived to fix, included a cabin that got increasingly hot from the indoor plumbing that ran between the front-mounted radiator and the midships-mounted engine and a lack of luggage space.[7] To fix these problems Ferrari and Pininfarina designed the Testarossa to be larger than its predecessor, the Berlinetta Boxer. For instance, at 1,976 Millimetre (78 Inch) wide the Testarossa was half a foot wider than the Boxer. This resulted in an increased Wheelbase that stretched about 64 mm (2.5 in) to 2,550 mm (100 in) which was used to accommodate luggage in a carpeted storage space under the front forward-opening hood.[7] Furthermore, the increase in length created an additional extra storage space behind the seats in the cabin, and a roofline half an inch taller than the Boxer.

Completing this newly design vehicle was a controversial Pininfarina body.[7] The side Strake sometimes referred to as "cheese graters", that spanned from the doors to the rear fenders were designed to solve the uncomfortable heat problem in the cabin. The Testarossa had twin Radiator in the back with the engine instead of a single radiator up-front.[7] In conjunction the strakes provided cool air to the rear-mounted side radiators, thus keeping the engine from over heating. The strakes also made the Testarossa wider at the rear than in the front, thus increasing stability and handling.[2]

Like its predecessor, the Testarossa used a Double wishbone suspension front and rear Suspension system. However the Testarossa had 10-inch-wide alloy rear wheels which acted as a sort of rudimentary type of traction control. The Testarossa shared much with the BB 512i, like a near identical displacement and compression ratio, but unlike the BB 512i had four-valve cylinder heads that were finished in red.[7]


Production1984–1991 (7,177 produced)[4][1]
PredecessorFerrari BB 512i
Internal combustion engine4.9 L flat-12 291 kW (390 hp)[4]
Wheelbase2550 mm (100.4 in)[4]
Length4485 mm (176.6 in)[4]
Width1976 mm (77.8 in)[4]
Height1130 mm (44.5 in)[4]
Curb weight1506 kg (3320.2 lb)[4]
Fuel capacity115 L (25 imp gal; 30 US gal)[1]


The Testarossa sports a 4.9 litre (4,943 Cubic centimetre/302 Cubic inch) Ferrari Colombo Flat-12 engine mounted at 180 degree mid, longitudinally.[4][8] Each Cylinder (engine) has four Poppet valve, with forty-eight valves total, lubricated via a Dry sump system, and a Compression ratio of 9.20:1.[8][4] These combine to provide a maximum Torque of 490 Newton metre (361 Foot-pound force) at 4500 Revolutions per minute and a maximum power of 291 kilowatts (396 PS; 390 hp) at 6300 revolutions per minute.[1][4][9] Early U.S. versions of the car had the same engine, but slightly less horsepower with only 283 kW (385 PS; 380 hp).[2][7][9]

The Ferrari Testarossa can accelerate from 0–100 Kilometres per hour (62 Miles per hour) in 5.8 seconds[1] and from 0–97 Kilometres per hour (60 Miles per hour) in 5.2 seconds and on to 161 km/h (100 mph) in 11.40 seconds[1] (though Motor Trend managed 5.29 seconds and 11.3 seconds, respectively).[2] It can complete a standing (from stationary) Quarter mile (~400 m) in 13.50 seconds or a standing kilometre in 23.80 seconds.[1] The maximum speed of the Testarossa is 290 kilometres per hour (180 mph).[8]

GearReverse12345Final Drive
Ratio[9][1] 2.523:1 3.139:1 2.104:1 1.526:1 1.167:1 0.875:1 3.210:1


The Testarossa has 16-Inch (406 Millimetre) wheels with a width of 8-inch (200 mm) at the front and 10-inch (250 mm) at the rear for both United States and International versions.[9] The tire code for the U.S. version of the vehicle had Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company 225/50 VR 16 and 255/50 VR 16 for the rear tires, whilet the tire codes for the international version had Michelin TRX 240/45 VR 415 for the front tires and TRX 280/45 VR 415 for the rear tires.[1][9] The front brakes have a diameter of 309 Millimetre (12.17 Inch) and the rear brakes have a diameter of 310 millimetres (12.20 in).[1]


The Testarossa featured a luxury cabin filled with handsewn leather and fine carpeting.[7]


See also: Cars in Miami Vice

The car won many comparison tests and admirers - it was featured on the cover of Road & Track magazine nine times in just five years. The price of the Testarossa in the US was $181,000 in 1989, including a $2,700 Energy Tax Act. The original selling price in the UK was £62,666.[10]

Jack Nerad of Driving Today states, the Testarossa "... [was] a car designed and built to cash in on an image. And since cashing in was what the Eighties were all about, it was the perfect vehicle for its time. The saving grace was, it was also a damn good automobile."[7]

Although successful on the road, the Testarossa did not appear on race tracks, unlike the BB 512i, which had done so with minor success.

As the car became synonymous with 80s yuppies and nowadays plays a part of the 80's retro culture,[11] such popularity meant that the Testarossa has made appearance in numerous video games, most notably the arcade games Out Run, OutRun 2, and Hard Drivin', and also in the TV series Miami Vice, as Sonny Crockett's undercover car from List of Miami Vice episodes and on. Even its side strakes has at the time became a popular aftermarket body component for wide arch kits.[2] The Testarossa still frequently makes appearances in video games. The strakes spawned knock-off treatments that were placed onto cars like the Pontiac Trans Ams and a wide variety of Japanese sporty cars.[7]

Testarossa Spider

The Testarossa Spider, serial number 62897, is the sole official Convertible variant of the Testarossa commissioned by Ferrari and designed by Pininfarina to be built. The car was specially made for the late Gianni Agnelli, head of Fiat at the time, as a gift.[12][13] The Testarossa Spider had a silver exterior, a white magnolia leather interior with a dark blue stripe running above the matt black sills, and a white top that could be manually stowed away.[12][13] The vehicle was delivered to Agnelli in 1986, and had a silver Ferrari logo on the hood instead of an aluminium one.[13][12]

Many customers requested their own Testarossa Spider, but Ferrari declined every one of them, and so Pininfarina and other conversion firms had to make unofficial Spider conversions.[12] The official Spider was no different mechanically than the normal Testarossa's available in the European market. It had a standard 4.9 L 291 kilowatts (396 PS; 390 hp) flat-12 engine. The only difference, other than being a convertible, was that the Spider's front window and door windows were both shorter than the normal car.[13][12]

512 TR

512 TR
Ferrari Testarossa - 001.jpg
Production1991–1994 (2,280 produced)[14]
SuccessorF512 M
Internal combustion engine4.9 L flat-12 319 kW (428 hp)[15][14]
Wheelbase2550 mm (100.4 in)[5]
Length4485 mm (176.6 in)[5]
Width1941 mm (76.4 in)[5]
Height1135 mm (44.7 in)[5]
Curb weight1471 kg (3243 lb)[5]
Fuel capacity110 L (24 imp gal; 29 US gal)[5]


The 512 TR sports a 4.9 litre (4,943 Cubic centimetre/302 Cubic inch) Ferrari Colombo Flat-12 engine mounted at 180 degree mid, longitudinally.[5][14] Each Cylinder (engine) has four Poppet valve, with forty-eight valves total, lubricated via a Dry sump system, and a Compression ratio of 10.00:1.[5][15][16] These combine to provide a maximum Torque of 488 Newton metre (360 Foot-pound force) at 5500 revolutions per minute and a maximum power of 319 kilowatts (434 PS; 428 hp) at 6750 revolutions per minute.[14][15][16]

The Ferrari 512 TR can accelerate from 0–97 Kilometres per hour (60 Miles per hour) in 4.90 seconds and on to 161 km/h (100 mph) in 10.70 seconds.[5] It can complete a standing (from stationary) Quarter mile in 13.20 seconds or a standing kilometre in 23.40 seconds.[5] The maximum speed the 512 TR can attain is 314 kilometres per hour (195 mph).[5][15]

GearReverse12345Final Drive
Ratio[5][16] 2.428:1 2.916:1 1.882:1 1.421:1 1.087:1 0.815:1 3.45:1

A recall was issued in 1995, regarding Fuel line fitting issues.[17] Over 400 models had this defect which was caused by variances in temperature and environment. Another recall was issued in relation to the passive restraint system on Seat belt not functioning properly, on over 2,000 512TR's.[17] If the restaint system suffered a mechanical or electrical failure only the lap belt would provide the occupant protection.

The 512 TR's engine was modified in many ways. Nikasil liners were added, along with a new air intake system, Robert Bosch GmbH engine management system, larger intake valves, and a revised exhaust system. In addition to the higher peak power, the modifications delivered a more broad power curve for better acceleration.

Gearshifting effort, long a complaint about the Testarossa, was eased with a new single-plate clutch, sliding ball bearings, and better angle for the shifter. The braking system included larger front rotors and cross-drilling all around. Quicker steering, lower-profile tires, and new shock settings improved handling. Most importantly, engine and gearbox position was rethought, which improved the centre of gravity, aiding the handling and making the car less fearsome on the limit.

The interior was revised too, with the center console split from the dashboard, and the climate controls relocated. Pininfarina tweaked the body of the car to better integrate the spoilers and engine cover and update the design in line with the recently released 348.

It cost US$212,160 in 1992 with luxury items, the "gas-guzzler" taxes, and destination freight.


The 512 TR has 18-Inch (457 Millimetre) wheels with a width of 8 in (200 mm) at the front and 10.5 in (270 mm) at the rear. The tire code for the front wheels are 235/40 ZR 18 and 295/35 ZR 18 for the rear tires.[5][15][16] The front brakes have a diameter of 315 Millimetre (12.40 Inch) and the rear brakes have a diameter of 310 mm (12.20 in).[5]

F512 M

F512 M
Production1994–1996 (500 produced)[2][18]
Predecessor512 TR
SuccessorFerrari 550 Maranello
Internal combustion engine4.9 L flat-12 328.1 kW (440 hp)[6][19]
Wheelbase2550 mm (100.4 in)[6]
Length4480 mm (176.4 in)[6]
Width1976 mm (77.8 in)[6]
Height1118 mm (44 in)[6]
Curb weight1455 kg (3207.7 lb)[6]
Fuel capacity110 L (24 imp gal; 29 US gal)[6]


The F512 M sports a 4.9 litre (4,943 Cubic centimetre/302 Cubic inch) Ferrari Colombo Flat-12 engine mounted at 180 degree mid, longitudinally.[4][19] Each Cylinder (engine) has four Poppet valve, with forty-eight valves total, lubricated via a Dry sump system, and a Compression ratio of 10.40:1.[6][19] These combine to provide a maximum Torque of 550 Newton metre (406 Foot-pound force) at 5500 Revolutions per minute and a maximum power of 328.1 kilowatts (446 PS; 440 hp) at 6750 revolutions per minute.[6][19] Due to new Titanium connecting rods and a new Crankshaft that together weigh 7.26 Kilogram (16 Pound (mass)) less than what they replace, the engine can spin up to and thus tolerate 7500 rpm, its electronic cuttoff limit.[3]

The Ferrari F512 M can accelerate from 0–97 Kilometres per hour (60 Miles per hour) in 4.80 seconds, on to 161 km/h (100 mph) in 10.20 seconds,[6] and 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.70 seconds.[19][3] It can complete a standing (from stationary) Quarter mile in 12.70 seconds or a standing kilometre in 22.70 seconds.[6] The maximum speed of the F512 M is 315 kilometres per hour (196 mph).[6][19][18]

GearFinal Drive
Ratio[6] 3.31:1


The front and rear lamps received a design change. The front lamps are now square framed lamps that are no longer hidden.[3] The rear taillamps are round and the bumpers have been restyled to yield a more unified look for the F512 M.[3] This car featured a different front lid with twin NACA duct.


The F512 M's interior received a minor update from the 512 TR. The gearshift knob now has a Chrome finished, the aluminum pedals are drilled, and air conditioning is now standard equipment. Carbon fiber racing bucket seats are also available at no extra cost as they are only 14.97 Kilogram (33 Pound (mass)), much less than the standard seats.[3] Pininfarina and Ferrari flags line the dash board.


The F512 M has 18-Inch (457 Millimetre) wheels with a width of 8-inch (200 mm) for both the front and rear tires. The tires are Pirelli P Zero,[6][3] with codes for the front wheels of 235/40 ZR 18 and 295/35 ZR 18 for the rear tires.[19] The front brakes have a diameter of 315 Millimetre (12.40 Inch) and the rear brakes have a diameter of 310 mm (12.20 in).[6]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 "Carfolio: Ferrari Testarossa". Carfolio. Retrieved on 2009-01-02. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. "Ferrari Testarossa". How Stuff Works. Retrieved on 2009-01-03. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Perini, Giancarlo (January 1995). "Ferrari F512 M". Car & Driver: pgs. 128-130. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Melissen, Wouter (2004-12-01). "1984-1991 Ferrari Testarossa". Ultimate car page. Retrieved on 2009-01-02. 
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 "Carfolio: Ferrari 512 TR". Carfolio. Retrieved on 2009-01-03. 
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 "Carfolio: Ferrari F512 M". Carfolio. Retrieved on 2009-01-03. 
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Nerad, Jack. "Ferrari Testarossa". Driving Today. Retrieved on 2009-01-02. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Ferrari World: Testarossa" (Flash). Ferrari. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Testarossa Specifications". Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  10. 1989 Road and Driver, Exotic Edition.
  11. Biggs, Henry (2006-03-06). "Top 10 Iconic 80s cars". MSN Cars UK. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "Ferrari Testarossa Part 2: Testarossa Spider". Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Testarossa Spider". Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Melissen, Wouter (2004-12-01). "Ferrari 512TR". Ultimate Car Pages. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 "Ferrari World: 512 TR" (Flash). Ferrari. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "512 TR Specifications". Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "1993 FERRARI 512 TR". US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall no. 94V131000. CarFax. Retrieved on 2009-01-03. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Melissen, Wouter (2005-01-01). "Ferrari F512 M". Ultimate Car Pages. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 "Ferrari World: F512 M" (Flash). Ferrari. Retrieved on 2009-01-04. 


  • Bob Johnson. "Ferrari Testarossa". Road and Track (June 1989): 64–69. 
  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 
  • "Retail Prices, Import Cars," Automotive News, April, 1986: page 53.
  • William Jeanes. "Preview: Ferrari 512TR". Car and Driver (March 1992): 57–59. 

External links

Personal tools