|2-door coupe, production car
|Miles Per Gallon:
|390 bhp @ 6300 rpm
|354 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
|f: --.- / r: --.- in
|--.- sec @ --- mph
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
The Ferrari Testarossa leaped to center stage of the automotive world in 1984 and remained there for 11 years as the world's fastest regular production car. It was the definition of "supercar" in its era, the innovative benchmark against which all contemporary sports cars were measured.
When Ferrari set about creating a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer, a V12 engine, high performance, style and exemplary design were assumed. Ferrari dictated that luxury and practicality befitting the world's premier production sports car were also to be encompassed. Even as the Testarossa exerted a pull on the hearts and minds of car lovers, not to mention designers, Ferrari did not sit on their laurels. 1984's Testarossa evolved into the 512TR of 1991 and the F512M of 1995. With each evolution the styling, interior, and drivetrain were enhanced in a car that was always capable of speeds exceeding 180mph, accelerated to 60mph in approximately 5 seconds, and attained almost 0.9G lateral acceleration.
In 1982 Pininfarina was commissioned to style a 12-cylinder Ferrari with radiators in the flanks like a racing car, GT-level luggage and storage space, extreme comfort, and performance to top the road-car line of the world's premier sports car manufacturer. The Testarossa was to be shaped partly by the wind tunnel to ensure clean airflow, low noise and high speed stability. Rear location of the radiators made the car's aerodynamics even more important as passive direction of air to and from the engine bay had to be very effective. The result of Pininfarina's labors was easily the most recognizable and influential car of its time. The Testarossa is unmistakable at any distance, and impossible to ignore.
The shape was perfected without wasting space. The details are perfect and natural; the lines fit. This artistry is best seen by looking from a front corner to the opposite rear corner; the Testarossa's roofline exactly matches that of the straked flank below it. Amidst traditional Ferrari traits such as the egg crate grille were new stylistic touches such as rectangular rear lights and the broad, squared rear flanks. Early Testarossas had a single mirror located halfway up the driver's side A-pillar, on stalks. The Testarossa's most indelible image is of the five body color strakes that cover the side intakes and stretch between the ridges just below the door mirrors.
The Testarossa series was made from a variety of materials to appropriately maximize its functional form. Apart from the galvanized steel roof and doors, and various glass fiber pieces, the body panels were crafted entirely from strong but light aluminum.
The Testarossa chassis consisted of square section steel tubes arranged in a strong matrix, like a racing car. This was Ferrari's normal practice in chassis construction until the late 1990"s. The Testarossa had a full tube-steel chassis with a removable rear sub-frame containing the low-mounted drivetrain and rear suspension. This gave the heavy rear of the car a double layer of support and simplified mechanical service. Vertical bulkheads at either end of the passenger cabin were of strengthened galvanized steel. The floorpan and front luggage bin were semi-monocoques bolted to the tubular chassis. The result was a passenger cabin with unsurpassed safety and an extremely rigid platform for a car with superlative performance.
The Testarossa's longitudinally mounted flat 12 was a 4942cc all alloy unit with four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead cams, and dry-sump lubricated. On North American cars, the engine's compression ratio was 8.7:1. The aluminum pistons moved in nikasil cylinder liners and rotated a seven main bearing, hardened steel, billet turned crankshaft via forged steel connecting rods. The combustion chambers were ellipso-hemispherical. Fuel was metered by two Bosch KE Jetronic systems, one for each bank of cylinders, and delivered to the injectors by two electric pumps. Spark was provided by twin coils through their own distributors, controlled by a Weber-Marelli Microplex system. The combusted mixture exited through tube steel manifolds, catalytic converters and a tuned exhaust system. The engine was cooled by a compact system of twin side-mounted radiators and a single water pump. The North American Testarossa made 380bhp at 5750rpm, and 354lbs-ft at 4500rpm.
The front suspension consisted of a coil spring over a Koni shock absorber located by unequal, length dual wishbones at each front wheel. At the rear, dual unequal length steel wishbones located a pair of coil springs over Koni shocks, one fore and one aft of each driveshaft. Front and rear anti-rollbars maintained stability in high speed cornering. The Testarossa's brakes were vented discs a little over a foot in diameter. The hydraulically assisted four piston calipers were controlled by separate circuits front and rear. The parking brake acted on small drums contained within the rear discs. The unassisted steering was by a direct rack and pinion system.
The Testarossa's one piece cast alloy wheels are dull silver. On early cars, the wheels were secured by large closed nuts, but these soon gave way to five hub bolts. The wheels have five spokes in the shape of a star. The front wheels measure 16"X8" and carry a 225/VR50 tire. The rear wheels measure 16"X10" and carry tires 255/VR50 in size.
The Testarossa's cabin was bounded on either side by wide sills to accommodate the doors. To the rear, the firewall with integrated luggage shelf separated the cabin and engine bay. The Connolly hide covered, electrically adjustable seats were snug and well bolstered. Ancillary controls and switchgear efficiently nestled easy to hand, and the shallow dashboard containing guages fell into a center console containing all the requisite items for touring enjoyment. Commanding the console was the traditional slender gear lever in its polished gate.
The low rectangular instrument binnacle was dominated by a large speedometer and tachometer and smaller auxilliary gauges in a split black facia. Various indicator lights were offset around these orange and white on black readouts. Beneath the instruments the adjustable steering column extended a thin rimmed, leather covered, three spoke Momo steering wheel towards the driver.
Along with the luggage shelf behind the seats, the Testarossa offered carpeted cargo space beneath the front hood. This compartment was a deep cruciform, providing room for shopping or luggage. The carrying capacity of the Testarossa in the front and passenger compartments was maximized by use of fitted Schedoni luggage, an option available from Ferrari dealers.