The Ferrari Testarossa is a sports car produced by the Italian manufacturer Ferrari.
The Testarossa is a Ferrari-made 12-cylinder sports middle-engine vehicle meant to be the successor to the Berlinetta Boxer. Designed by Pinifarina, the Testarossa went into production from 1984 up until 1991. The Testarossa saw two modifications wherein it was reintroduced first as the 512 TR in 1992 and as the F512 M in 1994.
Testarossa is Italian for “red head” which is said to refer to the red cover on the car's engine. It has been customary for Ferrari and Pininfarina to use names referring to the female's body for the styles of their cars.
Design and Construction
When it was launched in the 1984 Paris Show, the Testarossa was a two-door, fixed-roof coupe. A five-speed manual transmission installed at the rear channeled power through the wheels. Its engine was placed in the center of the axles behind the cabin. This configuration where the center of gravity is placed in the middle of the vehicle contributes immensely to an increased stability and enhances the car’s ability to round corners.
The Testarossa’s weight is effectively distributed 40% at the front and 60% at the back. When it was revised and reintroduced at the 1992 Los Angeles Auto Show as the 512 TR, weight was distributed as 41% at the front and 59% at the back. Further improvement on the weight distribution took place when it was re-engineered as the F512 M and launched at the 1994 Paris Auto Show. By then, weight was distributed 42% at the front and 58% at the back.
The letter M of the car’s new name is for modificata or in English “modified”. The Ferrari 512 M was the last revision on the Testarossa. It was also the last Ferrari car to feature a 12-cylinder middle-engine aside from the F50 and Ferrari Enzo.
As the replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer, the Testarossa's interior surpassed it in practicality, roominess, and opulence. It wasn't only Ferrari's symbol of speed, it was also the incarnation of comfort. With constant improvements being done, the Testarossa was serious on keeping its laurels on having the most modern race car cockpit in the world.
Collecting Ferrari Testarossa
Critics said that the Testarossa was “built to cash in on an image.” The good thing about the Testarossa is that has managed to live up to the hype. It proved victorious in many comparison tests and subsequently drew many admirers. The car was featured nine times on the cover of a magazine, Road and Truck within a period of only five years. In 1995, the F512 was sold for $ 220,000 and in 1989, the Testarosa was sold for $181,000 though it came with a tax of $2,700 for being a “gas-guzzler”.
There were about 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms made all in all. It's one of the most common but remains highly desirable despite of or perhaps because of the price.
The Testarossa is widely recognized as the top of the class and set the benchmark for supercars in its era. Another reason for the Ferrari Testarosa's appeal is its appearance in popular media during the '80s. Among these are the appearances in the TV series Miami Vice , where it has seemingly upstaged the actors and in the arcade game Outrun. It has become associated with the retro culture of the 80s.
The game Outrun by SEGA featured a Ferrari Testarossa Spider although this variant is not a standard production car.
A real-life Testarossa Spider did exist and this official convertible car was built on orders by Ferrari to be a gift for Gianni Agnelli, the late Fiat head.
Another Testarossa Spider is said to have been built upon request by the Sultan of Brunei. It's being offered for sale as of August 2011 at a price of $775,000.
There was an interest among buyers to have their own Testarossa Spider but Ferrari gave them all the thumbs down citing structural issues as the reason.
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