If there’s any name that’s synonymous with Ferrari’s own, it’s Testarossa. With the exception of the limited-run F50, Enzo and LaFerrari, the Testarossa series (including the 512 TR and F512 M) is the last of the 12-cylinder mid-engined Ferrari.
The car was launched with a stunning showcase event at the Lido Club in Paris in October 1984, and its classic status has seemed inevitable ever since. The 390bhp from the flat-12 runs through a five-speed manual gearbox, and can propel the car up to 180mph. Pininfarina’s design somewhat broke tradition and was striking and innovative.
The side intakes were larger than on the Berlinetta Boxer and this constraint saw the introduction of the long side strakes that would become the Testarossa’s most recognisable feature. The evolution of the 12-cylinder boxer engine saw it equipped with four valves per cylinder: the most powerful engine mounted on a production sports car at the time of its launch. The Testarossa was a model that took its name from the company’s history, being derived from the successful 500 and 250 Testa Rossa series of sports racing cars from the late fifties.
The original Testarossa was re-engineered for the 1992 model year and was introduced as the 512 TR (TR meaning TestaRossa), at the Los Angeles Auto Show, effectively as a completely new car. Another new variant called the F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show. The car dropped the TR initials and added the M, which in Italian, stood for modificata and was the final version of the Testarossa.