The Ferrari Testarossa is a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car. Production started in 1984, as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. Originally produced from 1984 to 1991, with two model revisions following the end of the Testarossa production and the introduction of the Ferrari 512 TR and Ferrari F512 M, produced from 1992 to 1996. Almost 10.000 units (Testarossas, 512 TRs and F512 Ms) were produced, making it one of the most-produced Ferrari models in history, despite its high price and exotic design. The Ferrari F512 M retailed in 1995 for USD 220,000. The Testarossa is a 2-door coupé that premiered at the Paris Auto Show in 1984. All Testarossa versions had a rear-mounted, 5 speed manual transmission. The rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout keeps the centre of gravity in the middle of the car. The original Testarossa was re-engineered in 1992 and released as the Ferrari 512 TR. The F512 M was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1994. The F512 M was Ferrari's last mid-engine 12-cylinder car, apart from the Ferrari F50, Ferrari Enzo and LaFerrari, featuring Ferraris last flat engine. The Ferrari Testarossa was replaced in 1996 by the front-engined 550 Maranello coupé. The Testarossa should not be confused with the Ferrari TR "Testa Rossa" of the late 1950s and early 1960s, which were GT sports cars.
The name Testarossa (meaning "red head" in Italian) comes from the red-painted cam covers on the flat-12 engine. The Testarossa can trace its roots back to the faults of the 512i BB in 1981. The problems that had to be fixed included a cabin that got increasingly hot and a lack of luggage space. To fix these problems the Testarossa had to be larger than its predecessor, the Berlinetta Boxer. Pininfarina's body was a departure from the curvaceous boxer. The side strakes sometimes that spanned from the doors to the rear fenders were needed for rules in several countries outlawing large openings on cars. The Testarossa had twin radiators in the back with the engine instead of a single radiator up-front. The strakes provided cool air to the rear-mounted side radiators, thus keeping the engine from overheating. One last unique addition to the new design was a single high mounted rear view mirror on the driver's side, and in 1987 joined by a passenger side rear view mirror. Like its predecessor, the Testarossa used double wishbone front and rear suspension systems. When introduced in 1985, the Testarossa had magnesium single bolt knockoff wheels using the Michelin TRX system. In 1986 the wheels kept the same design but were changed to a standard 410mm diameter, with a width of 200mm at the front and 250mm at the rear. The 1988.5 model suspension was redesigned and the wheels were changed again from the single bolt knockoff setup to the standard Ferrari five bolt pattern. The Ferrari Testarossa Spider is the sole official convertible variant of the Testarossa. The car was made for Gianni Agnelli, head of Fiat at the time, as a gift. The Testarossa Spider had a silver exterior, a white magnolia leather interior with a dark blue stripe running above the matte black sills, and a white top that could be manually stowed away. The vehicle was delivered to Agnelli in 1986. Many customers requested their own Testarossa Spider, but Ferrari declined every one of them. The official Spider was no different mechanically than the normal Testarossas available on the European market.
Buying a Ferrari Testarossa?
The price of the Ferrari Testarossa in 1989 was USD 181,000. Although successful on the road, the Testarossa did not appear on race tracks. As Ferrari's range-topper during the 1980s, the car made numerous appearances in pop culture, most notably in the arcade game OutRun, and in the 3rd season of Miami Vice.
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