Testarossa - 512 TR - F512 M

The development of the new Testarossa (then called Type F110 AB) was in the hands of four persons:

Dr. Ing. Angelo BelleiFerrari - Project Department
Ing. Nicola MaterazziFerrari - Engine Department
Ing. Maurizio RossiFerrari - Experimental Department
Ing. Leonardo FioravantiPininfarina - Head of the design team

The most important improvements compared to the 512 BBi had to be:

Available for the USA market (regarding safety and emission regulations)
No heating problem as in the BB models (which resulted in the radiators at the rear)
Attractive design
More power
Better driveability and handling
Improvement of traction and grip (wider tyres)

After the most important parameters were known, they commissioned the Pininfarina Study and Research Center ("Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche") in Cambiano to make the designs. Head of the seven-strong design team was Leonardo Fioravanti, who had designed the P5, the P6 and the 365 GTB/4 "Daytona". As a chief, Fioravanti was also responsible for the designs of the 365 GT4 BB and the 365 GT4 2+2. Using his own name, Fioravanti later designed several other cars.

Among the members of the design team were Ian Cameron, Guido Campoli, Emmanuele Nicosia and Diego Ottina. After more than three years of designing, it finally was Emmanuele Nicosia's design which became reality.

The Testarossa was visually radically different from its predecessor, although it still featured a mid mounted flat-12 engine as its power. Gone was the sharp nosed wedge profile, to be replaced by a much softer rounded front end. The front wings flowed into one of the models most distinctive styling features, the deeply straked door panels that grew in width towards their trailing edge, before blending into very wide rear wings.

At the rear, the paired circular tail light arrangement that had been a styling feature for over a decade was gone. In their place was a full width horizontally slatted satin black louvre hiding rectangular light units. The reason for the great rear girth and the body colour straked door louvres, was the twin side mounted water radiators which received their cooling air via the door intakes. The repositioning of the radiators provided the benefit of additional luggage space in the nose, useable luggage space being something that had been a shortcoming of the Boxer series.

The Testarossa would be the first Ferrari road car with an engine featuring four valves per cylinder, although it still maintained the same capacity (4943 cc) and the same bore and stroke as the 512 BB(i). It had two belt driven overhead camshafts per bank, now driven directly off the crankshaft instead of via idler gears as on the earlier Boxer models. The dry sump engine was longitudinally mounted in unit with the five speed transmission. The new engine produced 390 HP (Euro) or 380 HP (US).

Prototypes and pre-production cars

The designs of the Pininfarina Study and Research Center resulted in several 1:1 polysterene models to test the aerodynamics in the windtunnel in Grugliasco. Those test models were called ‘BBN’ (Berlinetta Boxer New Models) and were built between 1979 and 1982. When the final shape was ready, they made one resin model to provide a durable full-scale model.

In 1981, Ferrari started to develop the engine for the Testarossa (type F113A), which would become a 4942 cc flat-12 with four valves per cylinder, derived from the 312 B engine. Before the real production started, they tested about 20 engines.

The first prototype was built by the Ferrari factory in early 1982. This "mule" had no interior and was only meant to test the mechanical components. This car was followed by at least 30 other prototypes, all built by a Turin based firm called ITCA, which would also build the chassis and bodies for the normal production Testarossas.

Of the 30 prototypes, 12 were complete cars (in Euro LHD, UK RHD and USA versions), while the rest were incomplete cars to test all the individual components. All prototypes were later used for crash testing for Type Approval and were later destroyed. Only three cars survived this horrible death and were later used by Ferrari’s Experimental Department for further testing.

It is yet unknown if the prototypes also had serialnumbers. If so, then they would probably be in the 47xxx range. It might also be possible that the cars had no normal serialnumbers, but just a three-digit internal number.

The pre-production of the Testarossa started in January 1984 and normal production started in July. The earliest known Testarossa is s/n 53081, last known to be in The Netherlands. The two Testarossas shown at the Paris Salon were s/n 53283 and s/n 53285. All these (European) pre-production cars can be recognized by the special side blinkers. It might be possible that s/n 54051 is the first "real" production car and that this car has normal blinkers.