Ferrari’s Street Legal F12tdf Is Built for the Track
The Ferrari F12berlinetta is one of a handful of cars to sport more than 700 horsepower. To be precise, 731 rampaging Italian stallions—enough to make driving the $320,000 sports car feel “like having sex in a free-falling elevator.”
To keep things fresh after three and a half years of producing the F12berlinetta, Ferrari is releasing a limited edition version of the car that takes things even further. And because the folks in Maranello love lowercase letters as much as they love over the top driving machines, it’s called the F12tdf. And just 799 units will be made.
Named for the Tour de France endurance road race of the 1950s and ’60s (not the bicycle race), the tdf is a significantly more excellent of an already excellent track car. Oh, and Ferrari’s made it really, really yellow. Why, what did you expect?
Horsepower has been juiced from the original F12’s 731 to 769. Torque is up a bit too, from 509 to 520 foot-pounds, with 80 percent of that available at 2,500 rpm. The car red lines at 8,900, you can get a lot out of that sheik’s stable worth of power. Behind the raw numbers is a lot of fancy engineering like “race-inspired mechanical tappets” and “variable geometry intake trumpets,” cribbed from Ferrari’s Formula One racing cars.
The F12tdf, like most things fatto in Maranello, is street legal, but really bred for the track. And going fast around a circuit means having more than just raw power. You need downforce too, to keep the car stable at the high speeds its engine allows. Ferrari has almost doubled the downforce on the car at 124 mph with reworked aero panels across the whole car, from the front bumper to the rear spoiler.
A ridiculously complicated rear diffuser helps “boost the power of the vortexes and enhance the expansion of the flow in the horizontal plane.” That means that the air moving over the car will help it go way faster through the corners. It also means that it looks way more aggressive than the standard F12berlinetta. Why, what did you expect?
Like every car launched these days, if you’re planning on buying one (pricing hasn’t been released, but expect to mortgage your yacht) you’d better like carbon fiber. The deliberately understated cockpit is filled with bare carbon fiber and there’s no glove box (it would just add weight). There aren’t any floor mats, either.
Even if you aren’t a Ferrari racing driver, you should still be able to get a lot out of the F12tdf. Ferrari says even gentlemen drivers can make full use of the cars astonishing performance thanks in part to a “Virtual Short Wheelbase” system. That’s the fancy term for a new active rear axle that allows the rear wheels to pivot slightly, with the onboard computers working out how to best keep the car going the desired direction.
Hopefully away from the wall.