Looking back at the Tour de France and moving towards the future.
Ferrari has a long and glorious history of racing success, one of them was the Tour de France in the 1950s and ‘60s – not the bicycle race, but the long-distance sports car race. The star for the Prancing Horse was the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta that won four consecutive races. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic car, the Italian automaker has created the Ferrari F12tdf that is designed to be a hardcore track-ready performance car with everyday drivability.
Just like its predecessor that captured four consecutive victories half-a-century ago, the new Ferrari F12tdf cuts weight, has a more powerful engine, and optimized aerodynamics without sacrificing ride quality.
The 6.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12 engine packed inside the Ferrari F12tdf is based on the same unit found in the F12Berlinetta. Unlike its standard counterpart, the F12tdf’s engine features race-inspired mechanical tappets and variable-geometry intake trumpets as seen in Formula 1 cars, paired up with a tuned variant of the F1 DCT gearbox with 6-percent shorter ratios, 30-percent quicker upshifts, and 40-percent faster downshifts.
The mighty 6.2-liter V-12 engine produces a whopping 769 horsepower at 8,500 RPM and 520 lb-ft. of torque at 6,750 RPM, with 80-percent of that torque available from just 2,500 RPM. The maximum engine speed for the V-12 is an astonishing 8,900 RPM. Thanks to the engine and gearbox combo, the Ferrari F12tdf accelerates to 62 mph from rest in just 2.9 seconds and to 124 mph in 7.9 ticks of the clock. The super car was also able to lap the Fiorano circuit in a quick 1-minute and 21-seconds.
Dynamics were also a focus for Ferrari engineers with the F12tdf. The goal was to create a vehicle that less experienced drivers could extract superb handling and performance from. So, they tapped into their knowledge gained from the in-house XX program to create the optimum setup.
Both of the front tires on the Ferrari F12tdf are wider, going from 255 to 275 while the wheels themselves from 9.5 inches to a full 10. This creates more lateral acceleration and helps reduce oversteer at the limit. Engineers also debuted the new Virtual Short Wheelbase system that steers the rear wheels slightly inwards during turns using a special control-logic computer system. New five twin-spoke wheels with a thin design helps cut weight for less rotating mass.
Ferrari was able to blend advanced aerodynamics with a more sculpted exterior to create a head-turning, downforce-inducing monster on the track. Aerodynamic efficiency grows to 1.6 – almost double that of the F12Berlinetta. Downforce grows to 507 lbs. at 124 mph, which is a whopping 236 lbs. more than the F12Berlinetta.
The better aerodynamics come from a new front bumper with integrated lower scoop, motorsport splitter, dive planes, floor wings, and louvres. The striking aerobridge on the front fenders was tweaked to improve airflow along each side while rear louvres help to cool the brakes and improve underbody airflow. The rear spoiler grows by 60 mm in length and 30 mm in height. Beneath it all sits a complex underbody with three sets of GT-racing strakes and diffuser with three active flaps.
The Ferrari F12tdf quickly distinguishes itself as being the cream of the crop. A wider track, chiseled body lines, and display of carbon fiber adds a dramatic confidence to the super car. Bare carbon fiber is showcased in the aerobridge and most aerodynamic parts and alludes to the 242.5-lb. drop in weight compared to the standard F12Berlinetta.
Inside, minimalism is key. The cabin features carbon fiber for the instrument and satellite pods, door panel shells, and trim. The glove compartment was even replaced by knee padding for the sake of cutting weight while the floor mats were swapped out for patterned aluminum. Both seats and much of the dashboard was also covered in Alcantara instead of leather.
The new Ferrari F12tdf will be limited to only 799 units. Pricing for the limited-edition super car has not yet been released.
Ferrari F12tdf Specifications
Displacement: 6.2 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-12
Maximum Horsepower: 769 / 780 CV / 574 kW at 8,500 RPM
Maximum Torque: 520 lb-ft. / 705 Nm at 6,750 RPM
Maximum Engine Speed: 8,900 RPM (limiter)
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 2.9 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: 7.9 seconds
Top Speed: Over 211 mph / 340 km/h
Fiorano Lap Time: 1’21”
Ferrari F12tdf Gallery