When the Prancing Horse company announced back in 2012 that the replacement for the 599 Grand Tourer will be show cased at the Geneva International Motor Show (with ridiculous figures from every angle), most would have thought it to suffice. The F12Berlinetta as it came to be known was put on sale with the tag line that read – “the most powerful Ferrari made to date”. Ferrari spoke of the possibility of a Speciale version of the F12. Could this cut the mustard ?
The first thought to hit your mind when speaking of the Tour de France is probably Lance Armstrong riding his ultra-lightweight carbon fibre bike past the finishing line. Throw in a couple of news reports of his alleged career-ruining doping scandal and I think most of us would get the picture loud and clear. However, the Tour de France in question here involves two extra wheels, an internal combustion engine and team full of heroic chaps in tweed jackets – yes we’re talking about the Tour de France Automobile race series that took place in the early 1950s and ‘60s.
First organised in 1899, the race series has picked up massive momentum with the likes of Ferrari throwing their almost-priceless 250GTO into the mix with Jaguars, Mercedes-Benz and even BMW (they weren’t the most athletic brand back then). In the later years, marques such as Lancia, Porsche, Ford and Renault all took their shots at the podium and gave them a run for their money. It was as pure as racing could get – just man and his machine. Sadly the series was disbanded in 1986 for a number of reasons. Ferrari has since opted to honour the memory of those fearless lads zooming around in black and white with a limited edition version of the Ferrari F12Berlinetta, dubbed the F12tdf.
A quick glance at the current road-going F12 would give most chills straight down the centre of their spines. Some say it was almost impossible to make it look any more aggresive and untamed, but the blokes in Fiorano have indeed proved everyone wrong, yet again. Enter the Ferrari F12tdf – the example shown here is licked in a brilliant shade of the company’s signature yellow paint scheme. The car is even more angular than before and as aggressive as a scorned bull waiting to charge straight at you. It is decked out in slashes on the rear quarter panels and a redesigned front bumper that is there for one purpose only – aerodynamics.
In addition to the fierce styling, the F12tdf is now even more powerful than before. The engineers have managed to squeeze out another 40 horses from the 6.2-litre wailing banshee of a V12. At a screaming 8,500 rpm, it’ll be pushing out 770 rampaging Italian horses and an immense 705 Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm with 80 percent of it available at 2,500 rpm, resulting in unparalleled, progressive pick-up all the way to the red-line at 8,900 rpm.
In order to achieve this, the engineers had to think outside the box considering the fact that the existing engine was already on the brink of what is possible with the technology at hand. Numerous modifications have been developed for this engine, starting with the use of race-inspired mechanical tappets and variable-geometry intake trumpets used on Formula 1 cars which help boost volumetric efficiency at high revs. In addition to that the F12tdf is equipped with a specific version of the F1 DCT with 6 percent shorter gear ratios that delivers 30 percent faster upshifts and 40 percent faster downshifts. Insane!
Every single part of the Ferrari F12tdf is geared toward to the sole purpose of speed. Aerodynamics is one way of making all those technical achievements work towards that ambition. It has an aerodynamic efficiency figure of 1.6 which is almost double that of the road-going F12berlinetta. Downforce is 230 kg at 200 km/h, which is an impressive 107 kg more. Those digits means that the F12tdf would stick to the road like it was anchored on.
The rear spoiler is now 60mm longer and 30mm higher, while the rake of the rear screen has been made more vertical to extend the surface area over which the spoiler can generate downforce and to capitalise on its advantages even more effectively. The concave curvature of the rear luggage hatch either side of the rear screen further enhances the solution. The rear diffuser has been reworked and now sports a system of three active flaps that works in tandem with the three pairs of GT-racing-derived strakes on the underbody.
Just 799 prime examples will be built, but prices have not yet been announced. That said, it is widely rumoured that it’ll command a premium of at least £30,000 (RM195k) more than the F12– meaning a price tag in the region of £275,000 (RM1.78 million) seems likely. As ever, a few choice options could send this spiralling, well past the £300,000 (RM1.94 million) mark. Mind you, those prices are void of duty and excises.