The Ferrari F512 M was launched in 1994 as an evolution of the 512 TR and the last version of the Testarossa, initially introduced in 1984. The "M" that replaced the "TR" in its name stood for Modificata, which is Italian for modified. Aside from its new name, the F512 M also received a revised version of the Testarossa’s 4.9-liter flat-12, but more importantly, the exterior styling was subjected to a significant facelift that included more conventional headlamps with plastic covers instead of the Testarossa’s pop-up units.

Production lasted two years, during which 501 examples were built, making the F512 M the rarest of the Testarossas. For reference, the 512 TR before it was built in 2,261 units, while the original Testarossa was built in no fewer than 7,177 examples. The F512 M was the last Ferrari to use the company’s flat-12 powerplant and the last mid-engined, 12-cylinder vehicle apart from the exclusive F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari engine.

In 1996, the two-door berlinetta that became famous thanks to its massive side "cheese graters" and ultra-wide rear section was replaced by the 550, a front-engined two-seater that marked Ferrari’s return to this configuration 23 years after the 365 GTB/4 Daytona had been discontinued. It’s been two decades since then, and the F512 M is slowly but surely becoming a collectible. Keep reading to find out why.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari F512M.

  • 1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M
  • Year:
    1994- 1996
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Transmission:
    5-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    440 @ 6750
  • MPG(Cty):
    15
  • MPG(Hwy):
    10
  • Torque @ RPM:
    370 @ 5500
  • Displacement:
    4942 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.7 sec.
  • Quarter Mile time:
    12.7 sec.
  • Braking 60-0Mph:
    127
  • Skidpad:
    0.92
  • Top Speed:
    195 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    10.9 sec.
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M High Resolution Exterior
- image 659343
1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M High Resolution Exterior
- image 659344
1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M
- image 663961

Just like the 512 TR before it, the F512 M received a number of styling upgrades that set it apart from its predecessor. Up front, notable changes included conventional headlamps with framed lamps instead of the original pop-up units (for weight saving purposes), an oval grille, slender daytime running lights and turn signals, and separate fog lamps. The redesigned cooling ducts in the apron were slightly smaller and were moved closer to the main grille. The front lid was also redesigned. The sharp inner edges were softened, while the wide vent underneath the wipers was replaced by a pair of V-shaped scoops.

The F512 M ditched the original layout seen on the Testarossa and 512 TR with the taillights hidden behind a wide, five-slat grille and adopted twin round units, a Ferrari trademark.

When viewed from the side, the F512 M showcased fewer changes. Highlights included the wider lower section of the front bumper, the redesigned, simpler "Pininfarina" badge on the rear fenders, and the new, five-spoke wheels. The trademark side strakes, the muscular haunches, and the roofline of the original Testarossa were carried over unchanged.

Around back, modifications were similar to those applied up front, including new taillights. The F512 M ditched the original layout seen on the Testarossa and 512 TR with the taillights hidden behind a wide, five-slat grille and adopted twin round units, a Ferrari trademark. The grille was also revised, gaining a body-colored frame. Other changes included a mildly revised bumper and body-colored engine lid instead of the black one.

Overall, these changes aligned the F512 M to the new Ferrari standard launched with the F355, the brand-new entry-level sports car that replaced the 348 in 1994. The F355 had a similar front bumper layout, and identical round taillights, but retained the pop-up headlamps.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,480 mm
Width 1,976 mm
Height 1,135 mm
Wheelbase 2,550 mm
Front track 1,532 mm
Rear track 1,644 mm
Weight 1,455 kg (dry)

Interior

1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M
- image 663960

Unlike the exterior, the interior didn’t change much save for a few nips and tucks and an "F512 M" emblem on the dashboard. Notable additions included a chrome gearshift knob, driller aluminum pedals, and standard air conditioning (an optional feature on the 512 TR). The carbon-fiber bucket seats, weighing only 33 pounds, were also offered as a no-cost option. Other than that, the F512 M came with pretty much the same features as the 512 TR, including the three-spoke steering wheel, the colorful instrument cluster, and the three-gauge cluster below the center stack.

Drivetrain

1994 - 1996 Ferrari F512 M
- image 663962

Naturally, the F512 M came with a more powerful version of the naturally aspirated, 4.9-liter flat-12 offered in the 512 TR. Ferrari tweaked the internals and obtained an output of 440 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque, a 12-horsepower and eight-pound-feet increase over the 512 TR. Not only more powerful, the F512 M was also lighter. Ferrari shaved 16 pounds off the previous engine thanks to new titanium connecting rods and a new crankshaft. In all, the car was nearly 40 pounds lighter than its predecessor and 112 pounds lighter than the original Testarossa.

The 0-to-60 mph sprint dropped from 4.8 to 4.7 seconds, making the F512 M the quickest modern Testarossa ever built.

As a result, the 0-to-60 mph sprint dropped from 4.8 to 4.7 seconds, making the F512 M the quickest modern Testarossa ever built. Top speed remained locked at 195, which wasn’t bad at all for the era.

The engine mated to an updated version of the 512 TR’s five-speed manual gearbox with a single-plate clutch and sliding ball bearings for easier gear shifting. The F512 M also inherited its predecessor’s weight distribution of 41/59 percent front/rear, which resulted in more precise handling.

The lighter, redesigned wheels came wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires and used updated cross-drilled and vented brake discs with ABS for stopping power.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type rear, longitudinal flat-12
Bore/stroke 82 x 78 mm
Unitary displacement 411.92 cc
Total displacement 4943.04 cc
Compression ratio 10.4 : 1
Maximum power 440 HP @ 6,750 RPM
Power per liter 89 hp/l
Maximum torque 370 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
Top speed 315 KM/H (195 MPH)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.7 sec
0-400 m 12.7 sec
0-1000 m 22.7 sec

Prices

At launch, the F512 M retailed from $220,000, nearly an $8K increase from the 512 TR’s initial $212,160 sticker. Despite not being as iconic as the original Testarossa, the F512 M went on to become more valuable on the used car market, particularly at auctions, thanks to its limited production run of only 501 units (versus 2,261 512 TRs and 7,177 Testarossas). While low-mileage Testarossas rarely fetch more than $250,000 and mint-condition 512 TR don’t go past the $200K mark, at least two F512 M examples have changed owners for more than $450,000 in 2015. The most expensive unit is a 14,000-mile, U.S.-spec (one of only 75) model painted in the rare Canna di Fucile Metallico finish that went under the hammer for $599,500. A red example with two owners and 11,000 miles from new sold for $462,000.

Competition

Lamborghini Diablo

1990 - 2001 Lamborghini Diablo High Resolution Exterior
- image 25064

A major departure in terms of styling, comfort, and power compared to the Countach, the Diablo arrived to the market four years before the F512 M, competing against both the Testarossa and the 512 TR. Unlike the Ferrari, the Diablo came with more than one drivetrain configuration. While all models were powered by the same 5.7-liter V-12 until 1999, output ranged between 492 and 523 horsepower, not counting the limited-edition, 595-horsepower SE Jota. The least powerful model came with 492 horses and 428 pound-feet on tap, 52 horsepower and 58 pound-feet more than the Ferrari. As a result, the Diablo was significantly quicker, needing only 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. It also had a top speed of 204 mph, a figure only the Ferrari F40 was able to match at the time. On the flipside, the Diablo was more expensive than the F512 M, retailing from $239,000 in its first year on the market.

Find out more about the Lamborghini Diablo here.

Conclusion

While it may not be as appealing as the original Testarossa design-wise, there are plenty of reasons why the F512 M is a lot more valuable nowadays. First, it was developed as the ultimate and final Testarossa, and received the most powerful version of Ferrari’s flat-12 engine. Second, the powerplant itself makes the F512 M that much more valuable, as it is the last Maranello-built sports car to use a flat-12 and the last mass-produced Ferrari with a mid-mounted 12-cylinder unit.

  • Leave it
    • Less appealing than its predecessors design-wise
    • Rather expensive on the used car market
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