1995 Ferrari F512 M
The Ferrari F512 M was the last evolution of the Testarossa, unarguably one of the legendary cars of the ‘80s. The F512 M was lighter than its predecessor, featured more modern styling, and boasted improved handling characteristics.
Everyone knows the Testarossa. With its red cam covers, its long “cheese graters” on the sides, and angular design, it’s a staple of its time and one of Ferrari’s modern icons. At the time, it was every bit as fast as a Countach, if not slightly faster. It handled slightly better and, more importantly, was a more relaxed tourer in that you could actually drive the Testarossa for 500 miles at a time and not drop dead from back pain afterward.
The F512 TR continued the trend and refined the recipe, but the ultimate expression of this body shape came in 1994 and was christened F512 M, where M stands for “Modificato.” Indeed, there were many modifications done to the F512 M even in comparison to the F512 TR, but the same spirit was still there. It was to be the rarest of all the Testarossas since only 501 were built through 1996 when Ferrari rolled out the front-engined grand tourer called 550 Maranello.
The shape is so familiar, so iconic, so quintessentially "Ferrari" for enthusiasts who grew up in the 1980s that it’s hard to believe that the Ferrari 512BB actually had a bit of a struggle to make it into production. A mid-engine layout is practically standard equipment on modern supercars, but Enzo Ferrari wasn’t always sold on the concept for road cars.The opinionated leader of the company believed that the cars would be too difficult for owners to drive safely, in spite of the on-track benefits of the design.
Still, the idea of a roadgoing car that shared the horizontally opposed engines and mid-engine layout of racing Ferraris was too tempting to pass up. The car did go into production, in the end, and the first Berlinetta Boxer hit the streets in 1973 as the 365 GT4 BB. The car was a dramatic departure from Ferrari’s front-engined cars, and effectively set the tone for Ferrari’s most iconic vehicles through the 1990s. In 1976, a round of styling and mechanical updates renamed the car 512 BB. The name change came courtesy of a larger, 5.0-liter 12-cylinder engine and conveniently shared the name with a classic Ferrari race car.
This was adequate, as the 512 BB was a genuine supercar. It offered race-bred dynamics, stunning looks and a top speed of nearly 200 mph. The car got worldwide attention in spite of never being officially imported to North America, and squared off successfully against the world’s supercars until 1985, when it was succeeded by the even more extreme Testarossa.
Introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer, the Ferrari Testarossa became an icon of 1980s retro culture due to its radical design and significantly more premium interior, compared to other Maranello-built sports car. The coupe soldiered on mostly unchanged until 1991, when it was replaced by the 512 TR.
Although it was presented as a new car, the 512 TR retained the Testarossa’s dramatic design language, as well as the flat-12 powerplant. Of course, improved internals made the 512 TR quicker and more powerful than its predecessor, while a revised weight distribution also made it more stable under full throttle.
Compared to its predecessor, the 512 TR was short lived, being produced for only three years (compared to the Testarossa’s seven-year run). As a result, the 512 TR was also built in significantly less numbers, with only 2,261 examples leaving the factory until 1994. Although this figure makes it rather scarce compared to the Testarossa (produced in more than 7,100 units), the 512 TR isn’t the rarest Testarossa, a feat that goes to the F512 M, the second and final upgrade for the nameplate.
Having already reviewed the standard Testarossa and the Testarossa Spider one-off, it’s time we also have a better look at the 512 TR. Keep reading to find out what set it apart from the original model.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 512 TR.
In 1981 at the Frankfurt Motor Show Ferrari replaced the 512 BB model with the 512 BBi, the "i" suffix denoting a change from carburettors to fuel injection.The production period ran from 1981 to 1984, when it was replaced by the world market Testarossa model. During that period a total of 1007 examples were produced, in both in right or left hand drive versions, with no USA market versions built.
The 512 BBi featured a few minor changes to the exterior. At the front the plain aluminium egg-crate radiator grille stopped short of the driving lights, which were now exposed in the grille extremities, with small rectangular parking lights mounted in the bumper section above them. At the rear the engine louvre arrangement was modified and a new shroud was provided to the exhaust system, which incorporated hazard warning lights.
A new design of door mirror was fitted, changes were made to the interior, including a black spoked steering wheel, and the availability of "Zegna" wool cloth seat centers as an option. The road wheels became the same width front and rear, fitted with Michelin TRX tyres, which had the effect of increasing the front and rear track to 1508mm and 1572mm respectively.