FERRARI is paying hommage to the Tour De France sportscar race that it
dominated in the 1950s with a stripped-out and tuned-up version of its vicious
F12 supercar that can crack 100km/h from zero in 2.9 seconds.
Like some of the Italian car-maker's most expensive and exclusive models, not
all well-heeled prancing horse fans will be able to buy the F12tdf, with only
valued customers receiving an invitation to purchase the $808,888 hypercar.
That figure will delight local Chinese buyers, with China's superstitious
culture placing great value on the figure eight, and the belief it brings good
The strictly limited variant takes the 'standard' F12 Berlinetta as its
starting point but then adds lessons learned from the company's XX development
program, which prepares cars for serious circuit work.
While previous offerings from the XX stable have been built for the racetrack
only, the new F12tdf is a road-going Ferrari with features that can be
appreciated both on the open road and the track.
Pure XX race-cars require a trained driver at the wheel, but Ferrari says the
F12tdf has been engineered to allow less experienced motorists to enjoy its
full performance – an attribute essential to win the Tour De France, according
to the Italian car-maker.
Virtually every aspect of the F12 was examined and enhanced for the tdf
starting with the 6.3-litre naturally aspirated 65-degree V12, which has been
squeezed to produce a whopping 574kW – an increase of 29kW.
Torque has also been boosted from 690Nm to 705 Nm and sits way up in the
rev-range at 6750rpm resulting in an engine that likes to be revved hard,
rewarding those that find a road long enough.
Unlike many manufacturers that can simply up the boost pressure of turbocharged
engines, Ferrari adds significant mechanical changes in the big V12 such as
mechanical tappets in place of hydraulic versions and variable inlet trumpets
as found in Formula 1 cars. The alterations allow the V12 to rev to a dizzying
With its increased output, the F12tdf can accelerate to 200km/h from standstill
in 7.9 seconds, but critically, the zero to 100km/h time now matches its
Lamborghini Aventador LP700 arch-rival with a time of 2.9 seconds.
Its seven-speed F1 DCT dual-clutch transmission has been optimised with six per
cent shorter gear ratios and operates 30 per cent faster when shifting up and
40 per cent quicker downshifting.
Significant chassis modifications also accompany the new car with Ferrari's
Virtual Short Wheelbase rear-wheel steering system, which counters the car's
tendency to oversteer caused by its wider 275 front tyres – now 10-inches
Brakes are ultra-light carbon-ceramic rotors with one-piece callipers, that
have only been fitted to one road car before and the LaFerrari ultra-hybrid.
Scrubbing 100km/h to zero takes just 30 meters of 121 meters from 200km/h.
Where the F12 Berlinetta produces a weighty 123kg of downforce at 200km/h, the
more track-focused tdf adds another 107kg to the total, increasing grip and
stability at high speed. Top speed is “in excess of 340km/h.”
The added downforce is produced by a heavily modified front bumper, front and
rear wings, bonnet and rear spoiler, which is 60mm longer and sits 30mm higher
above the rear end.
Three active flaps in the rear diffuser alter underbody air-flow depending on
road speed and adds to the aerodynamic changes as well as bringing a new
overall look to the F12 exterior.
A more performance-focused approach continues in the cabin with extensive use
of carbon-fibre, padding replacing storage areas, while Alcantara and aluminium
replaces leather and floor mats in the name of weight saving.
In combination with bespoke five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels, the F12tdf has
shed 110kg over the regular F12, allowing the exclusive variant to lap
Ferrari's Fiorano test track in one minute 21 seconds – for comparison only the
LaFerrari has gone quicker with a one minute 19.7-second lap.
Just 799 of the enhanced F12s will be offered worldwide and the first example
will make its public debut at the Finali Mondiali Ferrari Challenge race
meeting from November 5.
Ferrari has not confirmed how many of the total global allocation will be
chalked for Australia at this stage.