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Ferrari reveals sharpened F12tdf

Finali fling: Ferrari's hardcore tuned-up F12tdf honours the grueling Tour De France car race and will debut at the Finali Mondiali in Italy next month.

Skunkworks XX program spawns ultimate road-going Ferrari F12

Ferrari logo14 Oct 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

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 luck.

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 8900rpm.

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 across.

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.

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