Ferrari's F12tdf track ready masterpiece
IF you've recently bought a Ferrari F12berlinetta, look away now.
Maranello has announced a special edition version - the F12tdf - that's going to make you're boggo F12 look instantly passé.
Okay, so F12berlinetta owners aren't exactly hard done by, but the new F12tdf (the name paying homage to the Tour de France endurance road races of the 1950s and 60s) does take track-level performance for the road to new heights, shedding weight and sprint times from the F12's already impressive figures.
Ready to be impressed? Engineers have coaxed more power and torque from the F12's 6.3-litre V12, the 574kW and 705Nm now on tap helping propel the slimline F12 special to 100kmh in 2.9 seconds, while the 200kmh figure is seen after just 7.9 seconds. A top speed in excess of 340kmh is also possible in the F12tdf, Ferrari says.
Transmission is a bespoke version of the F1 DCT, giving the F12tdf 6% shorter gear ratios than a stock F12, helping deliver 30% faster upshifts and 40% faster downshifts. Ideal for track work.
Aside from the engine performance an 8% increase in front tyre dimensions compared to the rears guarantees higher lateral acceleration, but would cause oversteer on the limit "making the car more challenging for less expert drivers", Ferrari says. Billionaire bankers and oil sheiks rarely had top-line motorsport upbringings, you see.
The Italians show they care by debuting the new Virtual Short Wheelbase system with active rear axle - giving rear-wheel steering - which Ferrari says "enables even gentlemen drivers to make full use of the performance." Bless 'em.
The F12tdf has almost twice the aerodynamic efficiency of the normal F12berlinetta, while downforce at 200kmh is now 230kg - 107kg more than previous - helped by a larger rear spoiler, new rear diffuser and GT racing inspired strakes for the underbody.
Weight is down 110kg thanks to abundant use of carbon fibre, while the bodywork, interior, engine, transmission and running gear were all redesigned with weight-saving in mind.
Trade off is a less salubrious cabin, with door panels pared back to a single carbon fibre shell, a deleted glove box, leather is replaced with Alcantara and you get aluminium instead of mats for the floor.
Ferrari says just 799 F12tdf road cars will be made - and they could be the last front-engined normally aspirated V12 Ferraris ever - but if we'll see any in Australia and for how much isn't yet known. Cheap? Er, no.