2016 Most wanted: Ferrari F12 tdf
No, it’s not a turbodiesel, despite silly name. In fact ‘tdf’ stands for Tour de France, an endurance road race Ferrari used to serially win in the ’50s (well, they couldn’t call it F1 right now, could they?). They’ve basically taken the F12 berlinetta and turned it up to 11. It’s road legal, but if you don’t live at Nardo you’ll struggle to exploit it.
They’ve gone to town – doubling the F12’s aero efficiency by reshaping every panel and then punching clever holes all over the place. Race-car brainpower abounds in the front splitter, dive planes, floor wings, louvres and the bonnet’s signature aerobridge. The rear spoiler’s got huger, and the rear diffuser’s three ‘active flaps’ can now eat unsuspecting small mammals.
F12’s naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 gets pumped from 544kW to 574, with 705Nm of torque from 2500rpm. The engine’s been race-fettled using F1-inspired variable-intake geometry trumpets (no less), and the F1 dual-clutch ’box has been wholly remapped, with 6 per cent shorter ratios, 30 per cent faster upshifts and 40 per cent faster downshifts.
It’s as insanely quick as you’d hope, hitting 100kph in 2.9sec and achieving ‘in excess of 340kph’, putting it in LaFerrari territory. More curious is that the front tyres are wider than the rears, quashing understeer but surely making lurid oversteer inevitable? Enter ‘Virtual Short Wheelbase’ – Ferrari’s first rear-wheel-steer system.
Here’s where you can see for yourself how they’ve saved a massive 110kg over the F12. Instrument pods and doors are carbonfibre, floor mats are bare aluminium and they’ve even pinched the glovebox. Few loved ones will be impressed at having to hold the tin of boiled sweets while you enter the gravel trap backwards.
If you’re quick – they’re making just 799. It’s vulgar to talk about price, so Ferrari doesn’t. The bigger question is why would you? With more bulges than Lou Ferrigno’s trousers it’s the surely the louchest, most taste-averse Ferrari yet.