CAR: Ferrari F12tdf Ought To Be As Insane As Its Name & Looks,

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Title : CAR: Ferrari F12tdf Ought To Be As Insane As Its Name & Looks,
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CAR: Ferrari F12tdf Ought To Be As Insane As Its Name & Looks,

2016 Ferrari F12tdf
Is there something wrong with the keyboards at Maranello? First of all we got the "F12berlinetta" and now we have here the hardcore variant of that car, which is called "F12tdf." Given the money they've surely poured into making this as maniacally rapid as possible, maybe they don't have the spare time or budget to repair the shift keys or spacebars in the marketing department......

You see, this "Tour de France" version of the ballistic F12 sports GT car is radically different under the skin, which itself is also even more aggressive after presumably being restyled by aerodynamics as much as any passionate designer with a vent fixation. The aim has been to incorporate knowledge from F1 and the XX programmes to make it accelerate, cleave the air and turn corners in a way that will satisfy everyone from rich novices to rich (and brave) trackday die-hards. Welcome to Chris Harris's wet dream.

Enzo Ferrari used to quip that he built engines and threw in the rest of the car for free, so let's start with the big red and silver thing nestled between the front axle and the windscreen. The 6262cc, 65° V12 engine used in the F12, FF and LaFerrari is found here in a unique state of tune for the TdF, using the same variable-geometry air intake trumpets as their increasingly competitive Formula 1 car and similar mechanical tappets too. This along with a host of other upgrades mean that power is bumped up from 740PS (~730bhp) to 780PS (~770bhp) at 8500rpm... because obviously what the F12 needed was more power. It also has a smidgen more torque, up from 509lb/ft to 520lb/ft. Tuning a naturally-aspirated engine to rev to 8900rpm and generate 125 horsepower-per-litre usually means sacrificing low-end punch, but Ferrari assure us that 80% of the maximum torque output (that's 416lb/ft) is available from just 2500rpm (you get all 520 of it at 6750rpm). This despite the lack of any LaFerrari-style hybrid gubbins.

As well as more power, the dual-clutch transmission changes gear 30-40% faster and has shorter ratios, so acceleration should be kidney-flattening-ly explosive. 0-60mph takes 2.9 seconds, 0-125mph takes 7.9 seconds(!) and the top speed is on the thrilling side of 210mph, but thanks to the carbon-ceramic brakes lifted straight from LaFerrari, the TdF can go from 125mph to a standstill in a distance of just 121m, and from 60-0 in 30m. Factor in the downforce increase of 87% at high speed and it's all under control... probably. If not then there's always the arsenal of electronic stability systems.

But that's not all! Liberal use of carbon fibre and lighter interior materials has lead to a weight saving of 110kg over the F12 Berlinetta, dropping the dry weight to 1415kg (all-up kerbweight is stated as 1520kg). Shedding that much weight from a car is usually a serious undertaking aimed at improving track performance, and to that end they've also widened the front tyres from 255 to 275-section rubber as well as widening the front and rear tracks. As Ferrari themselves point out, this gives the car a "natural tendency towards oversteer," so to stop the poseurs from embarrassing themselves and binning what's likely to be a £300-350k car (prices as yet unannounced), this hardcore F12 comes with a so-called Vitrual Short Wheelbase system, known to normal human beings as rear-wheel steering. Much like on a '90s GT-R or a brand new 911 GT3, the system turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts at lower speeds to increase agility/response, and turns a little bit in the same direction at high speed to improve stability - but not so much that it crabs diagonally, of course.

So it's got more power, more torque more often, a lot less weight and all-wheel steering... but you're still trying to figure out of it looks good or not, aren't you? I understand. It's taking a little while to grow on me too. There's certainly a lot going on, even compared to the striking original F12, but maybe it would help you to know that all the extra vents, slashes and flicks are there to improve aerodynamics, thus improving high-speed stability and cornering velocity. Or maybe it doesn't help.

The nose has been reprofiled to better guide the air around the rest of the car. The 'air bridge' between the front wheel arches and the A-pillars is wider and more extreme in its shape to "energise" the air flow more and help generate more downforce. The 250 GTO-style triple shark gills over the rear wheel arches are there to extract air from the wheel arch itself and send it towards the rear spoiler, which itself is 60mm longer and 30mm taller. To add that extra length, the roof line has actually been slightly shortened behind the seats, making the rear windscreen (itself now narrower and flanked by air channels) a little more steeply raked. Finally, at the rear end there is a large diffuser with three active flaps to add downforce when you need it and make the car slippery when you don't. As a sidenote, the bodywork which trails from the rear wheel to wrap around the exhausts has shades of LaFerrari's rear corners in its look.

But balls to all that, is it a pretty car or not? Well, it's not entirely elegant, and if it were me then I'd definitely buy it in a dark metallic colour - Tour de France blue, perhaps - rather than bright red or yellow, but it does look exciting. Considering its intended purpose I think it mostly looks very cool, although that thin black strip behind the tail lights is one detail I'd paint over, and I'm still coming to terms with that shark-mouth grille. But of course, if you don't want something quite as extreme, the standard F12 is more than enough already. This is for people who want to reshape their internal organs, embarrass 458 Speciale owners and get millions - MILLIONS - of YouTube views in the process. Besides, you can't see the outside from behind the (alcantara) wheel!

Apparently there's "technical fabric" in here. Ooooh
The Ferrari F12tdf will appear in the real world next month. They are building 799 of them and they'll probably all be sold before you can say "one Lottery ticket please." If you really can't stomach the looks of it then just search "Ferrari 250 Tour de France" on Google and drink in the simple beauty of the '60s road-racers from which this takes inspiration.

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