IT WAS one of the worst-kept secrets of the motor industry – some might say deliberately so – but now Ferrari has come clean and revealed a more extreme version of its F12 sports car, the F12tdf.
Named after the Tour de France Automobile sports car race, held between 1899 and 1986 on French roads, the F12tdf is the most extreme model in the current Ferrari range yet will be built in surprisingly high numbers – 799 will be sold to drivers looking for maximum performance on the road or racetrack.
The new Ferrari flagship features a 6.3-litre V12 engine that has been tuned to produce 763bhp, an improvement of 38bhp on the standard F12. It revs to 8900rpm and features Ferrari’s F1 DCT – dual clutch transmission – gearbox. Its shorter ratios and faster shifts mean the “blink of an eye” comparison no longer does justice to the speed of the gearchanges.
Scoops and ducts in the F12tdf’s bodywork help it generate 87% more downforce than the standard F12, increasing grip. A new rear-wheel steering system makes the car feel more agile on the road and track, though Ferrari’s engineers haven’t said whether it helps with parking the F12tdf at Waitrose.
The new model has stronger brakes than the F12, with callipers from the LaFerrari hypercar. Yet despite all the additions, 110kg has been shed from the weight of the standard F12 in the pursuit of speed. It all appears to have worked.
Ferrari says the top speed of the F12tdf is “over 211mph” and that it can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 2.9 seconds, and to 120mph in 7.9 seconds. The standard model takes 3.1 and 8.5 seconds, respectively. The LaFerrari, which is sold out, is only marginally faster.
The question hanging over Ferrari’s fastest model is: how much will it cost? The company isn’t saying just yet, but anyone hoping to be one of the 799 owners of an F12tdf had better not expect much change from £300,000.
“A blindingly fast and beautifully balanced supercar” James May reviews the LaFerrari for Driving