Ferrari's Fearsome New V-12 Supercar Is Fastest, Lightest Yet

Less weight and more power for the Ferrari F12tdf enables the need for speed.
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Less weight and more power for the Ferrari F12tdf enables the need for speed.

More speed. That’s what Ferrari figured its fearsome,  front-engined V12 flagship, the F12 Berlinetta needed. So the company has announced a new variant, the F12tdf, whose name is a nod to the prancing horse’s historic success at the Tour de France car race during the 1950s and ‘60s with legendary roadsters like the Ferrari 250.

The F12tdf sees the power of its 6.3-liter V12 boosted from 740 horsepower to 780, while the car’s weight is trimmed by 240 lbs. Ferrari engineers also fitted wider front tires and bolted on more track-worth aerodymanic aids that now press the car to the track with 235 lbs. of down force at 125 mph.

Ferrari V12-powered sports cars dominated the Tour de France during the ‘50s and ‘60s, proving to have the right combination of attributes needed for speed over long distances on twisting roads. In tribute to that era of success, the company plans to build 799 examples of the F12tdf.

The boosted power and reduced weight combine to give the F12tdf acceleration to 100 kph of just 2.9 seconds, on par with that of noted rocket sleds like the Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce and the Tesla Model S P90D in Ludicrous Mode.

The extra horsepower comes from the use of race-proven technologies such as mechanical valve lifters and variable-geometry intake trumpets. The car also marks the debut of a new rear-wheel steering system the company labels the Virtual Short Wheelbase. By steering the rear wheels automatically, the F12tdf offsets any tail-sliding oversteer that the fatter front tires might have produced.

Additional details will come at the car’s formal launch on Nov. 8, Ferrari promised. With innovations like these, perhaps it's a good time to think about investing in the Italian automaker, now that Ferrari just filed for that IPO under "RACE."

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Photos by Ferrari