Skip to main content

Ferrari Testarossa

Ferrari Testarossa Italian classic supercar

Ferrari's 'Testarossa' was released in 1984. Testarossa is Italian for 'redhead'. That was in reference to the red cylinder head of the car's 5.0-litre flat-12 engine. Beneath the head were four valves per 'pot' ... heat-protected by state-of-the-art nickel-alloy. This was a wise move on Ferrari's part - since there was every likelihood of some temperature build-up! In so doing, not only had Ferrari improved the engine's tractability - but its power output had soared to 390bhp!

The nickel-alloy valves were great - but, more needed to be done to dissipate heat. Ferrari's engineers had done their bit ... now it was up to the stylists! The Testarossa was mid-engined - helping the handling. Cooling was moved to the rear. The new Ferrari's design brief had shifted ... literally! Enter Pininfarina - to oversee the modifications. They drew a low, wide back-end - leaving lots of room for cooling components. The side-mounted air-ducts are pure Testarossa. Stretching from the doors to the rear wings, they are the car's 'trademark'. Rarely has cooling been so ... cool!

But the Testarossa did not just turn heads. Technically, too, it delivered. Top speed was 180mph - 0-60 arriving in 5.5secs. Steering was superb - the smallest of inputs transmitted. So, the Testarossa was nimble - as well as being blisteringly quick! As supercars go, the Testarossa was the complete package. And it was a light package, too. The bodywork was aluminium - apart from the roof and doors. Wind tunnel tests sorted aerodynamics - and down-force. But, there is always room for improvement! To that end, two more versions of the Testarossa were built. In 1992, it was the turn of the 512 TR. The fastest production car in the world at the time, it knocked Lamborghini's 'Diablo' off the top spot. Then, in 1994, came the F512M. The Testarossa was now a true 200mph supercar. 'Redheads' are reputed to be a tad on the fiery side ... and the Ferrari Testarossa did absolutely nothing to dispel that stereotype!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chrysler Airflow

The Chrysler Airflow was where Art met Science! The lines of its bodywork were drawn from aerodynamics - at a time when that discipline was a mere glint in a boffin's eye! Certainly, it was far from being routinely used in automotive design. Indeed, the Airflow was the first production car to feature the fledgling craft. A 'wind tunnel' was duly developed. Even today, such systems are considered arcane ... but, in the early '30s, they were tantamount to a black art! The engineering wizards overseeing the project were Carl Breer, Fred Zeder, and Owen Skelton. Breer was the catalyst ... he had been first to be smitten by the science of aerodynamics. Zeder and Skelton soon followed suit. And it did no harm at all when Orville Wright - father of aviation - was brought on board! More than 50 test cars were built. By means, then, of painstaking refinements, the Chrysler Airflow gradually took shape.But the Airflow was not just about aerodynamics. 'Weight lo…

NSU Ro80

The styling of the NSU Ro80 was ahead of its time. At first glance, masses of glass were straight out of science-fiction. Closer inspection revealed the gently rising line of its profile - giving it a low front, high back stance - which would influence automotive design for years to come. The 5-seater body was supremely aerodynamic for a saloon car - making cruising at speed a breeze. So flawless was it outwardly that it was hardly touched in ten years of production. Just the tail-lights were modified, on later versions.The Ro80's handling was equally impressive. FWD - and precision power-steering - kept it perfectly pointed. The long-travel strut suspension soaked up bumps. High-efficiency disc brakes were fitted all round. The 3-speed semi-automatic transmission swept through the gears with aplomb. Top speed was a sound 112mph.But, of course, nothing is perfect. The Ro80 was powered by a twin-rotor Wankel engine. Unfortunately - in a rush to get the car into showroom…

FN Four

In terms of breakthroughs in the history of motorcycling, there cannot be many to rival the first in-line four engine. Belgium was the birthplace of this landmark layout. FN was the much-to-be-thanked manufacturer.The FN Four first hit the highway in 1911. It produced 4bhp. That, from a 491 cc capacity. At the time, such figures described state-of-the-art technology. Top speed for the FN Four was 40mph. Not bad - for an 8-valve inlet-over-exhaust set-up. Oh, it was air-cooled.The FN Four was light - tipping the scales at 165lb dry. Not only the motor, but the chassis, too, was avant-garde. It featured an early form of telescopic forks. A new-fangled clutch - and 2-speed 'box - only added to the FN Four's slick box of tricks. Solid shaft-drive output the power. Who, then, designed this visionary vintage? You will not hear the name Paul Kelekom shouted from motorcycling's rooftops. But, you should - for it was he who fashioned the FN Four. In so doing, he ki…