The Ferrari Testarossa was presented at the Paris Auto Show in 1984. Its name was derived from two earlier successful Ferrari racing cars of the 250 series. At the time, it was the production car with the most powerful engine on the market and noticeably only superlatives can do it justice. Sales had been successful - by Ferrari standards, not in millions - though production stopped in 1992, with a total of approximately 7.200 units produced.
This luxurious sports car was designed by the famous design company Pininfarina, who are based in Turin. It is fair to say that they made this Ferrari a true icon. Regulation in various countries did not allow for large air sucking holes to be built into a car. Pininfarina decided to design air ‘slots’ on the doors of the car. These air slots are nicknamed ‘egg slicers’ and provide the V12 engine with enough oxygen to burn fuel and convert it to Italian horsepower, real horsepower. Initially regular air intakes were designed, but those seem to break the laws in some countries. Thanks to the iconic design of these vents, the Testarossa deserved starring roles in famous TV series like Miami Vice. Rumour has it that famous people such as Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Michael Jordan have one in their garage.
Under the hood of the Testarossa is an unbelievably high-performance V12 engine of 4943 cc which produces 385 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) in less than six seconds. Four valves per cylinder give the power a boost, for a total of 48 valves, which was also ground-breaking at the time. The 48-valve engine is controlled by a manual five-speed gearbox, which creates a driving experience that is typical to Ferrari.
Testarossa is Italian for ‘redhead’ and refers to the similarly named Ferrari racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s, whose names referred to the red painted cylinder heads. Over the years, a few minor adjustments were made to the car. In 1986 and in response to customer demand, a right-hand mirror was installed, as it was not originally present. In 1991, Ferrari unofficially decided to stop production of the Testarossa. The successor would be the 512TR - TR still meaning Testarossa - and was essentially an upgraded Testarossa.
The Testarossa is a car that only superlatives can describe. It has set the tone for further Ferrari cars and had – at the time – the most powerful engine to be ever made for a production car. This, and its appearance in numerous tv series, make it a very coveted classic among car aficionados.