Ferrari revealed the F12tdf which pays homage to the Tour de France, the legendary endurance road race that Ferrari dominated in the 1950s and ‘60s, particularly with the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta which won four consecutive races. It was a race that rewarded cars that combined maximum performance and ease of use that enabled the competitors to race for hundreds of kilometres a day over fast, tortuous roads and circuits. The F12tdf is the ultimate expression of the concept of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track, and just 799 of them will be built.
The F12tdf is a concentration of technical innovations which involve all those areas central to Ferrari’s DNA: engine, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics. As a result, in terms of acceleration, roadholding and agility, the new berlinetta is second to none.
The F12tdf’s performance is assured by the naturally-aspirated V12. The car’s dynamic behavior is due to an 8% increase in the ratio of the front tires compared to the rear ones from 255 to 275. The car’s natural tendency to oversteer as a result of the change in tire sizes is compensated for by the innovative rear-wheel steering system – known as the Virtual Short Wheelbase.
The new Virtual Short Wheelbase system, debuts on the F12tdf, the rear axle are active, allowing the rear wheels to pivot around a vertical axis. The rear axle steering automatically adjusts the rear wheels, working out the optimal steering angle as a function of the steering wheel angle, speed of steering inputs and vehicle speed.
This new development guarantees the steering wheel response times and turn-in of a competition car while increasing stability at high speed. Cornering speeds are also higher thanks to the significant increase in downforce which has reached unprecedented levels for a front-engined V12 berlinetta.
A radical redesign of the bodywork, interior, engine, transmission and running gear, along with the abundant use of carbon-fiber inside and out, has slashed 110 kg off the car’s overall weight. At the front, a highly complex bumper contributes to downforce generation. It features a radically scooped lower section and incorporates a competition car-inspired splitter, dive planes, floor wings and louvres to boost the efficiency of both the sides and the underbody.
The Aerobridge on the car’s front flank has been redesigned to increase the energizing effect of the air flow along the top of the sides, while at the rear, louvres on the wheel arch create a depression that extracts air from the inner wheel arch, thereby increasing the efficiency of a section of the underbody that is usually little used in generating downforce.
The rear spoiler is now 60mm longer and 30mm higher, while the rake of the rear screen has been made more vertical to extend the surface area over which the spoiler can generate downforce and to capitalize on its advantages more effectively. The concave curvature of the rear luggage hatch either side of the rear screen further enhances the solution.
The car’s uncompromising sportiness is expressed with the same degree of purity in the deliberately Spartan cockpit. The wrap-around effect that embraces the driving position is intensified by the use of carbon-fiber housings for the instruments and satellite pods. The door panels have been pared back to a single carbon-fiber shell, while the glove compartment has disappeared to be replaced by simple knee padding. Alcantara rather the traditional leather was chosen for the cabin trim, technical fabric for the seats and patterned aluminum instead of mats for the floor, once again with the aim of saving every last ounce of weight.
Outstanding stopping distances are guaranteed by the adoption of the new Extreme Design one-piece brake calipers already seen on the LaFerrari. This new-generation system means the car can brake from 100-0 km/h in just 30.5 m and from 200-0 in 121 m. The F12tdf’s specification is completed by lightweight alloys with five twinned spokes that are designed to have the narrowest section possible to reduce unsprung weight.
The F12tdf is equipped with a specific version of the F1 DCT with 6% shorter gear ratios that delivers 30% faster upshifts and 40% faster downshifts. All of these factors combine to produce record performance figures: 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 7.9 seconds in addition to a substantial boost in lateral acceleration. The F12tdf laps Fiorano in just 1’21”. Numerous modifications have been developed for this engine, starting with the use of race-inspired mechanical tappets and variable-geometry intake trumpets used on Formula 1 cars which help boost volumetric efficiency at high revs.
Type 65-degree V12
Overall displacement 6,262 cc
Max. power output* 574 kW (780 cv) at 8,500 rpm
Max. torque 705 Nm at 6,750 rpm
Max. engine speed 8,900 rpm (limiter)