Introducing the new Ferrari F12 tdf: not a typo, another name for a GTO

Published: 13 October 2015

 Pics, specs, news of Ferrari F12 tdf
 It’s the next track-spec go-faster Ferrari
 769bhp V12, just 799 to be built 

Maranello’s clearly not shying away from some unusual names in recent years: today it announced the Ferrari F12tdf - the latest track-spec go-faster F12 super-coupe, which had been predicted to wear the GTO badge.

It’s a rare beast: just 799 will be built globally, all benefiting from a tuned 769bhp iteration of the venerable 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V12.

What on earth is that F12tdf name all about?

It references the Tour de France. No, not the French cycle race - this is the endurance road race held in the 1950s and ’60s, won four times by the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta. Hence the unusual ‘tdf’ abbreviation, with its clattery diesel overtones.

Fret not. There’s nothing derv-like about the way this maximum F12 drives, as its spec facts and figures attest:

  • Engine 6262cc V12 naturally aspirated
  • Peak power 769bhp @ 8000rpm
  • Peak torque 520lb ft @ 6750rpm
  • 0-62mph time 2.9sec
  • Top speed ‘In excess of 340kph’ or 211mph

Ferrari F12 tdf: what they’ve done

The coupe-only F12 Tour De France has been given a classical high-tech Ferrari going-over. It weighs an impressive 110kg lighter, thanks to a stash of carbonfibre used inside and out. The kerbweight of 1415kg (dry) is impressive when you remember this car measures nearly 4.7m long and 2.0m wide.

Visually, you won’t mistake this for anything other than an F12, but Maranello has tweaked the look substantially: there’s a wider track front and rear, the Aerobridge front splitter device is now crafted from carbonfibre (it changes shape at speed), the bodywork is peppered with numerous louvres and vents and aero trickery including a bigger rear wing while those five-twin-spoked alloys are redesigned to cut weight. Parts of the dashboard and door panels are now made from composite and the glovebox is binned. Who needs gloves in a Ferrari with nearly 800bhp?

An 8900rpm redline

And that 65-degree V12 should scream like a true red-blooded Ferrari engine should; there are no turbos here, and a tempting-if-you’re-brave-enough 8900rpm redline. It develops an extra 40 horsepower thanks to race-inspired tappets and new variable-geometry intake trumpets with more than a passing resemblance to the Scuderia’s racing engines’.

Ferrari F12 Tour De France engine bay: a glorious non-turbo V12

The F1 DCT transmission has 6% shorter gear ratios and can swap cogs up to 40% faster - helping to transmit all that extra grunt to the rear wheels for lightning-fast responses. No wonder it can sprint to 200kph (124mph) in just 7.9sec, and lap Fiorano in 1min 21sec.

Handling upgrades too

The front tyres are 8% wider at 275mm section, to nip understeer in the bud - and Ferrari has fitted Virtual Short Wheelbase, its first rear-wheel steering system on a road car pointing the rear axle dependent on steering input and vehicle speed. Combined with 87% more downforce (an impressive 230kg at 124mph), it makes the F12 TDF especially pointy and agile, says Ferrari.

All that performance scaring you somewhat? Be reassured that the one-piece brake callipers like those on a LaFerrari are fitted, meaning you can slam on the anchors from 124mph and be at a standstill just 121 metres later.

Ferrari F12 TDF: side profile

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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