Ferrari is getting on its bike with a fire-breathing new supercar – in tribute to the Tour de France.
Not the world’s biggest cycle event, but the endurance road race that the Italian brand dominated in the 1950s and ‘60s, particularly with the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta which won four consecutive editions.
The new limited edition flyer is called the F12tdf – tour de france – and is, says Ferrari, the ultimate expression of the concept of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track.
Just 799 will be built and each will use the existing 6.3-litre V12 petrol engine from the standard F12 Berlinetta but uprated from 731bhp to an immense 770bhp.
The upshot is even more savage acceleration of 0-62 in 2.9 secs – two tenths of a second faster than the F12 – and on to a top speed of 211mph. Just don’t expect to get more than 15 miles per gallon.
Gearshifts are said to be up to 40 per cent quicker and using the same brakes as on the £1m LaFerrari, the tdf can stop from 125mph in 121 metres.
The car’s dynamics – and acceleration in corners – is due to an 8 per cent increase in the ratio of the front tyres compared to the rear ones.
And a natural tendency to oversteer as a result of the change in tyre sizes is compensated for by the rear-wheel steering set-up – known as the Virtual Short Wheelbase, which guarantees the steering response times and turn-in of a competition car while increasing high speed stability.
Cornering speeds are also higher thanks to a significant – 87 per cent – increase in downforce.
Style-wise, all the bodywork panels, from the chiselled nose to the tail, have been revised while wider front and rear tracks also give the car an even more aggressive stance.
Inside, the driving position has a wrap-around effect and the door panels have been pared back to a single carbon-fibre shell, while the glove compartment has disappeared to be replaced by simple knee padding.
Cabin trim is Alcantara rather than leather and the Ferrari’s spec is completed by lightweight alloys with five twinned spokes.