The 780-hp Ferrari F12tdf blurs the line that separates a street car from a race car

Ferrari is on a roll this year. After launching replacements for the 458 Italia and the 458 Spider, the Italian car maker has introduced a limited-edition model called F12tdf that’s faster, lighter, and much more advanced than the F12berlinetta on which it’s based.

The F12tdf is named after the Tour de France, though it’s likely not the one you’re thinking of. While the Tour de France is almost exclusively associated with cycling today, it also refers to a popular automotive event that was held from the turn of the (last) century up until 1986. Ferrari dominated the race’s GT category from 1956 to 1964.

Power for the latest limited-edition Prancing Horse comes from an evolution of the naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12 engine that’s found under the hood of the regular F12berlinetta. By rebuilding the 12-cylinder using technology gleaned from the world of racing, engineers have managed to bump its output up to 780 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 520 pound-feet of torque at 6,750 rpm. Those figures represent increases of 40 hp and 12 lb-ft. over the F12berlinetta.

Bolted to a model-specific seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the V12 sends the F12tdf from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 7.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 211 mph.

The transmission is fitted with six-percent shorter gears, and its upshifts and downshifts are 30 and 40 percent faster, respectively. One-piece brake calipers similar to the ones that equip the sold-out LaFerrari allow the F12tdf to screech from 124 mph to a complete stop in just over 130 yards.

The F12tdf rides on much wider tires than the stock F12. The switch improves handling — especially on tight tracks — but it also has a tendency to create oversteer, so Ferrari developed a new rear-wheel steering system called Virtual Short Wheelbase to keep the coupe pointed in the right direction. Virtual Short Wheelbase works with the car’s other driving aids to improve both turn-in on tight tracks and stability at high speeds.

Visually, the F12tdf is immediately recognizable thanks to a new front end with a smaller grille and aerodynamic fins integrated into the bottom of the bumper, along with carbon fiber air vents in the fenders, heritage-laced vents on the rear wheel arches, a bigger spoiler, and a new rear bumper that incorporates a massive air diffuser. The add-ons increase downforce by up to 87 percent while giving the tdf a much more menacing look.

The interior has been stripped of all components deemed superficial in order to shed as much weight as possible. The glovebox and the floor mats have been tossed out, the seats are upholstered with lightweight cloth and many parts of the cabin are crafted out of carbon fiber. Consequently, the F12tdf tips the scale at 3,119 pounds, nearly 250 
pounds less than the F12berlinetta.

F12tdf production will be strictly limited to 799 examples.  Pricing information hasn’t been announced yet, but for what it’s worth, the regular F12berlinetta starts at over $300,000 before any options are factored in.

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