When it comes to supercars, the Ferrari F12 TDF deserves a place in the automotive Hall of Fame.
Paying homage to the legendary Tour de France endurance races of the 1950s and ’60s, the limited edition grand tourer is, quite simply, an extraordinary machine.
Made by the renowned Italian automaker, it elevates the already formidable F12 Berlinetta to incredible new heights. In the process, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts from around the world with its aggressive styling, fantastic performance, and admirable focus on driving dynamics.
In this article, as part of our review of classic and supercars that have left an indelible print on the automotive industry, we will take a look at what makes the car such a special vehicle. Exploring its heritage, design, performance, and the sheer thrill that one experiences from behind the wheel.
So, join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the essence of this brilliant vehicle to find out what makes it a true automotive icon.
Heritage and Legacy
The Ferrari F12 TDF pays homage to Ferrari’s rich motorsport heritage, drawing inspiration from both its iconic predecessors and its successful racing endeavours. The ‘TDF’ in its name stands for ‘Tour de France’, which references the legendary endurance race held from 1899 to 1986, where Ferrari enjoyed numerous victories.
The Tour de France Automobile was a gruelling race that covered thousands of kilometres, testing the limits of both drivers and their machines. Ferrari dominated this event in the 1950s and 1960s, securing multiple victories and establishing its reputation as a formidable force in motorsport. The F12 TDF aims to capture the spirit and essence of those victorious racing machines.
The vehicle draws design cues and inspiration from Ferrari’s iconic GT and sports cars of the past. The front grille design, for example, harks back to classic Ferrari models like the 250 GTO, showcasing a clear lineage to the brand’s historic racing heritage. The purposeful use of aerodynamic elements, such as the aggressive front splitter, sculpted side skirts, and rear diffuser, reflects Ferrari’s expertise gained from their Formula 1 and endurance racing endeavours.
Furthermore, the car incorporates cutting-edge technology derived from Ferrari’s Formula 1 experiences, ensuring the car delivers exceptional performance on both the road and track. Advanced aerodynamics, precise suspension systems, and a powerful V12 engine work harmoniously to create an exhilarating driving experience that reflects Ferrari’s racing legacy.
Due to its limited edition status, the Ferrari F12 TDF holds a special place in the hearts of Ferrari enthusiasts. Only a select number of units were produced, making it a highly sought-after collector’s item. This exclusivity and rarity add to the car’s allure and desirability among automotive connoisseurs.
Design and Styling
The design of the Ferrari F12 TDF is characterised by a notable fusion of aerodynamic efficiency, its aggressive styling, and a nostalgic nod to Ferrari’s rich racing heritage.
Every aspect of its exterior is crafted to enhance performance while captivating onlookers with its commanding presence.
Starting from the front, the car features a prominent and wide grille that allows for optimised airflow to the engine and brakes, ensuring efficient cooling. The front splitter, made of lightweight carbon fibre, not only adds a touch of aggression but also aids in directing air around the car, reducing lift and improving stability at high speeds.
Moving along the sides, you’ll notice sharp and dynamic lines that create a sense of forward motion even when the car is at a standstill. The carbon fibre side skirts contribute to the car’s visual appeal and help manage airflow, reducing turbulence and enhancing aerodynamic performance.
The rear of the vehicle is where its aggressive nature truly shines. A muscular and sculpted appearance is achieved with a prominent rear diffuser, an integrated spoiler, and a centrally-mounted dual exhaust system.
At the same time, the diffuser, crafted from carbon fibre, enhances the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and helps increase downforce, keeping the F12 TDF planted to the road.
One of the most iconic design elements of the car is its large and imposing rear wing. This aerodynamically optimised wing generates substantial downforce, further enhancing stability and grip during high-speed manoeuvres. The wing is visually striking and serves a functional purpose, making it a standout feature of the car’s design.
Carbon fibre is extensively used throughout the exterior of the vehicle to reduce weight and improve overall performance. It can be seen in various elements such as the front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, and even in the optional roof panel. These carbon fibre accents contribute to the car’s aggressive aesthetics and play a crucial role in enhancing its aerodynamic efficiency and handling capabilities.
Regarding colour options, Ferrari offers a range of stunning paint choices for the F12 TDF, allowing owners to personalise their cars according to their preferences.
From classic shades like Rosso Corsa (racing red) to more unique and vibrant hues, the colour palette adds an extra layer of individuality to the already captivating design.
Performance and Powertrain
The performance of the Ferrari F12 TDF is nothing short of breathtaking, embodying the pinnacle of automotive engineering and delivering an exhilarating driving experience. From its potent engine to its advanced handling dynamics, every aspect of the vehicle is optimised to push the boundaries of performance.
At the heart of the car lies a monstrous naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine. This powerhouse produces an astonishing 769 horsepower and 519 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most potent V12 engines ever fitted to a production Ferrari. The engine’s immense power propels the car from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of over 211 mph (340 km/h). The vehicle’s acceleration is nothing short of explosive, pinning occupants to their seats and providing an adrenaline-pumping experience.
Ferrari has equipped the vehicle with advanced aerodynamics to harness and optimise this incredible power. The car features active and passive aerodynamic elements that enhance downforce and stability at high speeds. These include a prominent rear wing, an aggressive front splitter, and carbon fibre components strategically placed throughout the bodywork. The result is a car that remains planted on the road, even during high-speed cornering, allowing drivers to exploit the full potential of its performance.
The car also benefits from rear-wheel steering, a technology borrowed from Ferrari’s flagship LaFerrari hypercar. This system enhances agility and responsiveness, ensuring the car responds quickly and accurately to driver inputs. Whether navigating tight corners or manoeuvring at high speeds, the vehicle remains poised and agile, offering an engaging and dynamic driving experience.
The transmission in the F12 TDF is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, delivering lightning-fast gear shifts and seamless power delivery. Drivers can choose between various driving modes, including ‘Race’ mode, which sharpens throttle response, stiffens the suspension, and optimises gear ratios for maximum performance. The vehicle also features Ferrari’s electronic differential (E-Diff) and the latest Side Slip Control (SSC) iteration, ensuring optimal traction and precise control in all driving conditions.
Beyond its straight-line speed and impressive handling, the vehicle boasts a high-performance braking system that brings it to a halt with confidence and precision. Carbon-ceramic brakes provide exceptional stopping power while remaining resistant to fade, allowing consistent performance during aggressive driving.
Interior Comfort and Features
The interior of the Ferrari F12 TDF offers a blend of sportiness and luxury, designed to provide a focused and comfortable environment for the driver and passenger. While the primary focus is on performance and driver engagement, Ferrari has not compromised on comfort and features, ensuring an enjoyable experience for occupants.
Upon entering the car, you’ll find a driver-centric cockpit that wraps around the driver, putting all controls within easy reach. The seats are highly supportive and feature carbon fibre shells, providing excellent bolstering and keeping occupants firmly in place during spirited driving. The seats are upholstered in fine leather or Alcantara, exuding a premium feel and offering a comfortable seating position.
The steering wheel is a work of art, crafted with precision and ergonomics in mind. It features a range of controls, allowing the driver to access various functions without taking their hands off the wheel. The steering wheel is often wrapped in premium leather or Alcantara, providing a luxurious touch while offering exceptional grip during dynamic driving.
The dashboard of the vehicle is a mix of traditional elegance and modern technology. High-quality materials, such as leather, carbon fibre, and aluminium, are meticulously crafted to create a visually appealing and luxurious ambience. The dashboard design is clean and focused, with clear instrumentation and intuitive controls that prioritise the driver’s needs.
In terms of features, the F12 TDF is equipped with a range of modern amenities and technologies. While the emphasis is on driving performance, Ferrari has incorporated elements of convenience and connectivity. Depending on the specific configuration, the vehicle may include features such as a high-quality infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and climate control. However, it’s important to note that the vehicle is designed primarily as a driver’s car, so the focus is on the driving experience rather than an abundance of luxurious features.
As a limited-production model, customisation options are often available, allowing owners to tailor the interior to their preferences. Ferrari’s extensive personalization program, known as ‘Tailor Made’ offers a wide range of customisation possibilities, including various upholstery options, unique stitching patterns, and personalised touches that can further enhance the interior comfort and exclusivity of the F12 TDF.
Overall, while the car prioritises performance and driver engagement, the interior offers a blend of comfort, craftsmanship, and advanced features. The combination of luxurious materials, supportive seats, and intuitive controls creates an environment where the driver can fully immerse themselves in the driving experience while still enjoying a level of comfort and convenience.
Driving Experience and Handling
The driving experience of the Ferrari F12 TDF is nothing short of extraordinary, offering a blend of power, precision, and sheer excitement that is characteristic of the legendary Italian automaker. From the moment you sit behind the wheel, it becomes clear that the car is designed to provide an immersive and unforgettable driving experience.
One of the defining aspects of the vehicle’s driving experience is its raw power. The 6.3-litre V12 engine delivers an awe-inspiring 769 horsepower, exhilarating acceleration pinning you to your seat. The engine note is a symphony of mechanical beauty, accompanied by a thunderous roar that resonates with every press of the accelerator. The vehicle’s powertrain is not only about straight-line speed but also offers a broad power band, delivering relentless thrust throughout the rev range.
The precision of the F12 TDF’s handling is another standout feature. Ferrari has equipped the car with advanced technologies, including rear-wheel steering, to enhance agility and responsiveness. Its precise steering and exceptional grip allow drivers to attack corners confidently, making it feel planted and composed and inspiring confidence at every turn.
Furthermore, its aerodynamic enhancements and active aerodynamic systems ensure the car remains stable and predictable at high speeds. The downforce generated by the rear wing and the optimised airflow management contribute to a planted feel, allowing drivers to exploit the car’s performance to the fullest. This means that whether on the open road or a racetrack, the vehicle offers an immersive driving experience that engages all the senses.
Inside the cabin, the F12 TDF perfectly balances sportiness and luxury. The driver-oriented cockpit places all essential controls within easy reach, ensuring a seamless and intuitive driving experience.
In addition, the carbon fibre and Alcantara-trimmed interior exude a high-performance ambience, while the beautifully crafted seats provide excellent support during spirited driving. While focusing on performance, the car doesn’t compromise on comfort, making it suitable for long journeys and intense track sessions.
All things considered, the Ferrari F12 TDF embodies the true spirit of Ferrari’s racing heritage. Blending breathtaking performance and awe-inspiring design with unparalleled driving dynamics.
Its limited production run ensures rarity, further elevating its status as an automotive icon. Whether you’re a dedicated Ferrari lover or simply an admirer of excellent cars, we are sure you will agree the F12 TDF is a truly remarkable machine.