With the Testarossa having been around since 1984, Ferrari created the 512 TR (TR standing for Testarossa) to inject some fresh blood into their model line-up. This is the middle-child in the Testarossa line, with the F512 M representing its final form. At this point, the Testarossa was world-famous for its extreme side strakes and wedge design, so Ferrari wisely decided to merely freshen the design rather than do a wholesale update. Plenty of performance upgrades made the 512 TR an enticing option for supercar buyers when it debuted in 1991, however.
Some of the notable mechanical upgrades over the previous model include a new clutch, larger brakes, a new quicker steering ratio, and upgraded shocks and tyres. Like the original Testarossa, the 512 TR uses a 4.9-litre flat-12 engine, although extensive updates gave it more power as well as a lower position within the car. Horsepower is rated at 428, almost 45 more than the original car and only 12 less than the F512 M could muster. As such, the top speed is up by an impressive 15 mph (to 195) and 0 to 60 acceleration is down to just 4.8 seconds. Those represent substantial improvements over its predecessor, even if the cars appear nearly identical.
Get Out Your Magnifying Glass
So, how does one go about differentiating the 512 TR from the Testarossa? It takes a careful eye, especially if the car is zooming past you on the motorway. Look for a new spoiler, more modern front fascia, and new engine cover. Step inside, and you will notice a centre console design that now features a gap between itself and the dashboard. Some of the climate control functions were moved as well. And… that’s about it. So, while the F512 TR was set apart with its flashy new headlights, the 512 TR could be mistaken for its predecessor by all but the most fervent of Ferrari fans.
Over 2200 512 TRs were produced in its run from ’91 to ’94. While this is substantially fewer than the over-7,000 Testarossa models, it is also significantly more than the F512 TR, with only 500 examples on the road. What the 512 TR achieved was a continuation of the Testarossa line, with performance that was upgraded enough to keep it competitive with some of the new supercars of the 90s.