The Ferrari F512 M is the final curtain call for the 3-car Testarossa line. As such, it represents the highest performance that platform would ever achieve in a production model. This terminal version of the storied supercar debuted in 1994, a full ten years after the first Testarossa rolled off the assembly line. To keep the model fresh, the F512 received healthy doses of both styling and mechanical upgrades over the preceding models, but its run was destined to be short-lived, with the 550 Maranello already on the horizon.
While it shares most of the same mechanicals as its predecessors, the F512’s 4.9-litre flat-12 received some attention for the new model. For example, the connecting rods and crankshaft were now made of titanium, resulting in an over-7 kg weight loss compared to the old units. Power and torque were both up as well, at 440 bhp and 370 lb-ft, respectively. Although these changes resulted in only modest performance gains compared to the middle-child 512 TR, the F512 M was nevertheless much faster than the original 1984 Testarossa. The top speed of 196 mph is a marked 16 mph improvement, while the 0 – 62 mph task is accomplished in 4.7 seconds, compared to 5.2 seconds for the original car.
Changes were made to the styling of the car as well, making it clear this was as brand new model. Most notably, those famous pop-up headlights were now more traditional fixed units. The tail lights and entire front fascia were slightly updated as well, making the task of telling the F512 M apart from its predecessors quite easy.
All said and done, 501 F512 Ms were produced between 1994 and 1996, at £136,500 per car. Compared to the over 7,177 Testarossas and 2,261 512 TRs produced, the F512 is a rare bird indeed. After its production run came to an end, the Testarossa line of cars gave way to an all-new model; the lovely 550 Maranello.
Images Copyright of RM Sotheby’s.