The Ferrari Testarossa has been an icon of Ferrari. With a name deriving from the famed 250 and 500 Testarossa sport prototypes of the 1950s, this famous Ferrari is best remembered for its distinctive side air vents, which were both functional and incredibly stylish and remained the most distinctive feature of this famous motorcar. It shook the world and became a strong sales success for Ferrari and with the famous appearance in Miami Vice, it was one of the most recognizable icons of the 1980s.
Unveiled to the world the night before the opening of the 1984 Paris Motor Show at the famed Lido nightclub on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Ferrari Testarossa would become nothing short of legend. With a 0-60 mph time of just over five seconds and a top speed of near 180 mph, its performance and dramatic styling had enthusiasts falling head over heels for Ferrari's newest flat-12 creation. It soon became the poster child for a generation with numerous appearances in movies, music videos, and television shows-most notably in a starring role in Miami Vice alongside Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas.
Introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1984, the Pininfarina designed Ferrari Testarossa stunned the world with its unprecedented styling and technical innovations.
It was a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer with a lifespan of over 12 years and three distinct generations, it is a Ferrari that sold very well. With a re-worked, cleaner yet more powerful motor this was a proper 180 mph attainable super car.
It was a knockout back then and still visually arresting today, the design was overseen by the master at Pininfarina, Leonardo Fioravanti. With the previous cooling challenges and cabin heat in the Berlinetta Boxer, the Testarossa adopted radiators on the sides of the car, allowing better cooling for both engine and cabin. It also allow for a full 12” of additional width and an increased wheelbase. Of course, the added room allowed for ample luggage space up front, but the real delight was the bold use of the enormous side openings, which appeared even more dramatic when accented by five horizontal ribs shielding the vast openings, giving the Testarossa a unique visual signature. Whatever controversy ensued over the looks were immediately settled by performance statistics and record sales.
Power came from a new four valve version of Ferrari’s horizontally opposed twelve cylinder engine rated at 390hp. Quick and capable at high speeds, the Testarossa was also well appointed with leather surfacing on the rear shelf, headliner, and visors. The ample trunk for mid-engine cars, comfortable seating position, and ease of controls, make it an ideal car for comfortable long distance high-speed drives. Testarossa owners are known for frequently using their cars, several examples of which have logged over 100k miles and a few now in excess of 200k.
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