About the F512M

F512 M (Modificata)

Model Years Produced
All U.S. cars were 1995 models

Testarossa (1984-1990), 512 TR (1991-1993)

Body Design

Production Numbers
501 total F512Ms produced
75 made to U.S.-legal specifications
No F512Ms were sold in Canada
75 right-hand drive F512Ms produced

Exterior Colors
Canna di Fucile (gun metal grey metallic); paint manufacturer lists as Canna Fuc/Met
Giallo Modena (yellow; sometimes referred to as "fly yellow")
Nero (black)
Rosso Corsa (red)
Rosso Met./Monza (burgundy metallic); paint manufacturer lists as Rosso Metallizato

Interior Colors
Blu Scuro (dark blue)
Grigio Scuro (dark grey)
Nero (black)

Carpet Colors
Blu Scuro (dark blue)
Castoro (light brown)
Nero (black)

Options Available
Recaro seats
Optional wheels: five-spoke instead of propeller-style
Spare wheel/tire and jack
Fitted luggage

Photo of the optional
5-spoke wheel

Engine & Transmission
Longitudinal, mid-mounted 180° V12 ("flat 12" or "boxer")
Displacement: 4943cc / 301.6 cubic inches
Bore & stroke: 82 x 78 mm
DOHC (per cylinder bank); 48 valve
Alloy cylinder block and heads
Compression ratio: 10.4:1
Power: 432.0 bhp @ 6750 rpm
Torque: 367.0 ft lbs @ 5500 rpm
5 speed transmission

Body & Chassis
Chassis construction: tubular
Weight: 3208 lbs
Length: 176.4 in
Width: 77.8 in
Height: 44.7 in
Wheelbase: 100.4 in
Rear wheel drive
Front suspension: independent, double unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: independent, double unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
Steering: rack & pinion
Brakes: cross-drilled & ventilated discs (333mm front, 310mm rear), aluminum calipers, switchable Bosch ABS
Driver's pedals: drilled aluminum, adjustable

0 to 60: 4.6 seconds
0 to 100: 10.2 seconds
Quarter mile: 12.8 seconds
Lateral Acceleration: 0.9 G
Top speed: 196.0 MPH

Differences Between U.S. and non-U.S. Models
Front and rear side-marker lights added
Front turn signal lenses changed to amber
Motorized seat belts added to meet passive restraint requirements (no air bags)
Different reverse lights


At the Paris Salon in October of 1994, Ferrari introduced the final version of the fabulous Testarossa series - designated the F512M. The letter “M” stood for modificata, with the vehicle featuring a modified design, a modified engine/transmission and various other internal and external modifications that truly made this rendition the “beast” of the Testarossa series.

When Ferrari decided it was time to replace the Berlinetta Boxer, they started with the assumption that power would be from a 180 degree V-12 engine and that the car would be defined by exceptional style and design. So the Testarossa was born: a collaboration between Ferrari and design studio Pininfarina. And although the original Testarossa displayed ground-breaking styling, design and performance, Ferrari did not rest on their laurels. There was constant improvement and enhancement of 1984’s Testarossa and it eventually evolved into the 512TR of 1991 and finally the F512M of 1995. With each evolution the styling, interior and performance were improved in a car that was consistently capable of top speeds in excess of 180 MPH, 0 to 60 MPH times of less than 5 seconds, and attaining 0.9G of lateral acceleration.


The changes to the styling of the F512M were driven by aerodynamics and are especially evident on the front of the car. There is a new integrated nose cap with trapezoidal indicator and parking lights located above the separate round fog lights. The grill opening was slightly smaller and only provides air for the A/C condenser. The most significant change was the incorporation of the fixed “homofocal” headlights behind lexan covers. Additional design changes include the two NACA intakes, installed at the trailing edge of the front lid, for improved interior ventilation. The undertray was also modified for a smoother air flow. More of a cosmetic change, the Testarossa-style rectangular tail lights (covered by strakes) were removed and replaced with more conventional round tail lights. The unique two-piece wheels were proprietary to this model and were designed to assist in brake cooling. Other changes were made, but it would be necessary to have examples of a 512TR and a F512M to make a direct comparison.

Weight Consideration

The weight of the Testarossa had always been problematic, therefore one of the primary goals in the production of the F512M was weight alleviation. Ferrari attacked this problem on three fronts: the body, the engine and the suspension. Critical gains were accomplished by the use of lightweight body components, specifically aluminum for the front fenders, rear quarter panels and the engine cover and a glass composite for the front lid. The F512M’s engine was the lightest of the 5.0L “flat 12” engines, as well as being the most powerful. The weight savings came primarily from a lighter engine casting, forged aluminum pistons, titanium alloy connecting rods and a revised billet crankshaft. The transmission of the F512M was equipped with the same gear ratios, however it featured revised synchronizers and a modified shift mechanism to speed up shifting and make it more precise. The suspension on the F512M featured aluminum spindle hubs front and rear, aluminum sway bar attachment pieces, new lightweight aluminum shock absorbers and the unique two-piece lightweight wheels. The result of these combined efforts was a reduction of approximately 150 pounds over the previous model.


Although the F512M was the zenith of the Testarossa series, it enjoyed the shortest production run at less than 2 years. In that period of time Ferrari produced 501 units for world wide consumption. The North American market, traditionally Ferrari’s biggest, received only 75 specially built F512Ms. All of these vehicles had a metal plate under the radio cover stating the sequential production number (1 through 75) of that particular vehicle. The most popular color combination was red/tan, of which there were 35. The least popular was yellow/blue as there was only one.

The End of an Era

The original 180 degree flat 12 engine, dubbed the “boxer” because of its unusual piston configuration, displaced 1.5L and was used by Ferrari in their F-1 cars in 1964 and 1965. In 1969, after a short hiatus, it was enlarged to 2.0L and used by Ferrari to clench the European hillclimb championship. In 1970 the motor was enlarged to 3.0L and subsequently won the endurance championship in 1972, the Formula One championship in 1973, 1977 and 1979 and 4 Formula One Constructor’s titles in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1979. In 1971 a road version of the flat 12 (4.4L) was developed and put into use when Pininfarina unveiled the 365GT/4BB. In the mid 1970’s the engine was enlarged to 5.0L for service in the 512BB and 512BBi. Further engine development and refinement occurred when the engine saw service in the Testarossa, then the 512TR and finally in the F512M.

Perhaps the F512M experience is best summed up by an excerpt from an article in Road and Track magazine, ”Though no longer the fastest road-legal Ferrari the big mid-engine exotic from Maranello can only be called unique. Its styling is dramatic, its highway manners nearly flawless and that big 12-cylinder engine makes a soul-stirring sound you will hear nowhere else. It’s a combination of desirable attributes difficult to improve upon, even for Ferrari.”