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Super Cars

1986 Ferrari Testarossa Designed By Pininfarina Has An Appreciable Design & Power

Image Source: Dmitry Eagle Orlov / Shutterstock

First showcased at the Paris Auto Show in 1984, the Ferrari Testarossa, designed by Pininfarina, surprised everyone with its unique styling, outstanding performance, and technical advancements. Leonardo Fioravanti, a designer and aerodynamicist, who was already known for designing modern Ferraris, created a design that was a departure from the aging Berlinetta Boxer.

Ferrari took a significant risk with the Testarossa as they needed to increase sales volume, particularly in North America. They not only aimed to produce a top-selling car but also sought to set new standards for their brand. The Testarossa not only offered exceptional performance but also addressed the cooling challenges and cabin heat issues of the 512 BB by placing radiators on each side of the car, increasing the car’s width by 12 inches and the wheelbase.

Of course, the added room allowed for ample trunk and passenger space, but the most striking design feature was the bold use of the enormous side openings, accented by five horizontal blades or strakes, which visually diffused the vast intake chambers while also meeting U.S. safety requirements for open venting. Whatever controversy ensued over the advanced looks was immediately quieted by surprising performance statistics and ultimately record-breaking sales.

Power for the new design came from a new Ferrari four-valve, horizontally opposed, 12-cylinder engine capable of delivering 390 hp. Quick and capable at high speeds, the Testarossa was properly appointed inside with leather seats and a wide console. The sizeable trunk and comfortable seating position made it an ideal car for comfortable long-distance high-speed touring.

Early models are known for their single side mirror, placed high on the driver’s side A-pillar, known as “Monospeccio”. Later series cars would have dual mirrors mounted in a lower position, removing one of the most unique features of this car. And while these truly groundbreaking cars established Ferrari as a leader in design and technology, even though 35 years have passed since its debut, the Testarossa still inspires as a lasting statement of advanced design.

Image Source: Dmitry Eagle Orlov / Shutterstock

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