In order to build the ultimate example of the F12berlinetta, Ferrari took a page from their history book to create the F12tdf. When people hear Tour de France, their minds instantly turn to the famous bicycle race. But before it was a battle of two-wheeled machines, it was a road rally featuring the world’s fastest cars. Enzo Ferrari and his cars dominated the race from 1959 to 1964 by using the best in racing technology. Secrets learned on the track helped to build better street cars, and this is still true today.
The Ferrari F12tdf is more than just a track-ready F12berlinetta. In order to push the limits of their V12 engine, the top end was redesigned with solid lifters and bigger cams. In normal cars, the cams push on hydraulic lifters. They are pressurized by engine oil to act as a cushion between the valve and the cams. Not only does it make for a smooth & quiet engine, they are self-adjusting for years of trouble-free running. Solid lifters have no such pleasantries. They are used in high rpm engines with monster cams because it provides more precise control of the intake and exhaust valves. The downside is they are noisy and require adjustment at least twice a year. Most gearheads can live with these annoyances, so the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Cadillac invented the hydraulic lifter and it was introduced on the 1930 V16. Manufacturers haven’t lost the ability to build solid lifter engines, BMW’s E46 series M3 used them until 2006. So when Ferrari decided to go retro on the valves, they didn’t stop there. Bigger cams promote better airflow from idle to redline, and the dual-clutch transmission shifts 40% faster. The gear ratios are closer to keep the engine in its powerband, which is much wider. Variable length intake runners help to offer 80% of max torque (520 lb-ft) at only 2,500 rpm. That is how it is able to hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top speed north of 211 mph.
Its predecessor had 509 lb-ft, but it could only be found at 6,000 rpm. A torque increase of this magnitude is like comparing chicken broth to chunky soup, it is much more satisfying! By using composites and cutting insulation, the F12tdf is also 240 lbs lighter. Enhanced aerodynamics produce 87% more downforce, and it is put to work by 4 wheel steering and stiffer suspension. Only 799 cars were built, and each one is the perfect blend of modern technology and racing knowledge. This is the only example we’ve seen in yellow that includes matching luggage and 2-tone interior. With only 84 miles, you can bid with confidence because you won’t find another one in this condition. It is one of the 7 cars in the Gatsby Exotics Collection, which will be the main attraction at Mecum Monterey. Stay with us for complete coverage of the event.