The Ferrari Testarossa is a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car manufactured by Ferrari, which went into production in 1984 as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. The Pininfarina-designed car was originally produced from 1984 to 1991, with two model revisions following the ending of Testarossa production and the introduction of the 512 TR and F512 M which were produced from 1992 to 1996. Almost 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making it one of the most-produced Ferrari models, despite its high price and exotic design. In 1995, the F512 M retailed for $220,000. Testarossa means "redhead" in Italian.
The Testarossa is a two-door coupe with a fixed roof that premiered at the 1984 Paris Auto Show. All versions of the Testarossa had the power fed through the wheels from a rear-mounted, five-speed manual transmission. The Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout (engine between the axles but behind the cabin) keeps the centre of gravity in the middle of the car, which increases stability and improves the car's cornering ability, and thus results in a standing weight distribution of 40% front: 60% rear. The original Testarossa was re-engineered for 1992 and released as the 512 TR, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, effectively as a completely new car, and an improved weight distribution of 41% front: 59% rear. The F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show. The car dropped the TR initials and added the M which in Italian stood for modificata, or translated to modified, and was the final version of the Testarossa, and continued its predecessor's weight distribution improvement of 42% front: 58% rear. The F512 M was Ferrari's last mid-engine 12-cylinder car, apart from the F50 and Ferrari Enzo, featuring the company's last flat engine. The Testarossa was replaced in 1996 by the front-engined 550 Maranello coupe.
The vehicle should not be confused with the Ferrari TR "Testa Rossa" of the late 1950s and early 1960s, which were GT sports cars that ran in the World Sportscar Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Source: Wikipedia, 2013; Mecum Auctions