"Experience that a few can experience"
Let’s all close our eyes for a second- now we’re in the Italian Dolomites. Around you there’s nothing but for a few birds quietly singing. You can feel the cold wind slowly blowing on your face, the sun is just about to set and the mountains are lit up with a beautiful, natural orange light; You can smell the fresh grass. In front of you stands the beauty and the beast combined into a piece of absolutely exceptional engineering.
In your hand you hold the detail, that any Ferrari wouldn’t be complete without. A red, rotary shaped key with the companies logo sitting proudly in the middle. Just in case you forgot what car you’re about to step in.
You take a deep breath and move your hand along the curvy, flowing lines of the body work. It reaches the handle. After pulling it you hear a click sound and you’re greeted with a very sophisticated and elegant yet sporty interior. You can really see the racing heritage of the TdF. The deliberate rawness of the interior indicates that you’re not about to go on a slow Sunday cruise in your posh SUV. You’re now dealing with a serious car, a car that won’t tolerate any mistakes.
Alright key in the ignition, you turn it slightly and you push the big red button on the steering while. You have now woken the devil up. There’s no turning point. All 770hp have come to life and are ready to accelerate the car to 62mph in just 2.9 seconds. The rumble of the naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 could probably be heard on the other side of the peak.
After hitting the gas pedal the car starts to slowly roll forward and you get to see the curviness of the roads you’re about to drive on. You push the pedal further and the sudden “GO” thrusts you deep in the bucket sits. As you get to the higher RPM’s you get to hear the engine roar in all of it’s glory. It’s almost unbelievable that to achieve this sound, a lot of people worked for many, many hours perfecting the harmony made by the Ferrari. This car doesn’t need a radio or speakers, you’ll never get bored of this flawless melody coming from the exhaust. Oh and imagine opening the throttle while in a tunnel, it simply doesn’t get better than that.
The car is precise like a razor when cutting through the air and turning around every hairpin you throw it around. The four-wheel steering certainly helps when it comes to measuring your line to slice through the corners apex. The suspension is tuned perfectly to not be too soft nor too hard- it’s just perfect. The drive is so pleasant, everything just seems to work with each other perfectly well and you’re just flowing through the amazing roads.
You can now open your eyes, what I just described is the closest I can get to what it would feel to experience the magnificence of this amazing, amazing car.
"Heritage is the key"
As always when looking at Italian vehicles we need to look back a few years to find out, why exactly is the Ferrari F12 TdF called the TdF. Well if we look back to the year 1951 we will learn that one of the first cars to win a famous race- Tour de France Automobile after WWII was in fact a Ferrari 212 Export. In fact Ferrari won the exact same race 13 more times. Their most successful car to ever win the race was the 250GT which won it 7 times in a row!
The name of the very limited F12 TdF is a tribute to all of Ferrari’s cars that raced in Tour de France Automobile. To be frank with you folks if my car won any race 7 times in a row, I’d probably honour it as well at some point and I think Ferrari did an amazing job with choosing the car to credit it with.
"Sorry we don’t serve medium to well done, only raw"
The TdF is Ferrari in it’s rawest and purest form. Instead of sticking in a turbocharged , downsized V8 or worse a V6 they decided that a special car like this, deserves a special engine. a 6.3 litre, naturally aspirated V12 is definitely not something you’d expect in a modern day supercar, but Ferrari have got us used to surprises.
In the interior of the car you won’t find any luxurious, cream leather which was stitched by hand by an eighty year old Italian coffee maker. Instead you will find alcantara and carbon fibre which helps the TdF lose almost a 110 kilos if we compare it to the regular F12. As oppose to the F12 the goal of this car isn’t to be a luxurious and comfortable super car, it literally wants you to lose a bucket of sweat from driving it quickly for a few minutes. The car evolves around the idea of always pushing it to the limit, always look for the border of available grip.
As amazing as this car it’s not limitless, you need to be a 100% focused on it or it will bite you and it will bite you hard. You can’t buy skill with the money you spend on the car. This car was partially made for racing enthusiast and I really appreciate as it show that the company is actually remembering about their fans and their heritage.
"The car that is truly incomparable"
Now this statement might be controversial to some, but I will defend it like a mother defending their child. In my opinion, no sorry- In fact the Ferrari F12 TdF is truly incomparable to anything else. There is no other car like the it.
“Well what about the Lamborghini Aventador SV, it’s Italian, it’s a super car, and it is fast- really fast.”
You see the SV isn’t limited nor does it take risk. It’s a very safe, traditional supercar which most owners will use for bragging in London’s or Dubai’s rich streets. It uses an engine developed mostly by german engineers from Audi, it uses a 4WD system and the overall design of the car is almost 5 years old but in my opinion it looks much older. After seeing so many Aventadors they just lost their excitement, because of their popularity they lost their appeal that Lamborghini is so famous for.
On the other side of the spectrum we have the amazing McLaren 675LT. It’s a technical marvel, a track beast that will beat any modern super car with ease. It is one of the greatest car to race but in my opinion it kind of gets rid of the drivers pleasure factor. Everything is calculated, which in one way is really good but in another it doesn’t make you scared and in my opinion a supercar should make you exactly that. The car doesn’t sound no where near as good as the Ferrari and while I like the looks of it the design might seem a bit questionable to some people. I for once am a big fan of the Britain placed company, but I think their cars are starting to cross the boundary between a car and a machine. While the F12 TdF is also close to that boundary, it gains a lot of points for simply being a drivers car, which is not easy to drive- you need to battle it and it is so much fun. Oh and the sound, I think I already told you I quite enjoy the sound that car produces.
"Rarely appreciated art"
I think the F12 TdF is a car often overlooked by a lot of car enthusiasts and it truly surprises me, because Ferrari did what many other car companies are scared to do; they looked back and truly made a car inspired by their older, legendary model. Even though it seems like such a little thing, it gives the car character which a lot of modern cars are lacking. The design was very much influenced by the 250GT TDF. The little ducktail in the rear, the black line going across the front of the car and the little details show how much this car has been polished by Ferrari’s designers. They also managed to shave almost 110 kg of off the standard F12 by using a lot of carbon fibre.
Yet the looks aren’t the only thing that makes this car art on wheels. Let’s now look at the heart of the beast the 6.3-litre V12 engine sitting just above the front axle. This is the exact power plant we will find in the regular (if you can call it that) F12, but the power has been raised to 770hp and it has 520lb-ft. The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. Combine that with immense aerodynamics and fantastic suspension along with Four wheel steering and you’ve got a car 2 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta and 488GTB around Fiorano. It’s only 1.3 seconds slower than the LaFerrari!
Unfortunately in the world filled with flashy, up right in your face supercars (Yes I’m looking at you Lamborghini) this car will often be dismissed. It tries to stay low-key while still being appealing to true petrolheads like you and me. I think it’s true potential is unknown to many people as Ferrari has the reputation for making cars to show off in front of fancy restaurants and hotels. Which in this case couldn’t be further from truth.
Ferrari is known for making cars that only suit the red colour suddenly makes a car that suits either yellow or blue the best and it’s one of the best ones they made in years. It’s a technical marvel while also allowing the driver to have ton of fun if he can keep it out of the trees. It’s not afraid to prove that you’re the one that should be scared of it. In my eyes it’s the perfect tribute to the brands racing heritage for which it is known amongst the enthusiasts. It also doesn’t shy away from showing it’s sportiness on both the exterior as well as the interior.
The Spartan cockpit of the car proves that Ferrari isn’t worried about all the luxuriates you will find in other cars coming at a similar price tag. This is both a car that you can thrash around the race track for a whole day and take to a fancy movie premiere. What I mean by that is that it doesn’t lose the extremely high prestige level you get when buying a Ferrari but you also gain astounding race capabilities.
Overall I think this might be the best car made in this decade or even this century. It has everything you’d ever ask for- beautiful design and appeal, top of the line engine and a sound to die for. If you had to describe Ferrari with one car made in this century this would be it. I love it and I want it.