Few cars in automotive history marked an era and defined new stylistic concepts like the Ferrari Testarossa. A remarkable example of form at the service of aerodynamics, a revolution in how to design and create a Ferrari, a supercar with no equal on the market, and the return to a glorious name of “Testarossa” even if, for the first time it wasn’t not accompanied by a number: unique ingredients for a perfect recipe unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show.
The first people to see this new Ferrari stood spellbound for ages before the beautiful body that Pininfarina had crafted around mechanical excellence. The designer himself termed the lines of this car “absolute”, and indeed there is no more fitting definition. The style of the heir to the 512 BBi is unmistakable, with its wedge-shaped forms that transfix the eye and is the result of many hours in the wind tunnel. This design stands out for its original stylistic solutions, such as different width between the front and rear track, or the repetition of the grilling of the side air intakes on the fascia covering the rear lights, but now rectangular rather than round. Although the Testarossa played with the concept of different volumes at the front and rear of the car, the final result is particularly harmonious and indeed unique. This choice was purely technical and showed once again how Ferrari puts style at the service of mechanical solutions. The designers of the Testarossa created an “unbalanced” layout on the rear, placing the radiators there in order to eliminate the hot water pipes. Pininfarina transformed a potential limitation into an opportunity and created a shape that could convey the flow along the sides where the radiators were positioned. To hide them from view, the designer came up with the car’s iconic stretch of horizontal spoilers that fit harmoniously into the three-dimensional shapes of the tail.
However, it was not just the style that left people speechless. The mechanics were equally breathtaking. The engine, the most powerful installed on a standard sports car, is a 12-cylinder boxer derived directly from Formula 1: it delivers 390 hp pushing the Testarossa to over 290 kilometres per hour. For the first time, there were four valves per cylinder. This car also represents excellence in terms of its chassis, with a molybdenum-chrome frame to ensure torsional strength and rigidity at the top.
To launch this car in style, on the eve of the Paris Motor Show French dealer Charles Pozzi rented the famous Lido nightclub on the Champs-Elysees. Guests could only enter the event by showing a magnetic card with the logo of the new model and the Prancing Horse marque. The only one still in existence is the 0001, reserved for Enzo Ferrari, who never used it.