Ferrari Testa Rossa - 'Red Head' - 1984
KNOWN AS THE "new Boxer" to the more rabid Ferrari enthusiasts since the earliest examples were spotted while on test in the vicinity of Maranello nearly four years ago, the Testa Rossa will be less of a disappointmen t, visually, than many of them feared. When the. prototypes were first seen it was assumed, or at least hoped, that its form was just a rough approximation and that smoother, more dynamic contours would appear magically at the car's presentation. Sorry, guys, but what you saw is 'what you're getting. But the car looks a lot better in its finished state, with highlights reading from a shiny surface.
The most criticized feature is the huge "cheese-cutter" intake on each flank, sort of super-Mondial in character, with a rising contour above it that becomes the rear fender. This contour takes away the visual strength that ,the BB had..in this area, and de-emphasizes the front fenders, which (from some angles) seem to follow the arches down to mid-flank height and then start again-sort of the mid-Fifties Jaguar fender line backwards", Because of the fuller hood con:, tour the front fenders also lose the peaks they had and the result is less aggressive and, again, more Mondial-like.
It would appear that aerodynamic considerations have taken precedence over esthetic ones (Paul Frere's report
from his Pininfarina visit confirms the priority of the wind tunnel). If the results are as claimed, most potential Testa Rossa buyers will be quite happy with its looks - handsome is as handsome does - and it's absolutely certain that any new Boxer will sell its quota, especially now that the Testa Rossa is being manufactured in U.S.- legal form from the outset.
Starting at the front, the Testa Rossa body has an extremely clean nose, itself almost in airdam position but with additional flexible black skirting below. This
nose is abo'ut halfway between that of the old Boxer and the competition
~ BB512LMs. The main nose panel is also the bumper, with a black air intake between the turn-signal and driving lights. Above the bumper are the more-or-Iess obligatory retractable headlights, similar in appearance to those of the 308GTBi/GTSi. Gone from the upper surface of the hood is the BB's radiator outlet, now that the Testa Rossa has rear-mounted radiators. The windshield appears to be at the same angle as the BB's but it is less curved in plan view. The door glass has approximately the same shape as before but the quarter windows are square-cut, in Lancia Montecarlo or Lotus Esprit style rather than nicely curved like the older Boxer's quarter windows. The reason for the new shape is the butting of the engine lid, which includes the roof sails, to the rear edges of the windows. The BB's roof airfoil has disappeared, indicating the improvement of the overall airflow.
The wheels have the by now traditional Ferrari 5-spoke star pattern, but the modular type with cast alloy centers and bolted rim halves seen on the prototypes (probably used only for testing), have given way to the style familiar on the 308s and Mondials. They are more closely shrouded by the nearly flat body sides, with undoubted aerodynamic benefits but a slablike appearance between the wheel arches. The tail sweeps upward behind the rear wheels, reducing body lift at the back; there is a separate body-colored rear bumper and above that a recessed panel that contains the rear-deck air outlets and the taillights, covered by five thin horizontal bars.
. I haven't talked with anyone yet who likes the Testa Rossa beller than the BB and it remains to be seen whether its looks are the kind that will grow on you. New technology often creates an esthetic lag that remains until public consciousness catches up; it may take a bit of mind adjustment before the Testa Rossa's impact replaces the positive image most enthusiasts have of the Berlinetta Boxer.
TESTA ROSSA, First impressions of the BB's successor BY PAUL FRERE
THE FIRST TRUE road Ferrari with the engine behind the cockpit, the Berlinetta Boxer has had the longest lifespan of any Ferrari to date. "It was first exhibited in prototype form on the Pininfarina stand at the Turin show in 1971. Its successor carries the name of one of the most successful sports/racing cars in history. The 1985 Testa Rossa is likely to be not only the fastest road-going Ferrari of all time, but also the fastest p'roduction car in the world, discounting such homologation specials as the Porsche Gruppe B and the recently announced Ferrari GTO.
Although the layout of its main mechanical components is identical with that of the BB. it is a completely redesigned car intended to meet new criteria. When the Boxer was designed, the contribution that aerodynamic forces could provide to improve' handling and roadholding had only just been recognized and little effort had been expended to achieve any advantage from them. The only care that was taken was to avoid front-end lift, which would have made the car dangerous to drive at its very high maximum speed of 175 mph. In fact, the BB was finalized before Pininfarina's wind tunnel became operative. In the years since, both Ferrari and Pininfarina have learned a great deal about aerodynamic design. Consequently, the body of the new Testa Rossa was shaped with a much higher priority given to down force, both on the front and rear wheels, than to achieving especially low drag figures. Though not officially disclosed, the drag coefficient is said to be 0.36 while the lift coefficient is about 0.01 over both axles. At the back this is achieved mainly by the rising line of the bottom of the car behind the power unit.
Apart from its aerodynamics, the new car had to meet two requirements put forward by Boxer owners: The heat in the cockpit had to be reduced and there needed to be more luggage space. Much of the heat transferred to the cockpit of the BB came from the big pipes connecting the front-mounted radiator to ~he midship engine. The solution was to move the radiators to the rear, a position used in most contemporary racing cars, including Ferrari's. This also partly solved the luggage problem by providing more space in the nose of the car, above the space-saver spare tire. Further space was obtained behind the seats by increasing the wheelbase 2.0 in. to 100.4.
Mounted ahead of the rear wheels, as in Formula I cars, the radiators are quite bulky, requiring a 3.5-in. increase in the rear track, to an all-time record width of 65.0 in. The rear rim width is also an unprecedented 10.0 in., to accommodate the Goodyear 255/50YR-16 tires. All this contributes to an enormous overall width (by road car standards) of 77.5 in. The front track remains unchanged at 59.5 in. but here, too, wider tires are used on 8.0-in. rims.
One problem that came up with the use of the rear-mounted radiators was how to duct the air into them: many solutions were tried in the wind tunnel and on the road. These tests made it clear that the ducts had to start in the door panels, and as the airstream created low-pressure points, the opportunity was taken to discharge the air circulating in the cockpit into the door and B-pillar joins.The horizontal vanes over the ducts don't serve any aerodynamic purpose they only meet the legal requirements in some countries that openings of a certain size be protected. Notwithstanding the rear radiators, the characteristic Ferrari front grille has been retained. feeding air into ducts cooling the front brakes. A further opening is provided in the front air dam. supplying air to the condenser for the air conditioning.
The chassis and running gear follow the now traditional Ferrari practice. with a tubular steel space frame to which the body structure is welded. The body panels are aluminum, except for the doors and roof, made of steel for safety reasons. As on the BB. the front and rear suspensions are by unequal-length A-arms arranged for anti-dive at the front, coil spring/tube shock units (four at the rear). and anti-roll bars. The front and rear disc brakes are operated by 4-piston calipers and internally ventilated.
With an advertised output of 390 bhp at 6800 rpm. the all-aluminum 4943-cc flat-12 engine of the Testa Rossa is the most ppwerful offered in a production car today. It is extensively redesigned compared to its predecessor and is 44 Ib lighter in spite of the 50-bhp increase. Nikasil-coated aluminum wet cylinder liners are used (the bore and stroke are unchanged from the BB's, at 82.0 x 78.0 mm) but the most important novelty is the cylinder head design, with four valves per cylinder-Quattrovalvole, as on the latest 308 engines and, of course, . all Ferrari Formula I engines since 1967.
Each of the two banks of cylinders has its own gear-driven camshafts. The exhaust valves are made of Limonic, the highly heat-resistant nickel alloy used for the manufacture of gas turbine blades. The fuel mixture is provided by two separate Bosch K-Jetronic injection systems, one per bank, while a Marelli Microplex system ensures accurate ignition timing.
As before, the drive is transmitted by a twin-disc clutch (enlarged slightly- from 8.5 to 9.5 in. to handle the massive 362 Ib-ft of torque the engine produces at 4500 rpm), then by chain to the 5-speed gearbox and limited-slip differential located below the crankshaft.
In spite of its larger dimensions-the length is up to 176.0 in. from 173.2 for the BB-the new car is fractionally lighter than its predecessor: As a result, the power and torque increases translate into higher performance. The factory claims the following: maximum speed 180 mph, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.8 seconds, the standing quarter mile in 13.6, and the standing kilometer in 24.1 sec at 144 mph.
In contrast to the BB512, which was a Pininfarina design built at the Ferrariowned Scaglietti plant in Modena, the new Testa Rossa will be manufactured, assembled and finished entirely at Pininfarina in Turin, as is the case with the 400i. The interior, in which the additional luggage space behind the seats is very welcome, remains true to the Ferrari/Pininfarina tradition. Dressed luxuriously in real leather but without frills, extravagant styling features or electronic amusements, the interior offers everything the enthusiast driver could wish for. My one regret is that the overall dimensions of the car are just too large for my liking. "
Innes Ireland meets with Enzo Ferrari around the time of the Testa Rossa's launch
THERE IS A fascinating mystique that surrounds the marque
Ferrari, one that embodies motor racing history, motor
. engineering technology, glamor and "jet set" of the internationally famous
personalities who have.
owned cars that have originated in the Maranello factory. But the mystique centers on the man who gave
the marque its name, Enzo Ferrari. a living legend. He is everything to all who know the name; loved, not loved, dictatorial, unbending, sympathetic, not sympathetic, but always respected. At 86 years of age. he is still in com
mand. in spite of Fiat's ownership of the production side of the factory.
On many occasions Mauro Forghieri. the engine and
gearbox designer and manager of the racing team has said to me. "Why don't you come to Maranello to see the 'old man' ?" So this year, prior to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. I phoned Dr Franco Gozzi (Ferrari's righthand man) to ask if Enzo Ferrari would see me. Knowing that he sees very few people privately these days. I wasn't quite sure Forghieri's invitation would be welcome.
It is easy enough for ex-works drivers such as Phil Hill and Paul Frere to gain an audience and, although I had
driven "works" cars before. they were run under the banner of NART and Maranello Concessionaires. I am the only non-works driver ever to be given a current works Grand Prix car but then it
was run under the banner of the British Racing Partnership not that of Ferrari. So, I was delighted when an appointment was made for me to meet the "old man" at midday on the Thursday before practice at Monza. It seemed akin to the Roman Catholic man in the street being granted an audience with the Pope.
It is perhaps appropriate that I screwed up my travel plans. I stopped at a wayside inn on the French side of the
Mont Denis Pass in the early evening on Wednesday. Being told that Modena was just 300 kilometers distance, which was a "bum steer," and most of it autostrada, I stayed the night preferring a French meal in the mountains to an Italian one in the plains. In leisurely fashion I left the inn at 8: 15 next
morning. not allowing for the descent from Mont Denis on the Italian side. It was a nightmare of a narrow. twist
ing road, thick with enormous articulated trucks crawling down its steepness in 1st gear; it took almost two hours to reach the autostrada west of Torino where I saw a sign that said "Bologna 370
kilometers" and I knew Modena was just about 40 kilometers short. Then there were the 10 or 12 kilometers of slow going to Maranello.
So I gave my charger (an Audi 100CD) the boot and covered the 340 kilometers to the factory gates in I hour and 56 minutes getting there just 4 minutes late for my appointment. I offer no apologies to those readers who may think the speed limit of 55 mph is a sound idea. In a land accustomed to fast cars in competent hands. I hardly used my brakes at all and upset not a single road user I passed I may add that one or two others with quicker mounts passed me!
The one thing that Enzo Ferrari truly loves is his racing stable and when Fiat bought the production factory he kept for himself his test track at Fiorano just a short distance from the old factory. Two years ago a new complex was built. which houses administration offices and the whole racing team (workshops, machine shops, assembly and the new oven
for the carbon- fiber monocoques). Soon there will be a wind tunnel added, and the installation of the new engine test beds is almost complete.
Waiting in his secretary's office, I soaked up the atmosphere that has been such a part of my life. There were photographs-signed by drivers past and present such as Arnoux, Tambay, Alboreto. Villeneuve-and even a pair of Arnoux's driving overalls hanging on a stand, one of his
helmets unceremoniously placed over a potted plant. trophies atop a cupboard with more on the floor in a corner, all of them tarnished umpolished. They seemed to say the written word in the record book is more important, not the trophies themselves.
As I was shown into his office a much more grand affair than his old one across the road where I had last met with him a lump came in my throat as the white-haired gentleman rose to greet me, his hand outstretched in welcome, a smile on his face.
He talked eagerly about the past, asked if I had seen Stirling Moss and John Surtees lately and how they were, what they were doing. I was asked to autograph a photograph of myself driving his Grand Prix car that time at Silverstone. When I mentioned its Borrani wheels, which I could feel to flex in the corners, he said, "Yes, I did not send you a race-winning car." Although his body shows signs of frailty his mind is still sharp: he reminded me that the wheels were made by Borrani. under license from the British firm of Rudge Whitworth!
He asked if I had made any progress with obtaining my ex-Maranello ex-Rosebud Racing 1962 GTO that I had rediscovered in America and if its present owner would let me have it back. So I informed him that its owner had promised he would only sell it to me should he decide to part with it. which brought a beam of pleasure to the "old man's" face. And when I talked enthusiastically about the pleasure of driving one of the last of his front-engine Testa Rossas at Sebring he said. "Would you like to see the new Testa Rossa?" Having picked up his phone to instruct someone to let me see the car. he then told me a little about it.
As I took my leave of Enzo Ferrari his gift of a special Ferrari silk tie in my pocket. I bumped into Arnoux about to do some testing with the rebodied G P car. And before going to view the new Testa Rossa I had a look at the new straight 4-cylinder engine with its twin turbos being developed for next season's GP racing.
As I wandered off for a late lunch. recalling the firmness of the "old man's" handshake. -his interest in talking of cars from a bygone era and the clarity of his memories. I pondered over the rebirth in the year of 1984 of two of the most famous of all Ferrari racing cars: the GTO and the Testa Rossa. Is there contrary to popular belief more sentiment at Ferrari than meets the eye? Or. is it just plain good business sense aimed to set the adrenaline flowing through the veins of those who treasure this magical name?
I sat down to a lonely lunch at the Montana restaurant. just down the road from the factory. And as my tortellini in a cream sauce was served. I could hear the engine of a Grand Prix car rise and fall through its rev range as Arnoux tested the car he hoped would give him a chance at Monza. To hear its singular exhaust in the solitude of such an environment was music to my ears. Yes! The magic that is Maranello lives on.