Elevating an already potent V12-powered GT coupe to an different performance plateau, the 2016 Ferrari F12tdf Speciale is a limited-edition variant named after the fabled 1956 250GT Berlinetta, a car that dominated the Tour de France endurance race for four consecutive years. Paying homage to that legendary model, Ferrari says the F12tdf represents "the ultimate expression of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track." Boasting more power, less weight, sleeker aerodynamics and an innovative rear-wheel steering system, the F12tdf is all that and more.

Motivation for the F12td comes from a stronger version of the 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V12. Using subtle but effective internal modifications borrowed from its F1 engine program, Ferrari raised horsepower from 730 to 769 horsepower and bumped torque from 509 to 519 lb-ft, all of which is now on hand from just 2,500 revs. Backed by a 7-speed F1-style dual-clutch transmission powering the rear wheels, the F12tdf can rocket to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of "over 211 mph." Brakes culled from the LaFerrari supercar can stop the F12tdf from 60 mph in less than 100 feet.

A world-class wind cheater

In addition to a series of mass-reducing tweaks that trim nearly 250 pounds from the standard F12's curb weight, performance of the new F12tdf benefits from new bodywork that optimizes high-speed airflow and increases stability while endowing it with a notably more aggressive physical presence. From its bolder front fascia and air-channeling Aerobridge vents on the front fenders to louvered rear wheel arches, an F1-inspired active rear diffuser and full underbody fairings, the F12tdf is a world-class wind cheater that also develops 236 more pounds of downforce at 124 mph than an F12. 

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To ensure that even "gentlemen drivers" could take best advantage of the new F12tdf's potential, Ferrari fitted the car with rear-wheel-steering it dubbed Virtual Short Wheelbase. Created in house and fully integrated with the car's existing vehicle dynamics systems, Virtual Short Wheelbase automatically and instantaneously adjusts the rear wheel attitude in response to the steering-wheel angle, speed of steering inputs and actual vehicle speed. Beyond giving the car a more agile feel, this rear-steer tech permits the fitment of wider front tires that raise the F12tdf's lateral acceleration without creating the potential for at-the-limit oversteer. That's a win-win situation which can be appreciated and exploited by anyone lucky enough to slip behind the wheel.  

Limited run

While retaining all of the F12 basic design elements, the F12tdf's cabin has a more performance-oriented character. Lighter-weight Alcantara replaces leather and the seats are wrapped in technical fabric while carbon fiber is more prominent throughout. Even the conventional floor mats give way to textured aluminum plates as part of the overall mass-minimizing efforts. 

Total production of the 2016 Ferrari F12tdf will be limited to just 799 units. Pricing has not yet been released but it's safe to assume it will start well beyond the standard 2015 Ferrari F12 sticker of $327,000.

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