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Ferrari Testarossa: Style icon of the eighties

Tuesday, 12. September 2017 | Dominik Plüss

Few cars shaped the culture of a certain time period as strongly as the Ferrari Testarossa. We are taking a closer look at the iconic model.

The Ferrari Testarossa is the successor of the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. That was the first mid-engine car with Ferrari’s name and the Cavallino Rampante on it. The Testarossa was designed larger to prevent the interior from heating up. It was built higher thanks to a higher roofline and offers more storage room for luggage as well.

The featured 4,9-liter 12-cyliner mid-engine supplies 390 horse power and achieves an acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 5,3 second. However, the design of the Ferrari Testarossa is far more interesting. The well-renowned design studio Pininfarina was responsible for its conception.

Ferrari Testarossa Seitenschlitze

With the big inlets on the sides of the car, the creation of an incredible style statement of the eighties was achieved. They didn’t only turn the car into an absolute eye-catcher, they also let in air to supply the coolers on the side. The air exits the Testarossa via vents in the engine lid as well as via the rear. Therefore, a rear spoiler was not necessary. Nonetheless, the Testarossa was designed aerodynamically more efficient than competitors of that time, for example Lamborghini.

The distinctive side strokes were controversially received and earned the Ferrari Testarossa some derogatory nicknames like cheese grater or egg cutter. Still, these side strokes heavily influenced the tuning scenes of the 80s as they represented an entirely new style element that attracted a lot of attention and was reproduced often.

The TV series Miami Vice contributed to the fact that the Ferrari Testarossa is such a treasure of pop culture. The undercover agent James “Sonny” Crockett received the Testarossa, to better act out his undercover identity as major drug dealer. The Ferrari Testarossa got a lot of attention in the series and therefore became a much sought-after status symbol.

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For a long time, it was unclear whether Ferrari built an official convertible model of the Testarossa. In many places, pictures of alleged Ferrari Testarossa Spiders appeared in many places. They all were proven to be privately constructed modifications of the car without official approval. Only at the beginning of 2016, the whole truth got uncovered: There actually exists a single official Ferrari Testarossa Spider designed and produced by Pininfarina. It was a present for Gianni Agnelli for his twentieth anniversary as boss of Fiat. The vehicle has been auctioned off to a private buyer in February 2016 for 1’210’080 Euro.

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