Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Ferrari Testarossa

Produced between 1984-96, the Ferrari Testarossa is the archetypal red-braces symbol of eighties supercar excess - imagine it parked up in the City between a Countach and a 930 Turbo, its slash-cut side-strakes glinting in the light. It's an impressive image, but one that's anchored in a time period that, frankly, is a little embarrassing.

Which is a shame for the Testarossa... but not for anyone who might be in the market to buy one. You see, the image has unduly damaged the reputation of the flat-twelve-engined behemoth but, when all's said and done, it's still a Ferrari, and an immediately recognisable one at that. Being born in Maranello guarantees four things: 1) fabulous performance, 2) unparallelled handling, 3) exemplary build quality and 4) that wherever you go, people will be impressed.
But because the Testarossa image is rather Gordon Gekko these days, you can pick one up for around £35,000. That's the price of a new Mercedes SLK, for example. And what do you get for your money? A 4.9-litre all-alloy flat-twelve producing 390bhp and 361lb.ft, 0-60mph in 5.2s and a top speed of 181mph.

Of course, the best thing about the Testarossa is that it embodies everything a true supercar should be, in that it's utterly ridiculous. It's far too wide, the visibility is terrible, there isn't an elegant way to get in or out and you'll need to change the cambelt every couple of years, which will involve taking the whole engine out and will cost you two grand a time. All of these points are, of course, positives - if you're in the market for a £35k car, get a Testarossa. Get one now. You had a picture of one on your wall when you were a kid, admit it - now's the time to live out your ├╝ber-ostentatious supercar fantasies.

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