The 1995 Ferrari F512M is a mid-engine sports car produced by Ferrari. It is an updated version of the Ferrari 512 TR, modified to meet new emission standards and featuring minor styling changes. The F512M was powered by a 4.9 liter flat-12 engine, which produced 428 horsepower and was mated to a 6-speed gated manual transmission. The car has a top speed of around 300 km/h (186 mph) and could accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in around 4.7 seconds. The F512M featured a redesigned exterior, with a more aggressive front fascia, revised side skirts, and new tail lights. The interior was also updated, with a new dashboard, center console, and improved materials. Only 501 examples of the F512M were produced, and only 75 numbered vehicles were produced for North America, making it a rare and highly sought-after model among Ferrari collectors, with prices for well-maintained examples reaching into the higher level hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The USA version of the F512 M had several differences from the RoW (Rest of World) model.
- Front and Rear side-market lights were added (Amber colored)
- Turn signals in the front were changed from clear lenses to amber lenses
- Motorized seat belt restraints were added to comply with US law (no air bags were in this model)
- The reverse lights were now round in the rear
The style changes for the F512M were driven by aerodynamics and are most noticeable in the front of the vehicle. There is a new integrated nose cap with a trapezoidal indicator light and amber parking lights located above the round fog lights. The grill opening was smaller (similar in look as the new F355 grill) as it only supplied air to the A/C condenser. By far, the most significant change, and one that lead to both lovers and haters of the new body design, were the fixed, “homofocal” headlights under Lexan covers. The hood also received two NACA intake ducts, similar in style to the F40, the functionality of which, was to improve interior ventilation.
The undercarriage of the car received some modifications as well. The undercarriage tray was redesigned to improve both protection of vital components and to provide more aerodynamic air flow.
Another noticeable difference to Testarossa enthusiasts, was the change in the rear grill and taillight configuration. Ferrari opted to go back to the traditional round taillight look of years past.
Aside from the change to fixed headlights from the pop-up version on prior Testarossa models, the wheel change was also a love/hate relationship with Ferrari enthusiasts. Speedline developed a new wheel, with a more fluid look (pinwheel design) for the 512M. The design changes improved brake cooling and were slightly stronger (while being a bit lighter) than the wheels on the 512TR.
The weight of the Testarossa had always been problematic, therefore one of the primary goals in the production of the F512M was weight alleviation. Ferrari solved this problem on three fronts: the body, the engine, and the suspension.
Critical gains were accomplished using lightweight body components, aluminum for the front fenders, rear quarter panels and the engine cover and a glass composite for the front lid, which now contained two NACA ducts for improved interior ventilation for the upgraded A/C system.
The F512M’s engine was the lightest of the 5.0L “flat 12” engines, as well as being the most powerful. The weight savings came primarily from a lighter engine casting, forged aluminum pistons, titanium alloy connecting rods and a revised billeted crankshaft. The transmission of the F512M was equipped with the same gear ratios, however it featured revised synchronizers and a modified shift mechanism to make shifting more precise.
The suspension on the F512M featured aluminum spindle hubs front and rear, aluminum sway bar attachment pieces, new lightweight aluminum gas-filled shock absorbers and the unique two-piece lightweight wheels with upgraded ABS brakes.
The result of these combined efforts was a reduction of approximately 150 pounds over the previous model.
The steering is still a little heavy when traveling slowly and in tight spaces but the reward for your energy output is feedback in minute detail. There is no better way to get A feel for the car than to "feel" the car. Every minute change of the F512M's front wheels is felt in your hands as you cruise along with that powerful Flat-12 taking you to all the places you want to go.