Officine Fioravanti’s Restomodded Ferrari Testarossa Is Faster, Lighter, But Respectfully Restrained
White wedge supercar from the 1980s. Cocaine jokes. Miami Vice. Okay, with the peanut gallery beaten to its favorite punchlines, let’s look at this car for real.
Packing 120 more horses, 130 fewer kilos, remote reservoir Ohlins suspension, modern big boy Brembo brakes, a smoothed underbelly, and a functional car phone in an interior with more leather and less plastic than before, this is “the present in the Testarossa and not the Testarossa in the present,” according to Officine Fioravanti, the Swiss company behind this special project.
It’s a cute turn of phrase, but our favorite part about the press release issued this morning was the team not being shy about calling their car a restomod. There has been a surge of “reimagined” icons of the past in the past few years, but many of their creators shy away from the restomod moniker, likely—and not entirely incorrectly—because they think that the connotations of that word do not jive with the quality of work they’ve achieved. But instead of trying to transcend a word that is a perfect description of every restored and modified car—whether it’s a clapped together piece of junk or something like this Testarossa—why not own it and try to set a new standard?
Respecting the original car’s aesthetics enough to leave them alone, enhancing the performance capability, and adding some driver aid technology (with the important caveat of being able to turn it all off for a purer analog experience), is a simple enough formula, but one that everyone should still take notes on.
As far as the specific one that’s been applied to this car, the major enhancements center first and foremost around the five-liter flat-12, which has been treated to new intake and exhaust systems, a reworked block, and a new injection setup to up the original 390hp maximum output to 510, with 443lb-ft of torque and a 9000rpm redline. Combined with a more comprehensively flat underside, this Testarossa can now hit the 200mph mark—and not just in theory. This is also thanks in part to the modern high performance tires that can be fitted thanks to the upsized wheels (17” in the front, 18” in the rear, which are also lighter than the original car’s 16s).
Behind those sexy center-locks, the old stoppers have been chucked in favor of six-pot Brembos up front, and fours at the back. Six-way adjustable sway bars at the front and rear are an in-house design that the company says were inspired by the era’s F1 cars, and the suspension uprights—which include a front-end lift kit for getting that long snout over speed bumps—have been replaced with remote reservoir Ohlins that are electronically adjustable from the cockpit, which were developed by Ohlins and Officine Fioravanti for this car rather than taken off the shelf and having their damping knobs fiddled with. And speaking of cockpit controls, there is also a cool and very period-correct looking panel in the center console with selectors for the amount of traction control and ABS the driver wishes to use, with the option to turn both off altogether. Sweet.
Finally, there is the interior itself, which retains the overall identity of the original car, but is full of new details—the Bluetooth car phone is our favorite—and is sporting a whole lot more cow than plastic compared to its OEM spec. To bring in even more leather, the company has also designed a new set of luggage.
All in all, it’s hard to find any fault with this car. It’s not the most extreme nor most creative of restomods we’ve seen, but it’s one of the few from the new breed that seems to truly love the base car, rather than trying to trade on its identity while erasing most of it. This is still very much a Testarossa in spirit, and while we appreciate the more extreme reinterpretations of classic cars that have cropped up recently, there’s something to be said about working within the original car’s abilities and aesthetics rather than picking a fan favorite and pumping it full of unnatural steroids. With that said, it’s not like the Testarossa hasn’t always been a radically augmented version of the automobile.