Market Finds: The Most Extreme ’80s Supercar Must Be A Ferrari Tuned By Koenig

The Most Extreme ’80s Supercar Must Be A Ferrari Tuned By Koenig

By Michael Banovsky
May 13, 2016
9 comments

Photography Courtesy of Silverstone Auctions

How much power is enough? In 1987, Ferrari thought that—on its road cars, at least—its top-of-the-line F40 supercar with about 470 horsepower was as good as it should get. German tuner Koenig, however, disagreed—and would sell you a Ferrari Testarossa with 800.

The foundation of Koenig Specials lies with the longtime race-winning driver Willy König. With his racing career dovetailing nicely with some of the most powerful machines ever pressed into competition (including Group C), he was one of the few who could buy a brand-new 365 GT4 BB in 1974 from Ferrari and be disappointed with how it drove.

Given its immense displacement of 4,943-cc and 12 cylinders to work with, Koenig could reportedly coax up to 800 horsepower from what it called the Koenig Competition and, later, the Competition Evolution II. Through a 21-car production run, each of the specials it produced are quite different, with some owners opting for the offered upgrade to more than 1,000 horsepower—courtesy of twin turbocharging.

Driving a highly-strung, tuned Ferrari around isn’t a hobby most can indulge in, but believe me, we all want to.

Before this car here was upgraded to become a Koenig Competition Evolution II with 800 normally-aspirated horsepower, it was a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa in Rosso Corsa, a color which has been kept through its transformation with a full red leather interior to match. Offered at Silverstone Auctions’ upcoming May Sale, it sports less than 47,000 km on its odometer.

Its first owner in 1988 took the car to Koenig, leaving with new bodywork and the engine modifications; its next owner, in 1996, had Koenig further update the car to match the look of the Ferrari 512M. A string of subsequent stewards have owned the car since, with it crossing the block at Artcurial two years ago in Monaco for 119,200€—its current estimate of between £115,000–£130,000 doesn’t seem so steep now, does it? Specialists DK Engineering did a thorough service after that sale, with the car said to be in excellent, well-maintained condition throughout.

Upgrading the performance of high-performance machines soon found Koenig with a loyal group of customers who wanted their cars endowed with head-warping style and power. Don’t concern yourself with wondering if it’s a sacrilege to modify a Ferrari—in this car’s case, that deed has been done. Ask yourself: how does 800 horsepower sound?

Specifications
~800 horsepower, 2,943-cc 12-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: ~2,550 mm

Vehicle Information
Chassis no.: ZFFAA17B000076967
Engine no: F113B12085

Valuation
Auction company: Silverstone Auctions
Estimate: £115,000–130,000;
Price realized: TBD; auction on May 14

 

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Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves
5 years ago

Not enough red for my taste…..

HitTheApex
HitTheApex
5 years ago

Mr. Banovsky, I’m a big fan of the site, but I must say the auction listing’s wording seems to have gotten the better of you, although in fairness it probably will do the same with many other readers. What vague grammar Silverstone Auctions’ used. This car is most definitely turbocharged. (See my prior comments in response to Mr. Lange.)

JB21
JB21
6 years ago

I liked its predecessor, Koenig 512BB quite a bit, when I was a little boy. I even thought the Koenig Testarossa was cool when I didn’t know anything. Now I look back, and having driven Testarossa, it’s totally baffling. The last thing that ill-balanced car needed was more power, and Koenig took away only one great thing about the original car – the looks (especially the original, high-mounted side mirror). The 80s, man, you can tell from the size of the hair, it was a crazy time.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

One of the ugliest not to mention the epitome of bad taste and 1980’s conspicuous consumption ? Perhaps . But the most extreme ? Not hardly in light of the fact that Koenig tuned cars were vastly over rated . . That title’d have to go hands down to …

Anything from the insane and extreme mind of Luigi Colani .. especially his 80’s Bonneville Ferrari . Now that … was extreme taken to the very extremities of the word … extreme

A close 2nd being the Cizeta Moroder . 16 cylinders of abject Italian insanity all wrapped up in a Marcelo Gandini party dress at the very height of 1980’s conspicuous consumption and yuppiedom

HitTheApex
HitTheApex
5 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

The front grill and lenses don’t look right, with the rounded edges breaking up the otherwise square design, a problem with the 512M, while the air ducts in the back are visually too much, a hallmark of the ’80s. The headlights on the 512M aren’t exactly good looking, either. I think the main problem is that the shapes appearing on the Cheese Grater body by the time of the 512M were inconsistent with the design language behind the original car. The bodywork of the Competition Evolution II accentuates, if not exaggerates, those qualities. At least that wing will never cease to be cool, developed in the wind tunnel on the original Competition Evolution and predating the F40 by a couple of years.

This is substantially less pleasant to look at than the earlier iteration of the Koenig Specials Competition Evolution, which kept the square lines intact, although I can understand why some people might dislike that design, too.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
6 years ago

The V12 (excluding the hybrid) in a LaFerrari makes 800bhp. That’s with an extra 1.3 litres of capacity and over twenty years of improvements in engine technology. I would want to see a Dyno test result before believing the figures quoted. Even if it does produce that sort of power can the clutch and gearbox cope?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Read the old reviews [ CAR – Performance Car – R&T etc ]

Suffice it to say your suspicions are correct seeing as how Koenig managed to overstate every number that pertained to the performance of their cars . It may of been Bishop or someone else I can’t remember who .. but I do distinctly remember one of the top guns from CAR panning this particular Koenig from stem to stern and downside up .

HitTheApex
HitTheApex
5 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

With all due respect to Mr. Banovsky, this article is in need of some serious fact checking, as the listed engine capacity and aspiration of the motor are just wrong. While poorly worded, the listing on Silverstone Auctions’ web site is clearly misleading.

“The car was sold to its first owner in 1988 who took the car to Koenig where it received its dramatic new bodywork and engine modifications, reportedly increasing this naturally- aspirated car to 800bhp!”

The car *was* naturally aspirated, but those modifications included being *heavily turbocharged*. Koenig Specials offered a variety of tune packages for the Testarossa/512TR/512M cars. The package making 800 hp was indeed twin-turbocharged, with a more heavily built package offering around 1,000 horsepower. I’m not sure I find that very hard to believe considering the power figures and potential of smaller motors such as those in the Ruf CTR Yellow Bird or F40, the latter of which has been tuned to levels north of 800 horsepower.

Indeed, famed Ferrari tuning and restoration company Norwood Performance (now Norwood Auto Italia) was featured in Forza magazine (Issue 51, Feb. 2004), with one of his 1,000-horsepower Maranello Cheese Graters, what was done to the car, and dyno charts. The Testarossa motor, tuning legend Bob Norwood asserted, was under-stressed, and if built to the extreme (new pistons, MoTeC engine management, etc.) was a great platform for a big horsepower bruiser.

According to the article, wouldn’t blow doors off from a standing start, as you had to take it easy in the first gear or two, but that the car was most at home on relatively long, high-speed jaunts.

(As an aside, Bob Norwood now has a separate firm, Norwood Autocraft, and is responsible for a number of interesting creations, from the world’s fastest Ferrari 288 GTO and MR2, both of which ran at Bonneville, to what is perhaps the highest quality Ferrari P4 replica, the P4 by Norwood. Bob is not only a wizard with engines, but aerodynamics. The man is a wizard.)

Amir Kakhsaz
Amir Kakhsaz
6 years ago

These cars are cool, but dealing with the outdated tuner technology is going to be a nightmare.