Name: 1988 Ferrari Testarossa
Year(s) Produced: 1984-1991
Number Built: 7,177
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe
Engine: 301.9 cui, Ferrari Boxer 12
Power: 385hp @ 6300 RPM
0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 180 mph
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Length/width/height: 176.6 in./ 77.8 in./ 44.5 in.
Wheelbase: 100.4 in.
Base Price: US$94,000
Highest Price: US$135,000 (Hagerty)
Growing up in the culture of the 80s and soaking it up means not missing out on the latest posters of your rock bands, Wrestlemania muscle men, and of course… the rides that you have fantasized and coveted. From Porsche 959, McLaren F1, Lamborghini Countach, to the Ferrari F40, none will take the centrefold spotlight as gloriously as the Testarossa. Read on if you are a child of the 80s and wish to travel back again to the maverick days of the 1988 Ferrari Testarossa.The Testarossa is like a legendary hero that saw its day of action and adventure. Immortalized by the iconic duo of the Miami Vice team of Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, the Testarossa is the silent but equally striking third member of the team. It was without question that this particular brand of Ferrari is one of the coolest cars that ever rolled out of the streets during the 80s. Today, the Testarossa has gone down in automobile history books as one of the all-time greats ever made that dared to break away from tradition and emphasize innovation.
The Testarossa is a clear departure from the typical curvaceous Berlinetta Boxer design which Ferrari is known for. Designed by Pininfarina, the Ferrari rebel was produced from 1984 until 1991 with two final revisions after that. To some, it heralded the end of Ferrari’s hand-built cars since it was much more mass market in feel, and quickly most produced Ferrari of the time. Some Ferrari faithful were also turned off by the Testarossa’s design. It was straight with basically no curves. They wanted to know where the sexy Ferrari design language had gone. These worries soon came to pass, since after all, any rebel hero knows very well not to take heed to its critics.
Perhaps the most noticeable about the Testarossa are its trademark side strakes, often referred to as “cheese graters.” Not just for show, the side strakes serve the purpose of capturing air to cool the radiators, which then went upward and left the vehicle through the ventilation holes in the engine lid and the tail. In the ’80s, hitting 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds was already a buzzworthy feat, as the Testarossa does just that. This is thanks to a mid-mounted 4.9-liter flat-12 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
Top speed was officially rated at 180 mph. And for anyone who missed out on official Testarossa test drive reviews, Motor Week regularly posts a series of retro episodes from back in the day. You may find some of the review amusing but try not to laugh. Here’s a retro review footage of the 1988 Testarossa courtesy of Motor Week.