RFI: Widthways Expansion

Question for the tifosi:

Was the Testarossa when Ferrari decided to build bigger and fatter cars?  I mean, from the Mondial:

…to the Testa, in less than a year?

It’s a serious question.  I for one have always preferred the smaller-framed Ferraris over the bloated modern models, and I think it was the Testarossa which started the trend.  But I seek info on this topic from someone who knows more than I do.


  1. The Testarossa was a flat 12, so maybe it was because the engine was so wide. The Mondial seemed to be a low point of Ferrari production – a friend had one for a while and was not thrilled with it.

  2. The cars got wide because the tires got wide. Ferrari went to a “flat” (they describe it as a 180-degree V-12 because it has a crankshaft design similar to those in the front-engine V-12’s and not a “boxer” style crank as used by VW/Porsche) to reduce the o/a height of the engine enabling them to mount it above the transaxle. This kept the o/a length of the car within reason, and gave a better weight/mass distribution.
    The Mondial proved how difficult it is to design a 4-seat, mid-engine, car – even one with a transverse engine package.

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