Ferrari demonstrates F12tdf’s rear-wheel steering [Video]
Ferrari has released a demonstration video showcasing the F12tdf’s rear-wheel steering and handling improvements.
Engineers faced several challenges when attempting to improve cornering ability while maintaining balanced vehicle dynamics. Adding wider front tires — jumping from 255 to 275 millimeters — was the first step toward improved lateral acceleration.
“This modification guarantees higher lateral acceleration generated by the front axle but, alone, this would have caused oversteer on the limit, making the car more challenging for less expert drivers,” Ferrari said.
To resolve the understeer issue for “gentlemen drivers,” the company implemented a rear-wheel steering system known as Virtual Short Wheelbase. The technology is not exactly new, with several similar systems currently available in cars ranging from the Acura RLX to the Porsche 918 Spyder. The Prancing Horse boasts a performance-focused integration of the rear-wheel controls into the car’s other dynamic control systems.
Aside from mitigating dreaded understeer, the active rear axles are also said to improve steering-wheel response, turn in and high-speed stability. Longitudinal acceleration has increased from 0.59 g to 0.70 g, while maximum lateral forces jumped from 1.25 g to 1.43 g.
Despite the extra gear, the F12tdf actually sheds a few hundred pounds from the standard Berlinetta model. The V12 has been retuned to take full advantage of the lighter build, bringing output up to 769 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque.
Ferrari will only build 799 examples of the special-edition F12, each presumably fetching well above the Berlinetta’s $320,000 price tag.