Ferrari has electrified one of its most successful sports racing cars ever – the 250 Testa Rosa.
Limited to just 299 units, the special recreation has been sanctioned by the Italian marque. The only problem is it's limited to 37mph and primarily designed for teenagers.
The Testa Rosa J – 'J' standing for Junior – is the result of a partnership between Ferrari and British-based The Little Car Company. Ferrari's Classiche department even handed over original design plans of the 1950s sports racer – which won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race four times – to the firm to allow it to build a faithful replica at its premises in Bicester.
The blueprints allowed the two firms to copy the original car's steering and suspension geometry to replicate its handling characteristics, and the body is constructed in the same way with hand-beaten aluminium and painted with the same paint as Ferrari's current road car range.
Ferrari's Styling Centre in Maranello also designed the single seat, which can accommodate an adult and a teenager, with piping to match the original and trimmed in the same leather as modern Ferraris. The Nardi steering wheel is a faithful replica of a 1957 250 Testa Rosa and has a quick-release system to aid entry and exit, while the dials are copies too – although they now give information about the electric system and not of the original car's 3.0-litre V12 petrol engine.
The pedals, meanwhile, are taken from the current Ferrari F8 Tributo, the tyres are made by Pirelli, and the wire wheels are 12 inches in size and are handmade (authentic copies of the original wheels made by Borrani are available on request). The original Testa Rosa's drum brakes haven't been carried over though, instead the J gets Brembo disc brakes and a hydraulic handbrake.
Even the suspension is as you'd find on a real car. Made by Bilstein, the Testa Rosa J has coilover dampers and custom springs which were fine-tuned and signed off by Ferrari’s test divers at the firm's Fiorano test track in Maranello.
Under the bonnet lies three batteries powering an electric motor, giving a 56-mile range. The car is charged up via a charging port hidden under a replica petrol filler cap.
A ‘Manettino’ dial gives four driving modes. 'Novice' gives 1kW of power, 'Comfort' gives 4kW while 'Sport' and 'Race' unlocks all the power and allows the car to reach over 37mph.
At 3,100mm long, 1,100 wide and 700mm tall, it's a 75% scale replica but that doesn't mean it's small – in fact, it's longer than a Smart Fortwo EQ.
There's even an online car configurator allowing customers to personalise their Testa Rosa Js, with 14 historical liveries and 53 body colours available.
The price? £95,000. While that is expensive for a toy, it's a good deal cheaper than the original. Only 34 were ever made with the most expensive selling at auction for £9m in 2011.
You can read more motoring advice from Ginny Buckley on the website: electrifying.com
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