Automotive

Published on August 12th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Ferrari Recreates Its 250 Testa Rossa As A 75% Scale EV

This shrunken Ferrari was developed in collaboration with The Little Car Company. 

The 250 Testa Rossa is arguably one of Ferrari’s most iconic and revered racing horses in its Italian stable. This is after all a car that has racked up a staggering four victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, not to mention coming out on top at the 1000 km Buenos Aires and 12 Hours of Sebring too. 

Given its illustrious pedigree therefore, it really shouldn’t come as a big shock to anyone that those interested in procuring one of these Ferraris would need to part with more than a reasonable amount of dosh. Some $16 million to $30 million to be exact, depending on the Testa Rossa’s condition and provenance of course. 

Those with (relatively) more modest means however can fortunately now also partake in this multi-million dollar ownership experience for only a fraction of the cost, albeit in an electrified three-quarter scale. That is because Ferrari has recently announced a partnership project with The Little Car Company to build a series of sanctioned (and scaled) replicas, by the name of the Testa Rossa J. 

Now The Little Car Company might be a familiar name to some, as they are indeed the same group that was behind the pint-size Bugatti Baby II and the life-size Tamiya Wild One RC. So it is a given then that this Testa Rossa J is not to be a run-of-the-mill toy car, but even that is probably underselling what this baby Ferrari actually is. 

And that is due to the fact that Ferrari themselves have put in a fair bit of work in making this shrunken replica to be as faithful a reproduction to the 1957 250 Testa Rossa as possible. The Italian supercar manufacturer’s Classiche department for instance had dug out the original design drawings for its chassis, in order to ensure that the scaled-down prancing horse had the same steering and handling characteristics as the original life-size version. 

Its Styling Centre in Maranello on the other hand were also hands on in ensuring that this shrunken replica had the same proportions and liveries as the original. This shrunken Ferrari even features aluminium body panels like its 100% scale sibling, made with the same hand-beaten techniques that was employed in the past. 

There are nevertheless naturally a few deviations from the 250 Testa Rossa in this scale replica. The most noticeable of which would be the ditching of the original’s iconic Colombo V12, in favour for a single 12 kW electric motor fed by 3 battery packs that is good for up to a top speed of over 60 km/h and a range of up to 90 km on a single charge. 

A few other modern touches have made its way under the skin of Testa Rossa J too, with a Manettino switch that offers a choice of four driving modes — Novice, Comfort, Sport and Race — and a pedal box taken from an F8 Tributo making its way onto this 75% scaled Ferrari. The antiquated drum brake setup featured original car have also since been swapped for a more modern set of Brembo disks, which is more than capable of bringing those 12-inch Borrani replica wire wheels wrapped in Pirelli Cinturato rubber to a dead stop in no time at all. 

In continuing on the topic of wheels, the Testa Rossa J comes as well with an authentic quick-release wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel topped off the prancing horse emblem. Behind it meanwhile lie dials that mimic the original’s in design but display relevant EV information, with the shrunken seat being a similar story too by incorporating the classic piping motif but covered in leather from the modern Ferrari range. 

According to Ferrari, this limited run of 299 Testa Rossa J replicas is designed to be driven by anyone over the age of 14. Despite its working lights and a horn though, it is unfortunately not homologated for road use anywhere in the world. 

Seeing however that each costs € 93,000 (RM 460,000) before the inevitable customisation, those who can afford this toy Ferrari would likely have a big enough yard on their properties to let this little prancing horse roam free. 

PRESS RELEASE: The Ferrari Testa Rossa J is a special project that gives Ferrari enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to experience the thrill of driving an automotive legend.

A new limited edition for our most passionate collectors, the Ferrari Testa Rossa J is a 75% scale replica of a renowned classic, powered by an electric engine. The car is a faithful reproduction of the 1957 250 Testa Rossa, one of the most iconic and successful cars in Ferrari and motorsport history. A limited run of just 299 vehicles will be built.

Ferrari has led every aspect of the project, in collaboration with The Little Car Company, a firm specialising in the production of junior cars. Ferrari’s Styling Centre in Maranello oversaw the proportions and liveries, while the chassis and other components were created using original design drawings held by Ferrari’s Classiche department.

While the Ferrari Testa Rossa J is designed to be driven by anyone over 14 years of age, it is not homologated for road use.

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

A key track protagonist in the 1950s and 1960s, the 250 Testa Rossa is one of the all-time great Ferraris, distinguished by its lengthy list of honors and its longevity. The car claimed some 18 victories in its history, and three championship titles in 1958, 1960 and 1961. It is also the only Ferrari to have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times – in 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1962 (considering the 330 TR – the last evolution).

Design

The Ferrari Testa Rossa J meticulously reproduces the lines of the 250 Testa Rossa in the original Scaglietti-designed barchetta version, nicknamed “pontoon fender”. Attention to detail is exquisite: the bodywork is constructed from hand-beaten aluminium, the same process that was employed in historical models. The paint is the same as that applied to Ferrari’s present road car range, as is the insignia on the front.

To accurately recreate the intricate chassis of the 250 Testa Rossa, the original paper drawings from the Ferrari Classiche Department were scanned and digitally recreated. The junior car retains the same steering and suspension geometry, giving it authentic handling to match its original appearance.

The same meticulous detail is found in the interior. Ferrari’s Styling Centre has designed a single seat that accommodates an adult and a teen, faithfully incorporating the piping motif of the original and using the same high quality leather upholstery found in the Ferrari range today. The steering wheel is made by Nardi, the same specialist company that supplied the 1957 model, and features Ferrari’s smallest-ever quick-release system to facilitate driver entry. The classic dials have been remastered and repurposed for their new role in an electric car, but retain the original design and fonts. The oil and water gauges now monitor the battery and motor temperatures, while the fuel gauge is now the battery gauge and the tachometer has become a speedometer. There is even a power gauge which also shows the level of regenerative braking being deployed.

As a nod to the current generation of road cars, the pedals are from the F8 Tributo and the tyres are supplied by Pirelli, Ferrari’s official technical partner, fitted on the handmade 12 inch wire wheels. Suspension is taken care of with Bilstein coilover dampers and custom springs which were fine-tuned and signed off by Ferrari’s test divers at the Fiorano test track in Maranello.

Performance and safety

The three batteries powering the electric engine are positioned at the front of the car, and provide approximately 90 km range, depending on driving style. The batteries are accessed under the front bonnet, while the car can also be charged where the fuel cap previously resided.

The ‘Manettino’ dial gives the choice of four driving modes, ensuring driving pleasure with the highest levels of safety. The Novice mode (1 kW / 20 km/h) eases rookie drivers into the driving experience with controlled acceleration and the ability to remotely disable the car from a distance with a key fob. The Comfort mode (4 kW / 45 km/h), Sport and Race modes become progressively sportier, with instantly responsive acceleration and increased maximum speeds.

Safety has been a priority throughout the car’s development: the metal side panels were reinforced and an optional roll-bar can be anchored to the chassis. Brembo disc brakes replace the original drum system to maximize braking performance, and these are complemented by a hydraulic handbrake.

Customization

The Ferrari Testa Rossa J offers a wide range of personalization and colour combinations. The Ferrari Classiche department carried out extensive research into all the liveries that have adorned the 250 Testa Rossa throughout its racing career. An online car configurator allows clients to choose from 14 historical liveries, 53 bodywork colours and additional personalized racing liveries, all authentically in keeping with Ferrari style.

FERRARI TESTA ROSSA J — TECHNICAL SHEET

PRODUCTION

299 units

MEASUREMENTS

3.1 x 1.1 x 0.7 meters

ENGINE

Electric engine and three batteries with approximately 30 km range each, for a maximum 90 km total range.

DRIVING MODES

  • Novice mode 1 kW / 20 km/h
  • Comfort mode 4 kW / 45 km/h
  • Sport mode over 60 km/h
  • Race mode over 60 km/h

SAFETY

  • Engine and battery managed by software that governs power delivery
  • Laterally reinforced chassis
  • Disc brakes for greater control
  • Roll-bar anchored to chassis (optional)

STEERING WHEEL   

Nardi

TYRES AND WHEELS

  • Pirelli Cinturato.
  • Re-proportioned wheels based on the original Borrani rims.
  • Authentic Borrani wheels are available as an optional.

PRICES

FROM € 93,000 (taxes, shipping and optional features excluded) 

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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