The 12-cylinder boxer was subject to a series of modifications, one of which was to lower the chassis to lower the car’s centre of gravity and thus improve road-holding and reduce the roll axis. Power was upped by 38 bhp and the 12-cylinder’s already generous torque was also increased.
The 512 TR was the replacement for the Testarossa, and was announced for the 1992 model year. The new car witnessed a return to a model title using characters, with the figure “5″ referring to the cubic capacity of the engine in litres and the “12″ to the number of cylinders, whilst the “TR” was an abbreviation of Testarossa (Testa Rossa).
The main external visual differences were the nose and tail treatment, the louvre design on the engine lid and the design of the road wheels.
There was also a barely noticeable different profile to the sail panel buttresses, which were plain and flowed directly into the roof panel on the 512 TR, instead of featuring the step and black perforated exhaust air grilles of the Testarossa. Internally there were changes to the seats, steering wheel design and trim details.
Mechanically there were numerous changes to the engine and gearbox, which boosted power, and provided a more satisfying and positive to use gearbox.
Not visually apparent was that the engine and transmission assembly location in the chassis had been dropped by 30mm, to lower the centre of gravity, and thus improve the already high standard of roadholding.
The wheels covered larger ventilated and cross drilled brake discs actuated by four piston callipers, with separate front and rear hydraulic circuits, and servo assistance. The independent suspension and steering system layouts were essentially similar in concept to those of the Testarossa, but with a range of changes and adjustments to suit the larger diameter road wheels, and to provide a more refined ride.
The four valves per cylinder, flat twelve, dry sump engine was an upgraded version of that used in the Testarossa, maintaining the same cubic capacity of 4943cc, with an 82mm x 78mm bore and stroke, and had factory type reference number 113 G.
Changes were effected to the porting, with redesigned inlet plenums and larger valves providing more efficient fuel/air mix ingress, whilst the fuel injection and ignition system changed to a superior combined Bosch Motronic M2.7 system.
New pistons were also provided that increased the compression ratio from 9.3:1 to 10:1, along with re-profiled camshafts, the net result of these changes was a jump in the claimed power output of 38bhp to 428bhp @ 6750rpm for European models and 421bhp at the same engine speed for US models.
The increased power provided improved acceleration, although the top speed was still in line with that of its predecessor.
The model was produced between 1991 and 1994, when the F512M model replaced it, during which time 2261 examples were produced in the chassis number range 89100 to 99743.