GRR

Ferrari unveils first EV

08th August 2021
Bob Murray

For the kid with (almost) everything, it’s the Ferrari to die for. Actually adults would die for this too, so exquisitely reproduced is this J (for junior) version of the sublime Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Whisper it: adults will actually fit in it too…

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It’s the latest from Maranello via Bicester and The Little Car Company, a company dedicated to making driveable electric scale versions of all-time great cars – with a degree of authenticity and craftsmanship that has earned them global acclamation. The Ferrari Testa Rossa J is so good even the gods of the Ferrari Classiche department have given it their blessing. 

Like the two previous Little Car Co. projects, the Bugatti Baby II and the Aston Martin DB5 Junior, the latest addition to the junior-car ranks is a fully approved joint project with the manufacturer. For the Testa Rossa J, Ferrari’s Styling Centre in Maranello oversaw the proportions and liveries while original design drawings came from the Ferrari Classiche archive so that the original’s steering and suspension geometry could be faithfully reproduced. Handling is said to have been signed off by Ferrari test drivers at Fiorano – and wouldn’t it be fun to see a video of that…

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While this 3m long, three-quarter scale “Redhead” might be made in Oxfordshire, Italian details abound: there’s a Nardi steering wheel, Brembo brakes, Pirelli tyres, Borrani wire wheels (optional) and of course a hand-beaten aluminium body whose graceful lines mirror those of the famous Scaglietti-designed barchetta from 1957. The pedals are from the F8 Tributo, the paint is from Ferrari’s current model range, as is the leather in the cockpit, and the badge on the nose is off a current model.  

Full size or junior, there’s not much not to like about the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, its beauty matched by a Le Mans record that saw it take three championship titles and 18 victories including four outright wins at Le Mans (if you count the 330TR). As Ferrari says, the 250 TR is “one of the most iconic and successful cars in Ferrari and motorsport history.”

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As such it's a natural for the Little Car treatment and, at first glance, it all looks as impeccably reproduced as the Bugatti and Aston already in the Lilluptian stable. Like those junior models, the Testa Rossa J is powered by an electric motor. Select “Race” mode on the “Manettino” dial and it can hit over 37mph (60km/h). Go easier with the loud pedal and a 56 mile range from the trio of batteries under the bonnet is said to be possible. 

Other drive modes restrict power and include Novice, Comfort and Sport, with Novice mode giving anxious parents the ability to disable the car via remote control. The Testa Rossa J has designed to be driven by anyone over 14 years of age, and the single bench seat is said to be roomy enough for a teenage driver and an adult alongside. That adults can drive it is the good news; the bad news is that you are not allowed to drive it on the road. 

But then surely one’s estate will have a long enough private drive to give this prancing pony plenty of exercise? That’s an oblique way of saying the Testa Rossa J is not very affordable. Ferrari says 299 are being made, each available with a range of options and different, historically-inspired race liveries (yes, there’s an online configurator…), and each with an ex-tax starting price of €93,000. So not much change from £100,000 then. But then that’s peanuts: real 250 TRs have sold for $39 million!

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