What happens when you leave Willy König, legendary founder of the Koenig-Specials tuning company from Munich, to fidle with a brand new Ferrari Testarossa (the year is 1985)? Well, the result of that was presented at the '85 IAA in Frankfurt. The result of König's work was a 710BHP Ferrari monster with looks to match.... the Koenig-Specials Testarossa.
As with most Koenig-Specials cars the Koenig Testarossa was created arround the idea to make a car faster, more exciting to drive. Willy König was notsatisfied with the Ferrari Testarossa's stock performance. By adding not one but two Rajaj Turbos from Franz Albert, a new exhaust-system (accountable for some 30BHP), much improved cooling system the Koenig-Specials Testarossa with it's 710BHP, had 320BHP more than a stock Ferrari Testarossa, which had to do with a mere 390BHP. 710BHP gets the Koenig Testarossa from 0-100 KM/H in about 3.8 seconds and the sprint ends at a topspeed of 340KM/H. By today's standards, this is still very fast, but in 1985 this was serious contender for the title "fastest streetlegal car in the world". A custom Koenig supsension was also installed to the Testarossa to make the car sit lower and make the ride stiffer.
To keep the 710BHP on the road and to be able to put the power on the tarmac some adjustments to the car's aerodynamics were also neccesary. Vittorio Strosek used his magic pencil to draw the lines that make the Koenig-Specials Testarossa Bi-Turbo look like a true Koenig-Specials car. The Ferrari Testarossa's side streaks were removed, which revealed the Testarossa's huge side air-intake. This modification was received with open arms by some Ferrari lovers, who actually disliked the streaks introduced with the Testarossa. On the front-end of the car a new front bumper was introduced, lower and with on the left side another air-intake. The typical pop-up headlights were removed and replaced by fixed examples behind clear glass. The Testarossa's wing mirrors were replaced by smaller Koenig examples. Similar mirrors were used on most Koenig cars. More horsepower required bigger tires, and bigger (wider) tires require more room. When Vittorio Strosek designed to bodykit for the Testarossa Bi-Turbo, he also made sure it was wider than the stock Testarossa: the Koenig Testarossa was some 17cm wider than a regular Testarossa (1.98m vs 2.15m). This widening alowed König to fit 225/50 VR 16 tires in the front and huge 345/35 VR 15 in the rear. These tires were draped around BBS rims. Back to the aero-package: two large NACA ducts that feed the twin-turbos with air are created above the rear wheels on both sides. And then there's the large rear wing that König fitted to many of his super-wide turbo powered creations.
320 extra horsepower plus bodykit came at a price though: 390.000 DM in 1985/6. This was however, the price of the complete car in case you let Koenig-Specials buy you a new Testarossa and convert it straight from the factory. When you were okay with just the wide wheelarches and big rear wing, Koenig-Specials offered a full body modification on the Testarossa for 65.000 DM. When you didn't like the flashy look of a Koenig Testarossa 70.000 DM bought you the 710BHP flat-twelve for your Testarossa. In 1985 this was the pinnacle of motoring. Only two years later though, Koenig unveilled the Koenig Competetion which made the regular Bi-Turbo look dull.
The 1985 Koenig-Specials Testarossa Bi-Turbo in full studio glory. These photos clearly show Vittorio Strosek's improvements over the original Pininfarina design: the new bumpers, the deleted side streaks, the new head lamps and the big wing.
This particular Koenig Testarossa is fitted with BBS RS wheels. Most Koenig Testarossas from the first generation had BBS RS rims. Later on in the 1980's Koenig-Specials started using OZ 5-spoke rims.
Note the little sticker above the left rear light, that shows Vitorrio Strosek's company logo.
Koenig-Specials Testarossa Bi-Turbo: just nice. But look at the door and how the parts don't seem to align. Has someone left the door open or is this just a testemony of poorly fitting parts?
Another picture that shows parts that don't seem to fit like they suppose to: why is the left part of the engine bay slightly open?
A Koenig Testarossa at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, slamming it's 710BHP through the famous "Caracciola Karussell". Note that because of the rear wing and deleted side streaks the Testarossa appears shorter.
Fitted with special "Koenig-BBS" wheels, BBS racing wheels modified for road use with TÜV approval.
Note the difference between the rear ends of these two Koenig Testarossas. The car in the top photo has a four-pipe exhaust, the one in the bottom picture shows a double exhaust. Also note the bottom car has extra vent slots in the rear bumper. I asume the above car is one of the earlier models, possibly a prototype.
If you picture this car without the big wing, would this be a perfect Testarossa? Or is the big wing the thing that makes it even better?
The Koenig Testarossa Bi-Turbo is wide, very, very wide. This picture shows this very well. The extra 17 cm do make a difference.
The Koenig-Specials Testarossa at the track. No, it wasn't just a show-off. Willy König being a former hillclimb champion knew how to make the Testarossa a properly fast car. Note that on this photo the Testarossa has a Koenig-Specials "KS" logo on the trunk. The Ferrari bagde was offlimits on these Koenig-Specials creations, just like Styling-Garage and others weren't allowed to have Mercedes-stars on the bonnet.
On the Autobahn the Koenig Testarossa Bi-Turbo was at home. The serious improvement in power gave the Testarossa a topspeed of 340 KM/H.
This front view gives a nice look into the eyes of the Testarossa Bi-Turbo. To change the pop-up headlamps with fixed examples behind glass was Willy König's personal preference. He did almost the same conversion, replacing the pop-up lights, to his own Ferrari 365 GT4 BB.
Ferrari vs Porsche: the Koenig-Specials Testarossa next to the 480BHP Koenig RoadRunner, a highly modified Porsche 930 Turbo. Note that the Testarossa still retains it's original headlamps.
A beautiful white Testarossa BiTurbo placed together with a Testarossa Spider built by Straman.
Early 1990s Japan; a Koenig-Specials Testarossa standing in an Osaka showroom amidst other fine sports and luxury cars.
Japan, 1993; a Koenig-Specials BiTurbo Testarossa fitted with OZ wheels that were more oftenly seen on the successor to the BiTurbo Testarossa, the Koenig Competition. Looks good though!
Text: copyright Bram Corts