New & Used Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: In Depth
2014 Ferrari F12 BerlinettaEnlarge Photo
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is an exotically styled 2+2 sports car with rear-wheel drive and an engine mounted in front. Before the debut of the LaFerrari, the F12 was the Italian make's fastest production car.
The F12 embodies the combination of Ferrari design and performance in a grand touring body.The F12 Berlinetta's design is both typically Ferrari and completely modern, almost avant garde. The dramatic, sculpted bodywork along the side of the car is controversial, drawing both praise and criticism, but above all, a great deal of attention. Despite the dramatic detail work, the overall proportions are classic front-engine Ferrari, with a low-slung stance, a long hood, a rearward cabin, and sleek, organic curves.
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Under the long, low hood is a 65-degree V-12 engine displacing 6.3 liters and generating a whopping 730 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. Maximum torque of 509 pound-feet also arrives rather high in the rpm range, at 6,000 rpm, though Ferrari says at least 80 percent of maximum torque is available from as low as 2,500 rpm. Bottom line: the F12 Berlinetta's V-12 is the most potent Ferrari production engine yet. All of that power delivers 0-60 mph times of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 210 mph, however.
When driven without such speed-lust, the F12 Berlinetta, like other modern Ferraris, is capable of calm and composed cruising. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission handles gear shifts, enabling both lightning-quick performance and smooth and serene automatic-mode touring. Despite the advanced paddle-shift transmission and dual personality, the F12 Berlinetta is an unmitigated gas guzzler, rated at just 15.7 mpg in combined-cycle European testing.
As successor to the 599, the F12 Berlinetta is still a two-plus-two grand touring super sports car, but it differs rather significantly in several respects. A shorter wheelbase, narrower overall width, and lower ride height make it almost universally smaller. Weight distribution is shifter rearward, with 54 percent of the mass riding on the rear axle. The F12 Berlinetta is also lighter than the 599, incorporating a total of 12 different aluminum alloys to tip the scales at just 3,362 pounds, yet increase torsional rigidity compared to the 599 by 20 percent.
In addition to the big-picture items, the F12 Berlinetta features the latest in high-tech components as well, including carbon ceramic brakes, magneto-rheological dampers, and Ferrari's full complement of electronic vehicle dynamics controls, including E-diff, ESC, F1-Trac and performance ABS. The F12 Berlinetta, like other road-going Ferraris and some of its race cars, can be set to a variety of driving modes through a steering-wheel-mounted manettino, or toggle switch.
In addition to this technological tour de force of standard specifications, the F12 Berlinetta can be outfitted in an immense array of exterior colors, interior colors and materials, and other buyer-selected appearance and performance options. Ferrari's variety of personalization services, including the Tailor Made program, can realize nearly any desired modification. The cost of these services can be high, but then, that's not a problem for most F12 Berlinetta owners. In fact, the first F12 Berlinetta delivered to U.S. soil sold at auction for a price of $1.125 million--for the benefit of Hurricane Sandy victims.