New & Used Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: In Depth
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The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is an exotic, design-focused, super-performance 2+2 sports car. Its rear-wheel drive, front-engine layout ties it to Ferrari's classics, but its technology is anything but. Before the debut of the LaFerrari, the F12 was the Italian brand'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.
MORE: Read our 2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta page
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 peak 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.
While speed is easy to achieve, the F12 is also comfortable at a more relaxed pace, as is true of other current Ferraris. The paddle-shift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission can be dialed from comfortable, almost imperceptible shifts to the quickest gearchanges possible when in a sporting mode. Even with the high-tech adjustable transmission and available engine stop-start, the F12 manages to consume plenty of fuel no matter how it's driven, with an EPA combined rating of 13 mpg.
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.
The F12 has plenty of new and racing-derived technology to keep all of that power in check and aid handling. The brakes use carbon-ceramic discs, the dampers are adaptive magnetorheological units, and Ferrari's latest electronic helpers are along for the ride: the E-diff differential, F1-Trac traction control, advanced stability control, and performance-focused ABS. The settings for these systems are controlled, like they are on other Ferrari road and race cars, by the manettino switch mounted on the steering wheel.
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.
To celebrate the brand's 60th anniversary in the U.S., Ferrari created the F12-based F60 America. It's an open-top car, and only 10 will be built for a reported price of $3.2 million. The U.S. remains Ferrari's largest market, and it's likely that all 10 of the cars were spoken for even before it was unveiled at the celebration in Beverly Hills.