2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta
12-cyl. 6262cc/731hp Bosch EFI
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With an experienced team and a lot of data.
When Luca Cordero di Montezemolo joined Ferrari in 1991 the company began a program of new high performance supercars every few years. Journalists grappled for superlatives and Formula 1 technology spilled over into each new model. These included both mid-engine V-8s and the larger, front engine V-12 gran turismos. One such gran turismo is the F12berlinetta, which followed the 599 GTB Fiorano and debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
The F12berlinetta is a traditional two-seater with a front-mounted, naturally aspirated, 65-degree 6.3-liter DOHC V-12 engine developing a whopping 731 horsepower at 8250 rpm, enough for a 0-60 spring in 3.1 seconds, 0-100 in 7.1 seconds, and a quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 211 miles per hour. The F12berlinetta’s engine won the 2013 International Engine of the Year award and the model was rated 2012’s Supercar of the Year by Top Gear.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta is more compact than the outgoing 599 Fiorano, with both the engine and seats lowered, and 54 percent of the weight over the rear wheels. The spaceframe was entirely new and employed 12 different aluminum alloys, some for the first time in automotive use. Overall weight decreased and torsional rigidity increased by 20 percent compared to the 599.
To rein in all the power, high tech gadgetry and electronics from Ferrari’s Formula 1 experience were called into to play. The HELE electronic start/stop system was introduced. The F1 dual clutch 7-speed gearbox was paddle shifted, traction and stability controls were installed, and an electronic limited-slip differential was fitted, along with adjustable magnetorheolical suspension in which the fluid could stiffen shock absorbers electronically at the flick of a switch.
Downforce is effected through an “aero-bridge” which used the hood to create downforce, while Active Brake Cooling involves a system of guide vanes on the brake ducts which open if temperatures rise high enough. The F12 Berlinetta recorded 271 pounds of downforce at 124 mph, which is 76 percent better than the 599 GTB Fiorano.
Aside from a few special editions and one-offs built for anniversary celebrations or special clients, the only major special edition of the F12 is the Ferrari F12tdf (Tour de France), a track-oriented version of the F12 with more power (769 bhp) and torque (520 lb-ft) as well as lighter weight. Production was limited to 799 cars, and they quickly became collectible.
The first standard production Ferrari F12berlinettas, meanwhile, carried a base price of $319,638, and MSRP only rose to $319,995 in 2017 when the F12 was discontinued. It was replaced by the 812 Superfast in 2018.