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Ferrari F12 Berlinetta – Above the Rest

If we take a good look at the history of Ferrari, we can see that once in a while, Ferrari come out with a really exceptional car that is above the rest. Examples to support this statement would be the Ferrari F40, Enzo, and most definitely the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.

All of these cars are extraordinary which is duly noted by the press, owners, and their fan base. These “special” models act as flag-bearers that showcase everything Ferrari has to offer and to demonstrate to their competitors that Ferrari is the reigning king of performance, passion and speed.
Source: YouTube / Ferrari

The Ferrari F12berlinetta was the fastest Ferrari ever made when it was revealed in 2012. Enzo Ferrari would certainly like the newcomer as it has a long front end and a built-in V12 engine with as much as 740 hp!

Berlinetta was Enzo’s favorite body shape which he proved by sticking with the Berlinetta style at the release of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona while everyone else saw the future of the supercar in the mid-engine configuration.

Quintessential Ferrari – The Arrival of the F12

The F12 Berlinetta was revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and after the first press tests immediately gained the reputation of being a quintessential Ferrari.

A powerful naturally aspirated V12 and two seats make it what a Ferrari should be a joy machine. The F12 replaced the popular 599 Grand Tourer and immediately left him in the dust.

Top Gear magazine voted the F12 the best supercar of 2012, and they also featured it the highly popular TV show version. Legendary auto journalist and show host Jeremy Clarkson claimed that the F12 is so crazy it could actually use less power to make it more civilized.

Berlinetta at its Finest – Design

Even at rest, the Ferrari F12berlinetta looks like a flawlessly designed sculpture on wheels. The 4.62-meter-long Berlinetta measures only 1.27 meters in height and 1.94 meters in width. With a long elongated bonnet and a short, muscular rear end, it clearly expresses power. Despite the fact that the body shape looks like a classic Berlinetta, it is distinguished by its incredible aerodynamics, with an air resistance factor below 0.30.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta side profile
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta / Source: Mecum

The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, which can already be declared a future classic, was created in collaboration with the Pininfarina Studio and Ferrari’s design center. Although every part of the car is new and not shared with any other Ferrari models, the look is unmistakably Ferrari.

The front air intakes for the engine and brakes are covered by giant air vents. The wind at the side flows through a void in the door area, and at the rear of the car, four exhaust pipes sing a symphony of twelve-cylinders.

The body is painted in a new three-layer coat of red called the “Rosso Berlinetta”.

The interior of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta continues to intertwine race-inspired elements and Italian aesthetics with a love for detail. The seats are ribbed differently, but they have been upholstered with the finest leather again at Poltrona Frau.

Interior of the F12 Berlinetta / Source: Barrett-Jackson

The essential elements needed to operate the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta are mounted on or around the steering wheel, which should ensure direct contact with the car and maximum ergonomics.

In the middle of the dashboard are round ventilation slots made of carbon and aluminum. For their design, the designers drew inspiration from aeronautics.

The space in the Berlinetta is supposed to be generously dosed for two passengers who can accommodate some more luggage behind the seat. In the back, a large tailgate makes sure there is still a decent space for luggage.

Naturally aspirated V12 Beast – Performance

The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta was the most powerful production road-legal Ferrari at its release. It offers top-notch pleasures on the road or on the racetrack.

Behind the front axle is a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 engine (with a 65-degree angle between the rows of cylinders) that develops a maximum of 544 kW (740 hp) at 8,500 rpm.

The engine rotates up to 8700 rpm and has a specific power of 118 hp/liter of displacement. It develops 80 percent of the maximum torque at 2500 rpm, and the maximum torque value is 690 Nm, at 6000 rpm.

The engine is coupled with a 7-speed F1 transmission, which has particularly short gear ratios and shifts via two clutches. Two clutches ensure a smooth transition between gears with no loss of power. The transmission itself got a massive amount of compliments from buyers and the press. Fuel consumption was reduced by 30 compared to the 599 GT, to an average of 15.0 liters per 100 kilometers.

Source: Barrett-Jackson

The new Ferrari V12 Berlinetta is mounted on a shorter wheelbase chassis and has a lower center of gravity. It features a weight distribution of 54% on the rear and 46% on the front axle.

Ferrari’s classic “transaxle” layout has been adapted to the car’s extreme performance. Scaglietti has developed a new space frame for the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, for which 12 different materials have been used and 20% greater body rigidity has been achieved while still reducing weight. The weight is therefore 1525 kilograms (70kg less than the 599 GT), and the weight-to-power ratio is only 2.1 kg/hp.

With a lightweight construction, smaller dimensions, lower center of gravity, better aerodynamics, and a new, efficient engine, the new Ferrari flagship is capable of exceeding a top speed of 340 km h and accelerating to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds, or up to 200 km/h in just 8.5 seconds.

Specification 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta
Configuration V12
Capacity 6.3L
Horsepower 731 hp @ 8,250 rpm
7-speed automatic
Drive Rear Wheel Drive
Suspension-Front Independent, double wishbones
Suspension- Rear Independent, multi-link
Brakes Disc
Top Speed 211 mph
Acceleration 0-60mph 3.1 s
Specification for the 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta

Inspired by Formula 1 – Aerodynamics

The optimization of aerodynamics is also a reflection of the knowledge gained in Ferraris Formula 1 racing departments.

With computer simulations of fluid dynamics, they achieved a very low air resistance coefficient and also a 76% higher downforce at high speeds.

Two solutions were used for such a result. The first is an air bridge that redirects airflow from the top of the front of the car to the sides of the vehicle, and the second solution is active brake cooling. The front air flaps open when needed and only supply the new generation of Ferrari carbon-ceramic brakes with cold air when they are really hot.

Excellent road position and handling are ensured by actively regulated SCM-E suspension and control systems E-Diff, ESP Premium and F1-Trac. Jeremy Clarkson said the control systems in the F12 let you have fun while still ensuring you don’t kill yourself.

Faster, better, stronger – Special Versions

Tour de France. No not the famous bicycle race. The Ferrari F12TDF was a special version of the already insane F12 Berlinetta.

The letters “TDF” stand for Tour de France and pay homage to the Tour de France car race which was organized from 1899-1986. The Tour de France was regularly won by the Ferrari 250 from 1956-1964. The F12TDF features the same 6.3L V12 engine but with increased power output. With a total of 780 horsepower and 705 Nm of torque, the F12TDF  takes the insanity of the regular F12 to a new level. With 100kg less and the increased power, the F12TDF reached the 100 km/h mark in just 2.9 seconds. The F12TDF also broke the Fiorino test track record with a time of 1 minute and 21 seconds. Only 799 Tour de France versions of the F12 were made which explains today’s price difference.
Source: YouTube /Ferrari

There were also several other one-off special versions such as the F12 TRS. The TRS was actually a two-off Barchetta version based on the F12 Berlinetta. The roof was cut off under the Ferrari special projects program and the TRS was made for a loyal buyer of Maranello steeds. The TRS featured a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa inspired “targa” roof and a different front bumper design with a glass hood covering the 730 hp V12 engine.

Other special versions include the F60 America, which was made to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari in the US. The F60 was based on the F12 Berlinetta but featured an all-new bodywork and classic blue and white colors of the North American Racing Team. There were several other special one-off versions based on the F12 platform which speaks volumes for the inspiration that the F12 provided to designers, engineers, and buyers who wanted to add on to the amazing F12 platform.

Lap times – F12 Track Performance

Being a rather small production and a front-engine car, the F12 Berlinetta was never used in major racing leagues and events like the 24-hours of Le Mans. However, it is still used by private owners on track day events and time-attack events.

In its nature, the F12 still remains a GT car which automatically makes it less appealing for professional racing. Many reviewers, however, noted that the F12 is one of the few GT cars that can easily compete with mid-engine supercars. This is due to the positioning of the engine in the F12 behind the front axle which means the weight distribution is almost as good as in mid-engined cars.
Source: YouTube / Ferrari

The F12 is no slouch on the track. At its debut, the F12 broke the Fiorano test track record, coming in at only 1 minute and 23 seconds and the TDF version at 1 minute and 21 seconds.

The benchmark for track performance is also the lap time in the green hell, the infamous Nurburgring. The F12 Berlinetta circled the Nurburgring in just 7 minutes and 33 seconds. That is faster than the Koenigsegg CCX and up there with the mid-engined Audi R8 V10.

The Ultimate Berlinetta  

Ferrari has a rich history of crafting incredible looking and performing Berlinetta style supercars. The F12 Berlinetta was and still is the pinnacle of their performance engineering and design language. The F12 is not the newest and greatest V12 Ferrari but it left a big mark in the eyes of consumers and the press.

Compared to its predecessor the 599 GTB, the F12 was a major improvement which is something that is not said that often. Ferrari really stepped up. The F12 is faster, has better traction, is more agile, and gives you a better sense of control through every corner. It is also much more compact which makes the car feel nimble through corners. It still offers all the room and a big boot just like the 599.

The only real alternative to the F12 at that time was the V12 Aston Martin Vanquish. The Vanquish could not compete with performance and thrills but it delivered a more relaxed, more subtle GT driving experience. While that might appeal to certain buyers, Ferrari was still aiming to deliver thrills and excitement every time you stepped on the gas pedal. And in our book, that is perfectly fine. Thrills and excitement are a big part of Ferrari’s DNA, so it is only right they stick to it. The F12 Berlinetta remains in the eyes of many, the greatest Ferrari of all time. We can see why.