Ferrari announces the F12berlinetta: the fastest Ferrari ever built

Ferrari-F12Berlinetta

This is the car that everyone will want to see at next week’s Geneva motor show. F12berlinetta ushers in a new generation of Ferrari 12-cylinders in a car that is claimed to deliver unprecedented performance.

Revealed to the world for the first time on Ferrari.com this morning, the F12berlinetta (not F620 as we previously reported), is finished in an attractive new Rosso Berlinetta three-layer colour and represents the very cutting-edge of Ferrari mid-front-engined sports cars.

As Ferrari forewarned us, the F12berlinetta is the fastest and most powerful Ferrari road car ever launched thanks to the incredibly efficient engine – in terms of mechanical, combustion and fluid-dynamics – which, together with its advanced aerodynamics, components and electronic controls, is claimed to guarantee an unbeatable driving experience – whether on road or track.

Ferrari’s traditional transaxle layout has been updgraded to match the more extreme performance of the car, which now produces a class-leading 729 bhp – 80 bhp up on the already stonking FF.

The wheelbase has been shortened (compared to the 599) and the engine, dashboard and seats have been lowered in the chassis, while the new layout of the rear suspension and gearbox has enabled Ferrari’s engineers to make the rear of the car smaller.

The overall result is a very compact car with a lower centre of gravity that is further back in the chassis, and a level of aerodynamic efficiency that is claimed to set new standards in its class.

Scaglietti, renowned for its expertise in aluminium materials and construction, has designed an all-new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell for the F12berlinetta using 12 different kinds of alloys, some of which represent firsts for the automotive sector.

This has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in structural rigidity while reducing weight to just 1525 kg (70 kg less than the previous 599 V12 coupé) with a rear-biased weight distribution between the axles of 54:46 (which is an extraordinary achievement for a mid-front-engined car).

The F12berlinetta’s 6262cc 65° V12 engine delivers class-leading performance and revs for a naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder. Its maximum power output is 729 bhp with peak torque of 690 Nm (509lb ft), 80 per cent of which is already available at just 2,500 rpm.

The engine is described as providing an unrelenting surge of acceleration all the way to the 8,700 rpm limit. The new V12 engine is mated to a F1 dual-clutch transmission (similar to that used in the 458 Italia), which has closer gear ratios developed specifically for the F12berlinetta’s performance.

Fuel consumption has been reduced by 30% to 18.5 mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 350 g/km(down from 415g/km) – figures which put the F12berlinetta at the top of the high-performance league for super sports cars. These results have been obtained by extensive research and development which focused on efficiencies for the whole vehicle, including engine, aerodynamics, tyres and weights.

Similarly excellent results have been obtained with the car’s aerodynamic development, thanks to the integration of the design process with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and lengthy testing in the wind tunnel.

Downforce has been boosted by 76 per cent (123 kg at 125 mph) while drag has been significantly reduced (the Cd is just 0.299). These results come courtesy of two new solutions:

The first of these is the Aero Bridge which uses the bonnet to generate downforce by channelling air away from the upper part of the car to its flanks, where it interacts with the wake from the wheel wells to decrease drag.

The second is Active Brake Cooling, a system that opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures, again reducing drag.

The F12berlinetta’s impressive technical specifications are completed by Ferrari’s latest generation carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3) and the evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E).

As is now traditional with all Ferraris, its control systems (E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS) are all fully integrated.

Exceptional Performance

The result of all these technical advances is a 0-62 mph capability of 3.2 seconds and 0-125mph in just 8.5 seconds.

As usual with Ferrari, the true barometer of performance is how fast it laps the car maker’s Fiorano circuit. In the case of the new F12berlinetta, that time has dropped to 1 minute 23 seconds – faster than any other Ferrari road car. Of course.

The F12berlinetta’s performance and driving capabilities are complemented by smaller steering wheel angles for more immediate turn-in, increased cornering speed and stopping distances which have also been drastically reduced.

Lap times around Fiorano

Make & Model Lap Time (seconds)
Ferrari F12berlinetta 1:23.0
Ferrari 599 GTO 1:24.0
Ferrari Enzo 1:24.9
Ferrari 458 Italia 1:25.0
Ferrari F50 1:27.0
Ferrari F40 1:29.6

Design

The design of the F12berlinetta is a result of the collaboration between the Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina, and demonstrates the balance of uncompromising aerodynamics with harmonious proportions, interpreting the typical elements of Ferrari’s front-engined V12 cars in an original and innovative way.

The all-new Frau leather interior balances advanced technology with sophisticated, handcrafted detailing. In the middle of the light and lean dashboard, there are new carbon fibre and aluminium air vents clearly inspired by the aeronautic field.

The cabin has been designed to maximise interior space and usability with additional luggage capacity behind the seats, reachable via a large opening in the boot.

With the cockpit designed around the driver, typical of all Ferraris, all the major controls are within easy reach of the driver, who can thereby focus on enjoying the F12berlinetta’s extraordinary capabilities.

Prices are likely to be available later in the year, but don’t expect much change back from £250,000.

Technical Specification

Engine  
Type 65-degree V12
Total displacement 6262 cc
Maximum power output 729 bhp at 8500 rpm
Maximum torque 690 Nm(509lb ft) at 6000 rpm
Dimensions and weight
Length 4618 mm
Width 1942 mm
Height 1273 mm
Dry weight* 1525 kg
Weight distribution 46% front, 54% rear
Weight-power ratio 2,1 kg/CV
Performance
Maximum speed over 340 km/h (212.5 mph)
0-62 mph 3.1 seconds