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2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Debut

It’s hard to argue against Ferrari’s most powerful road car to date.

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What's New

For those among you who thought the Ferrari Enzo was too pedestrian, here’s a car that’s faster in every way possible. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is the supercar company’s supercar—the successor to the blisteringly quick 599, and a demonstration of everything of which the company is capable. Up front, Ferrari keeps the V-12 engine alive with a 6.2-liter example, one that produces a not-insignificant 740 horsepower. Performance, unsurprisingly, is blistering: A 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds, and if you keep going, you’ll hit 211 miles per hour—just 10 miles off the Enzo’s rumored top speed. In fact, the F12 laps Ferrari’s Fiorano test track faster than the Enzo, and faster than every other Ferrari ever built. Oh, and it uses 30 percent less fuel than before. How’s that for progress?

Who’s It For

The F12 appeals to that certain subset of humanity that has the hyperactive attention span of an 8-year old, but also the financial solvency to act on those impulses. If you’re incredibly rich (which goes without saying) and you play golf with Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa on the weekends, then you’re already shortlisted to buy the latest and greatest Prancing Horse. Otherwise, you would be looking at an Aston Martin One-77, a Lamborghini Aventador (the Ferrari’s perennial nemesis), a Lexus LFA, or an ex-RAF Harrier Jump Jet.

Key Features

The 6.2-liter V-12 engine is the F12’s jewel, and its namesake. But to reign in its 740 horsepower, the F12 also sports a brand-new aluminum spaceframe chassis that’s completely different than the one on the 599. Weight goes down, and rigidity goes up, among other things:
  • Seven speeds in the F12’s dual-clutch transmission rein in the F12’s rear-drive power.
  • A revised suspension still revolves around the active magnetic dampers that wannabe rival Cadillac keeps poking fun at.
  • Active Brake Cooling opens up vents in the cooling ducts to blast the brakes with cold air as well as reducing drag.
  • An “Aero Bridge” uses the sleek cutouts on the hood to divert air away from the top of the car to the sides for that added boost of downforce. It also sounds like the name of a Star Trek locale.
  • The F12’s leering egg-crate grille follows the bizarre FF’s styling, combining the best efforts of a Cheshire Cat with Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo.

What We Think

There’s no point arguing with the performance, as the new Ferrari promises to be way, way faster and better-performing than anything you’ll ever drive. What can we mere mortals and non-robber-barons do, then, in order to form an opinion? We can debate the looks of any Ferrari for as long as the day itself, but in this case it’s a lot more successful than many other modern Ferraris of note. As Ferrari’s latest and greatest front-engine, V-12 GT, it’s supposed to take on the legacy established by the 456, the Daytona, and the gorgeous 275. Does it? Just simply listening to it, we think it will—paging all wannabe playboys, nouveau riche types, Beverly Hills fashion victims and the sons of Middle Eastern oil sheiks: Your ride has just come in.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Geneva 2012