29/02/2012 The New F12berlinetta: the fastest Ferrari ever built
As the wraps come off “the fastest Ferrari ever built”, the first thing to hit us is that the new high-performance 12-cylinder is not called the F620 GT after all… it’s the F12berlinetta, boasting an exceptional new engine and a ‘proper’ mid-front-engined format.
It is the efficiency of this new engine – in terms of mechanical, combustion and fluid-dynamics technology – that allows the F12berlinetta to claim the title of “the most powerful and high-performance Ferrari road car ever launched”. The 6262cc 65° V12 delivers up to 740HP and 690Nm of torque, 80 per cent of which is available from just 2,500rpm. Ferrari promises us “an unrelenting surge of acceleration all the way to the 8,700rpm limit.” The engine is mated to the F1 dual-clutch transmission, with closer gear ratios developed specifically for this car’s performance. The result is a 0-62mph time of just 3.1 seconds, with the all-important lap of the Fiorano circuit completed in 1min 23sec – faster than any other Ferrari road car.
While the F12berlinetta – styled by a collaborative effort between the Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina – won’t be revealed in the metal until next week’s Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari has finally released official pictures of the stunning new car in Rosso Berlinetta three-layer paintwork. To cater for the car’s extreme performance, the wheelbase has been shortened and the engine, dashboard and seats lowered in the chassis. Meanwhile, the rear volume of the car is smaller thanks to the new layout of the rear suspension and gearbox so, visually, we see a relatively compact car.
The all-new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell was designed by Scaglietti using 12 kinds of alloy, some of which are used here for the first time in the motor industry, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in structural rigidity and a dry weight (with the lightweight options) of just 1525kg – 70kg less than the previous V12 coupé.
Some other statistics to salivate over: downforce has been boosted by 76 per cent, while drag has been significantly reduced (Cd is now just 0.299), thanks to 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”. And fuel consumption has been reduced by 30%, with CO2 emissions of just 350g/km – which helps put the F12berlinetta at the top of the high-performance league in environmental terms, as well as in terms of its sheer, mind-boggling performance.
Type: 65-degree V12
Total displacement: 6262cc
Maximum power: 740HP at 8500rpm
Maximum torque: 690Nm at 6000rpm