Back in 2012, when the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta made its debut, it became Ferrari’s fastest car on sale. It was also the most powerful and most expensive, although all of those distinctions would soon be handed over to the LaFerrari in 2013. The F12 would go on to be recognized as an incredible accomplishment for Ferrari, with the big GT car achieving feats on the track previously thought impossible.
A huge 6.3-litre V12 sits in front of the driver, making a walloping 730 bhp. With launch control enabled, the F12 Berlinetta can reach 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds. Hold the right pedal down long enough, and the F12 will reach an astronomical 211 mph. But, as you would expect from a Ferrari, this car isn’t just about straight-line speed. Ferrari worked tirelessly to create a well-balanced vehicle that can more than hold its own when the road gets curvy. A suite of electronics constantly optimizing things like shock stiffness, shift speed, and stability and traction control. The mighty V12 has been set all the way back in the engine bay, while the centre of gravity has been lowered as much as possible. And all of this obsessive attention to detail paid off, with the F12 Berlinetta turning in a 1:23 time on the Fiorano test circuit. That puts the car two whole seconds ahead of the Enzo and only three seconds behind the incredible LaFerrari. That’s not a bad place to be for a big grand tourer. A HELE (high emotion low emission) stop-start system was also put in place to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy, resulting in a 30% better mpg rating than the 599GTB.
Stylistically, the F12 kept within concurrent Ferrari themes while looking quite a lot more interesting than its predecessor, the 599GTB Fiorano. Of course, much of the look has been dictated by aerodynamic testing, including the Aero Bridge, or ridges flowing over the front and sides of the car that work to increase downforce. These features, plus active features such as the brake cooling ducts, which can close when the brakes do not require cooling, conspire to create 123 kilograms of downforce at 124 mph, or 76% more than the 599GTB could muster. A joint effort between Pininfarina and Ferrari Styling Centre, the F12 was an instant classic, with rave reviews pouring in after the sheet was pulled off the car at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
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