OUT OF OFFICE | CAR REVIEW
by Carl Wepener
* Prices as at date of publishing
Ferrari F12berlinetta makes South African debut
The Italian prancing horse proudly introduces the new Ferrari F12berlinetta to South Africa, and thus further brings to our shores the new generation of V12 Ferraris. The occasion took place at the South African Lipizzaner Equestrian Centre, where the eloquent horses led the Ferrari onto the stage. All the animals, including the Ferrari F12berlinetta, were magnificent examples of their breeds.
I am not going to talk about better fuel or emission figures that have been cut up to 30%. No; let’s get down to the business end of the Ferrari F12berlinetta. This is the most powerful high performance V12, back wheel driven road-going Ferrari ever built. It is aerodynamic with state of the art components and the true Ferrari architecture not only reflects that it is a true Ferrari but also that it is innovative and yet retains the classic Ferrari style. This magnificent car is lower, with a shorter wheelbase. When looking at the V12 engine, you will notice that the engine appears to even go underneath the dashboard. Weight distribution is as near to ideal as you want, at 54% over the rear
axle and a lower centre of gravity all help to make this a road hugging beast that will not easily come unstuck. The Ferrari F12berlinetta weighs in at 1525 kg while tortional rigidity has been strengthened by 20%, and this is all made possible through the all new space frame chassis and body shell technologies – some of which have never, before, been seen in the automotive field.
The business end of this Ferrari F12berlinetta (situated in the front), delivers 544kW at 8250rpm (maximum rpm 8250) from its new 200-bar direct-injection, 6262cc V12 engine. Responsiveness and strong pick-up is guaranteed by a maximum torque of 690 Nm, 80% of which is readily available at 2500 rpm. A host of innovative solutions have been discreetly integrated to make the Ferrari F12berlinetta the most aerodynamic Ferrari. Its downforce is double that of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. It also includes the Aero Bridge which uses the bonnet to generate down force. Active Brake Cooling is employed by a system that opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta is a truly original, innovative coupé with all of the signature features such as sleekness, aggressive stance, superb finishing and occupant space and comfort of an authentic Ferrari 12-cylinder. All controls are typical Ferrari and integrated in a single, fast-responding CPU featuring new model-specific software. Business figures, of course, are mind boggling and 0-100 km/h is reached in 3.1 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 8.5 seconds; the top speed is 338km/h. It is said that this Ferrari is not measured by sheer performance only, and that it stands out for its nimble and responsive handling and unparalleled driving involvement even at lower speeds whether on the track or on the road. I cannot vouch for that as yet, as I have not driven the Ferrari F12berlinetta, but if its predecessors and stable mates are anything to go by, then it is guaranteed.
The car’s Frau leather interior is completely new and is a work of art. Unique craftsmanship highlights the balance of advanced technology and sophisticated, handcrafted detailing, both of which are intrinsic to Ferrari’s DNA. The cabin has been optimised to ensure maximum usability with additional luggage capacity behind the seats, which can also be easily reached through the large tail-gate. The Ferrari F12berlinetta is unprecedented in its performance ability and is extremely fast and sporty. It is one of the ultimate high performance yet versatile icons, that not only ensure driving and, for the lucky few, racing pleasure, but even a unique pleasure for those that are lucky enough to hear the sound of the prancing horse on a rare drive by.