V12 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Fastest. Most powerful. Best handling. Understated beauty. Engine of the year.
These are just a few of the superlatives that greeted the F12 Berlinetta following its launch in 2012, as it blew away the car it replaced – the 599 GTB – in just about every department.
Both GT and hypercar, the F12 combines low-speed comfort and civility with astonishing performance; if 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds doesn’t get your pulse racing, how about 0-124mph in just over five more seconds? Beyond that, the car can keep going all the way up to 211mph.
The naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine produces 730bhp at 8,250rpm, more than 100bhp up on its predecessor, and a lighter body (down 70kg), better downforce, and a lower centre of gravity all contribute to produce a car that’s faster round the Fiorano test track than the Enzo and the extreme 599 GTO.
Awards quickly followed: the International Engine of the Year 2013 in the performance category, Top Gear‘s Supercar of the Year 2012, and design award the Premio Compasso d’oro ADI.
Top Gear described its acceleration as “devastating”, yet its driveability “a doddle”.
It seems driving a supercar has never been easier, and it’s no fluke: “Remember, the front-engined V12 is the most heavily used of all Ferraris: people drive them every day. They have to be as comfortable and as reliable as they are searing to drive.”
Evo magazine says the F12 is “as thrilling as a Caterham 620R”, and that “every stab of the throttle feels about as wild as throwing petrol bombs into a bonfire from close range. No, closer than that ” so that your eyebrows are in danger”.
The magazine’s editor, Nick Trott, concluded: “It is a total triumph. Ferrari should be honoured for building arguably the greatest road-car engine of all time.”
So, great engine, great powertrain, shattering performance, aural delights from the exhausts, driveability – and a 320-litre boot just a smidgeon smaller than a Golf, and extendable to match the 500 litres of a Mondeo.
Add practical to the list (if you have £240,000…).
Below is Chris Harris destroying five sets of tyres in an F12.