Ferrari’s got a brand new bag. Some thoughts on the new F12 Berlinetta.

The new king.

Today is a special sort of day.  It’s Leap Day, a day which comes around once every four years–February 29th.  And Ferrari got it into their heads to pick today to show off their third new car in 4 years, the replacement for the highly-regarded flagship GT car, the 599 GTB.  That car has gone through various variations (the 599 HGTE, 599XX, GTO, and SA Aperta, among others), and now Ferrari has the new replacement, the F12 Berlinetta.  In so many words, this new Ferrari is going to blow the roof off the place.  Hit the jump for more.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (rear)

First, the engine.  Ferrari has stuck with the V12 philosophy, and pumped this new 6.3L unit (which first appeared in the FF)  up to 730hp at a bone-chillingly high 8700RPM.  That’s 118 more than the original 599 and 70 more than the GTO.  With a projected curb weight of less than 3400lbs, it’s lighter than both of those too, so this thing is going to be fast.  In fact, it may end up being the fastest Ferrari ever when it goes on sale at the end of the year, with a projected top speed of 212mph+.  So it’s quite obvious that speed won’t be an issue.  A rear-mounted 7-speed DCT has been announced as the transmission. This new model’s 0-100km/h time is reported to be around 3 seconds flat, with 0-200km/h happening in 8.5 seconds.  Ferrari is fitting it with next-generation magnetorheological dampers as well as intelligent ABS, so it should take corners even better than its predecessor.  It’s lapped Fiorano, Ferrari’s well-known test track, in 1 minute and 23 seconds, making it the fastest car Ferrari’s ever put around Fiorano.

The interior should be just as good as the 599, if not better.

The styling is a joint operation between Ferrari’s studio and Pininfarina, and looks stunning.  The sculpted hood, fenders, and doors all give this new car a sense of forward motion, beauty, and brute force.  The FF’s lines are apparent here too, but have been suppressed to fit the 2-seater profile.  The F12 has been sculpted for the best possible aerodynamics as well.  On the inside, Ferrari continues the precedent set by the 458, with all the normal “stalk” functions mounted on the steering wheel, and a modern, technical feel.  The materials are familiar–top shelf leather, aluminum (or carbon fiber) touches, and impeccable build quality.  It’s using the latest iteration of Ferrari’s vaunted driver aid suite, and Ferrari’s carbon-ceramic brakes come standard (now in their third generation).  No matter how good the 599 was (and no doubt about it, the 599 and its derivatives are some of the best modern Ferraris on the market), the F12 Berlinetta is going to knock everyone’s socks off.  I’m more than excited.  Are you?

-Albert Davis

More on the F12B:

Play with the F12B Configurator on Ferrari’s website.

And hear the prototype in the hands of Alonso and Massa:

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