The F12 Berlinetta not only ushers in a whole new generation of Prancing Horse 12-cylinders but is also the most powerful and high performance Ferrari ever built.
It is a shorter, lower and narrower car than the previous V12 coupe. Weight distribution is ideal too (54% at the rear) while the centre of gravity is lower and has been moved rearwards in the chassis.
The F12berlinetta's space frame chassis and body shell are both entirely new. In fact, they incorporate no less than 12 different aluminium alloys, some of which have never been used before in the automotive industry. Various assembly and component joining technologies are also used. This has helped keep the car's weight down (to 1525 kg) and maximise the efficiency of its performance (torsional rigidity has been increased by 20 per cent).
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The F12berlinetta's aerodynamics were developed hand-in-hand wîth its styling, and incorporate a wealth of innovative solutions. These include the Aero Bridge, which uses the bonnet for the first time to create downforce, and Active Brake Cooling, a system of guide vanes on the brake air ducts which open only if brake operating temperatures are high enough. The result is that it is the most overall aerodynamically efficient Ferrari ever, a fact attested to by a figure of 1.12 (double that of the 599 GTB Fiorano) wîth Cd of just 0.299 and downforce of 123 kg at 200 km/h.
The fruit of the collaboration between the Ferrari Style Centre and Pininfarina, the F12berlinetta's styling focuses on brilliantly balanced proportions. It has an original, innovative look wîth many signature elements from the Ferrari 12-cylinder tradition. The car is clothed in sleek, aggressive lines and despite its compact exterior size, offers an absolutely superb standard of in-cabin space and comfort. The rear of the F12berlinetta is characterised by a modern, functional reinterpretation of the Kamm tail which seamlessly integrates the two vertical fences of the rear diffuser. The resulting original T-shape also incorporates two full-LED circular tail-lights and the clearly F1-inspired rear fog light.
The F12berlinetta's technical spec is completed by the very latest carbon ceramic braking system (CCM3), Evolution magnetorheological suspension (SCM-E) and advanced vehicle dynamics control systems (E-diff, ESC, F1-Trac and performance ABS). The controls are integrated in a single, faster ECÚ wîth model-based software.
Design and Style
The F12berlinetta's design strikes the perfect balance between maximum aerodynamic efficiency and the elegant proportions typical of Ferrari's front-engined V12 cars. Its designers and engineers worked in tandem to sculpt its surfaces so that they seamlessly incorporate the car's many innovative aerodynamic solutions by 'subtraction' rather than having it bristling wîth different appendages.
The result of this collaboration is an innovative system of air flows which make this car absolutely original and unique, a true marriage of technology and aesthetics, an essential requisite for all Prancing Horse cars in which form and function are inextricably linked.
The F12berlinetta has low, sleek coupé lines wîth powerfully sculpted flanks whose contours curve and dip to channel the air flows from the bonnet. The two aerodynamic channels, created by reducing the volume between the wings and central bonnet bulge, pass below a bridge in the area between the front wheelarch and the bottom of the A-pillar, before flowing into scoops in the flanks, lifting and lightening the car's side volume.
The front of the car is dominated by an imposing grille that draws air into the engine bay to cool the V12. On either side of it are electronically-controlled guide vanes which help cool the brakes. This is an original, active aerodynamic solution as when closed they cut drag and when open guarantee optimal brake cooling.
The rear of the F12berlinetta is characterised by a modern, functional reinterpretation of the Kamm tail which seamlessly integrates the two vertical fences of the rear diffuser. The resulting original T-shape also incorporates two full-LED circular tail-lights and the clearly F1-inspired rear fog light.
The emphasis in the F12berlinetta's cabin design was on creating a cutting-edge look that is understated yet sophisticated. Volumes have been reduced to a minimum to enhance sportiness and efficiency. The interior space has been optimised to provide both a sporty driving position as well as guarantee maximum comfort. A perfect balance has been struck between advanced technologies and sophisticated, beautifully hand-executed detailing, both of which are intrinsic to Ferrari's DNA.
The design's strongest feature, however, is the logical, ergonomic layout of the various functions within the cockpit: the essential architecture embraces and enhances the Human Machine Interface which allows the driver to reach all of the controls without taking his hands off the §teering wheel and displays all of the information he requires directly ahead.
The tunnel console is both light and functional. The central bridge incorporates the F1 gearbox and hazard warning light buttons, and is one of the cabin's signature elements.
The main objective wîth the F12berlinetta's seats was to reduce their volumes as much as possible to ensure freer occupant movement within the cabin while, at the same time, ensuring they are extremely comfortable and respect lateral containment geometries. The headrest is fully integrated into the backrest, giving the seat a very modern, track-inspired feel.
The rear of the cockpit features an upholstered rear bench wîth leather luggage straps to hold bags securely in place.
Dynamics And Performance
With a Fiorano lap time of just 1' 23'', 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3.1 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds, the F12berlinetta is the most high-performance car in Ferrari history. On top of pure performance figures, however, it is also incredibly fluid and intuitive to drive, thanks to its unique handling which inspires confidence at all speeds, not just on the limit on the track. This was achieved thanks in great part to the development work carried out on the layout which has helped the car take a massive leap forward in terms of agility and responsiveness, even at slower speeds, a characteristic more in keeping wîth mid-rear-engined cars until now. In addition to this, however, all the car's sub-systems were developed and integrated wîth each other specifically to achieve these goals without compromising on high standards of occupant comfort. The latter include springs and dampers, wheels and tyres, yaw control systems, such as the E-Diff, traction control (F1-Trac), Stability Control (ESC), and auxiliary braking systems, such as ABS/EBD, which work in coordination to transfer torque in the most intelligent and efficient way possible to get the most out of the performance available.
The new carbon-ceramic braking system (CCM3) benefits from the latest developments, including a new material mix for the rear pads and an optimised cooling system derived from Ferrari's F1 experience, along wîth the Active Brake Cooling at the front. Combined, these improvements eliminate fade and deliver excellent stopping distances (131 m from 200 km/h, an impressive 7-metre improvement on the 599 GTB Fiorano).
The F12berlinetta features traditional double wishbone suspension wîth lower L-arm at the front and multi-link at the rear. It also sports the new SCM-E magnetorheological dampers which have twin solenoids and a new ECÚ wîth upgraded software. The system uses a fluid whose viscosity is altered by an electronically-controlled magnetic field generated inside the damper. This in turn translates into faster response times and more precise bump control which improves both performance and ride comfort. The F12berlinetta thus has faster acceleration than any other road-going Ferrari. Benchmark performance is marche by outstanding driver involvement courtesy of later braking, quicker turn-in, higher entry speeds and greater lateral acceleration through bends. The car requie less §teering input at the wheel during cornering, there is better traction accelerating out of bends and braking distances are drastically reduced too.
The 6262cc 65-degree V12 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V12 yet. Maximum power is 740CV for a specific output of 118CV per litre and 690 Nm of torque. 80 per cent of that torque figure is on tap from 2500 rpm, giving massive acceleration right the way up to the 8700 rpm red line. Just like Ferrari's F1 engines, the V12 boasts very low levels of inertia to ensure that the engine revs rapidly. Development concentrated on a number of areas, including the compression ratio which has been increased to 13.5:1. The lower crankcase was completely redesigned to help reduce the car's centre of gravity (the engine sits 30mm lower and further back in the chassis compared to the 599 GTB Fiorano). The V12 feeds power to the rear wheels through the dual-clutch F1 transmission which gives instantaneous gear shifts. The transmission features close gear ratios developed specifically to suit the car's performance and is integrated wîth the electronic E-Diff to reduce overall weight. Internal friction losses have been reduced to a minimum and innovative technologies have been employed (such as the multi-spark ignition function which implements three successive sparks of different intensity and duration) to reduce fuel consumption by 30 per cent compared to the 599 GTB Fiorano depsite the increase in power and torque.