Competes with: Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin V12 Zagato
Looks like: You can almost make the FF grille attractive
Drivetrain: 730 hp V-12 engine, F1 dual-clutch transmission
Hits dealerships: TBD
A new Ferrari model is cause for celebration in the automotive world. Well, maybe except for the FF unveiled last year .
The F12berlinetta — yes all one word — will spark boyhood fantasies and adorn computer desktop backgrounds of working adults worldwide.
The design incorporates the grille from the FF, the headlights from the 458 Italia and the hood scoop of the California all into what is a rather cohesively drop-dead gorgeous look.
Ferrari, of course, isn't selling this front-engine machine — likely to cost upward of $300,000 — on looks. It can haul, too. Zero-to-62 mph speeds of 3.1 seconds are about as fast as you can get in any road-ready vehicle. To get that performance, Ferrari tuned its V-12 engine to produce 730 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque — the most powerful Ferrari of all time, as well as the fastest.
The car is about 150 pounds lighter than the outgoing 599 GTB using a combination of a dozen different alloys in the chassis. The hood, sculpted side and elegant rear diffuser all aid in downforce and reduce drag to 0.299 Cd.
Drivers shift gears using two large steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles connected to a dual-clutch transmission patterned on what’s used in Formula One racing. Carbon-ceramic brakes slow everything down.
The fact that this optimum performance comes wrapped in such an elegant package will likely make the F12berlinetta a hot commodity at Ferrari dealers. It will be a 2013 model, but Ferrari representatives couldn’t say when it would be available to order in the U.S. or the cost.
It might not matter. Ferraris live mostly in our dreams, and F12berlinetta fans can start theirs as soon as their heads hit the pillow tonight.