review of Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is off to strong start

ferrari f12 at geneva motor show
Ferrari took deposits on around 360 new F12 Berlinettas ahead of the car's official unveiling at the Geneva motor show, CEO Amedeo Felisa has told Autocar.

Prior to its unveiling the new car was shown during a week-long event of customer previews. Around 450 customers have seen the car so far, with 80% placing orders immediately according to Felisa.

"The interest is strong, & the conversion rate in such a short space of time very encouraging," said Felisa. "The next job is to convince the remaining 20% & show the car to more potential customers."

The F12 Berlinetta is the fastest & most powerful road car in the prancing horse�s illustrious history. The 730bhp 6.3-litre V12-powered Ferrari 599 replacement ushers in a new generation of V12 engines that will include an all-new Enzo by the end of the year.

The F12 Berlinetta can crack 0-100kph in just 3.1sec & 0-200kph in just 8.5sec. Its total torque output is 70.37kgm, 80 per cent of which is available from 2500rpm. The normally aspirated V12 revs all the way 8700rpm.

It was originally thought to be called the Ferrari 620GT, but the official name references classic Ferraris including the 250 GT Berlinetta.

Ferrari also claims the new car has lapped its Fiorano test track in 1m23s, which makes it the fastest Ferrari road car ever to have lapped the circuit. Its maximum speed is claimed to be �over 340kph�.

The engine, which has a specific output of 116bhp/litre in the F12, is based on the same 6262cc 65 degree V12 found in the Ferrari FF. But the F12 produces 80bhp & 0.7kgm torque more than the FF, & its power & torque outputs also eclipse those of the 612bhp, 61.93kgm 6.0-litre V12 found in the 599.

While the power has increased dramatically in the F12 over the 599, fuel consumption & CO2 emissions have decreased at a similar rate. Ferrari has extensively repackaged the rear-drive F12 over the 599 to cope with the extra performance. At 4618mm long, 1942mm wide & 1273mm high, the F12 is 47mm shorter, 20mm narrower & 63mm lower than the 599. The wheelbase is also shorter than the 599�s 2750mm, although Ferrari hasn�t mentioned an exact figure.

ferrari f12 rear at geneva motor show
Most of the changes have occurred at the rear, where the transaxle F1-style dual-clutch gearbox & rear suspension are repackaged to reduce the volume at the rear. The engine, seats & dashboard are also lower, with the centre of gravity lower & further back than in the 599. The F12�s weight distribution is now an �ideal� 46/54 front/rear, compared to 47/53 in the 599.

The F12 uses an all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis & bodyshell, which boasts 12 different kinds of alloys. The result, claims Ferrari, is a 20 per cent greater structural increase over the 599 & a dry weight of 1525kg, some 70kg less than the 599.

A whole host of electronic aids are offered as standard on the F12. It gets Ferrari�s E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac & high-performance ABS systems as standard, alongside the latest evolution Ferrari�s magnetorheological suspension system (SCM-E). Ferrari also claims to have reduced steering angles.

Ferrari claims to have increased rear luggage capacity thanks to making the space behind the two seats accessible from the hinged glass tailgate. The Frau leather interior also gets a lightweight dashboard & lashings of carbonfibre & aluminium trim, with air vents inspired by the aeronautic field.

The F12 will also adopt the �Human Machine Interface� interior control system of the Ferrari 458 & FF, which places almost all major controls on the steering wheel.

Pricing of the F12 has yet to be revealed, however, bookings have commenced at the Geneva show & right-hand drive examples are expected to commence in early 2013.

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