The latest release from Ferrariâs stable in Maranello, the F12berlinetta, already is garnering awards
from various auto publications around the worldâBBC Top Gear Magazine recently crowned the new
Prancing Horse model the 2012 supercar of the year. With that honor, the F12berlinetta becomes the third
Ferrari model to earn the publicationâs award (the F430 claimed the honor in 2005, while the 458 Italia
earned the distinction in 2009).
The F12berlinetta made its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in March
and was heralded as the first of a new generation of Ferrari V12s. To improve aerodynamics, Ferrari
shortened the wheelbase and lowered the engine, dashboard, and seats in the chassis. A new layout for
the rear suspension and gearbox also enabled the team of Italian engineers to reduce the rear volume
of the car. And when it came to the carâs construction, Scaglietti relied on a combination of a dozen
alloys, which produced a 20-percent increase in structural rigidity and reduced the total weight by 70
kgs compared to the previous V12 coupe. But power output is where the new, front-engine F12berlinetta
truly distinguishes itself. The naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder powerplant churns out an impressive 730
horsepower and delivers a 2.1 kg/CV weight-to-power ratio.
All of those factors combine to produce a car that Ferrari has declared to be the fastest that itâs
ever built, though it seems unlikely that any driver exercising the car on open roads would be capable
of discerning such an upgrade in performance. The F12berlinetta can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 3.1
seconds and reaches a top speed in excess of 211 mph, whereas the 458 Italia completes that same sprint
in less than 3.4 seconds and peaks at slightly more than 202 mph. The difference may be obvious on
paper; but asking a driver to notice an engineering achievement of .3 seconds in improved acceleration
once the throttle is engaged is the equivalent of asking them to identify the eye color of a pedestrian that
they just passed while traveling 60 mph.
Aesthetically, the F12berlinetta boasts sleek and aggressive lines that subtly reflect Berlinettas
of decades past; however, the latest V12âs styling isnât far-removed from that of the marqueâs recent 599
series. Those seeking a Ferrari with unmistakable curb appeal like that of the Enzo will be disappointed;
but for early adopters, the F12berlinetta represents the latest engineering achievements of an auto marque
that continues to raise bar. Deliveries begin during the first quarter of 2013.
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