Review: Ferrari F12berlinetta
In a hushed corporate dining room not far from the foundry where his company’s engines are born, Ferrari S.p.A. chairman Luca di Montezemolo distills the essence of his latest flagship, the F12berlinetta. The dapper Italian conjures the requisite analogy to the female form while expounding how the front engine two-seater complements the current Ferrari lineup. But his conclusion says it all: “I wanted this to be the highest performance Ferrari ever made.”
Maranello’s storied manufacturer is responsible for extreme designs that inspire wild superlatives, yet even in this landscape, the F12 is a bit of a curiosity. The numbers are breathtaking: 730 horsepower from a naturally aspirated, 6.3-liter V12 driving the rear wheels through a 7-speed transaxle. But the look is not: more Speed Racer than textbook supercar, this cab rearward sled is highlighted by a hood-mounted heat extractor flanked by two “aero bridges” whose negative space divert airflow to deep, upwardly swept grooves along the door panels. The appearance isn’t as otherworldly as the insectoid Enzo, but this aluminum 2-seater is almost two seconds faster around the Fiorano test track than its more unattainably priced, carbon-bodied ancestor.
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