By Matt Degen
The 2013 F12berlinetta is Ferrari's new flagship, and the latest in a long line of 12-cylinder exotic GT models from the Italian automaker. Though rather awkwardly named, there's little else not to be enamored with regarding this strong and svelte 2-seater whose heart pumps out some 740 horsepower. As the successor to the 599 GTB Fiorano, the F12berlinetta is the highest-performing production car Ferrari has ever built. While figures such as a 3.1-second 0-60-mph time and top speed of 211 mph are sure to wow, the new Ferrari F12berlinetta stands apart from Lamborghini and Aston Martin rivals with its modern-yet-classic Pininfarina design and the provenance endowed in the Prancing Horse badge. At $320,000-plus, Ferrari's latest gem is reserved for precious few.
If owning not just a Ferrari, but the flagship Ferrari, is as important to you as the inherent performance of these supercars, then the F12berlinetta is the Italian stallion that will be happy in your stable.
If you're seriously considering a new Ferrari, price is likely irrelevant. If finances are a factor, though, consider that other supercars such as the new Aston Martin Vanquish, Maserati GranTurismo, Audi R8 and the Ferrari California hardtop convertible can be had for less.
The F12berlinetta is all-new and replaces the 599 GTB Fiorano as Ferrari's flagship performance car, at least until the limited-production 2014 LaFerrari arrives.
Driving Impressions It goes without saying that the F12berlinetta is fast. If the mere fact that it's a Ferrari isn't proof enough, the F12berlinetta's 0-60-mph time of 3.1 seconds and top speed...of 211 mph should more than clarify its position. As impressive as these figures are, speed isn't the sole factor in this Ferrari's greatness. Neither are its whopping 740 horsepower or 500-plus lb-ft of torque that are poured into its rear wheels with a force akin to Niagara Falls. Power is one thing, but delivering it with grace is another. The Ferrari F12 succeeds in that finer point. For its tremendous performance capabilities, the Berlinetta is surprisingly easy to drive, even at speeds well beyond those allowed by Johnny Law. Steering is light, grip is gargantuan, and even shifts are stress-free thanks to an F1 automated gearbox that is a far cry from Ferrari's past gated manual transmissions.
It's difficult to grasp just how much power the Berlinetta wields. To put that number in perspective, let's compare: It has 100 more horsepower than an SRT Viper, 175 more than the Aston Martin Vanquish, and 600 more than a Honda Civic. So don't worry about being first onto the freeway.
This isn't as flashy a boast as projectile-like acceleration or a cavalry's worth of horsepower, but one important perk that comes with the F12berlinetta is its seven years of complimentary maintenance.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta's 2-passenger cabin is rather minimalist in nature but exquisitely crafted. Leather is the main material, nicely punctuated by bits of carbon fiber and aluminum alloy. One interesting option is a display on the passenger side of the dash that presents critical information such as the car's speed. The gear selector is elegant. It consists of a bridge that houses buttons for forward, reverse and "launch." The Berlinetta's seats comfortably accommodate individuals up to 6 feet, 4 inches, and a selection of sizes is available to fit different body shapes. The rear cargo bench and hatch area are upholstered and have enough room for a golf bag and several smaller items.Exterior
Sleek, taut, bold and beautiful are all apt descriptors of Ferrari's latest flagship. Designed by longtime collaborator Pininfarina, the F12berlinetta is at once new yet familiar. Among its most prominent features are massive aerodynamic channels on each side that help the F12 streak through the air. Elongated headlights are just the beginning of the Ferrari's wind-swept design, and its rear wraps up succinctly with large, circular LED lights and quad tailpipes that sing out the Berlinetta's exhilarating exhaust note. Like the F12's interior, personalization options abound to make this exotic's exterior unique to each owner.
Plunk down the $320,000 needed to get into a 2013 Berlinetta, and you'll receive the keys to a race-ready exotic with a V12 engine, 20-inch wheels, and high-performance tires and brakes. Also included is a plush leather interior with a selection of seat sizes. The Berlinetta includes an infotainment system that offers navigation, stereo with Bluetooth streaming and USB connection. Infotainment and performance information are displayed directly in front of the driver via TFT screens.
Options are plentiful both outside and within to make the F12berlinetta your own, with choices that include over two dozen paint colors (including 10 historic ones) and interior detailing that extends to your preferred type of stitching. Other offerings include front and rear parking cameras, fully electric seats, Alcantara headliner and seats, and specialty luggage set. Audio lovers will want to consider the JBL Professional sound system that pumps out 1,280 watts through 12 speakers. Also available is the spiffy passenger display that at least relays in numbers the thrills you're experiencing behind the wheel.
At the heart of the F12berlinetta is a 6.3-liter V12 engine. Naturally aspirated, direct-injected and with a redline that soars to 8,700 rpm, this mechanical heart can pleasure even the most indulgent of hedonists. At its peak, the V12 sends 740 horsepower to the rear wheels. Channeling that force is a 7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission with manual control. Other high-tech systems and features abound to put all that power to work, including Ferrari's third-gen E-Diff 3 electronic differential, F1 traction control, and magneto-rheological suspension. The Berlinetta's V12 engine is slightly more efficient than past versions, but at 13 mpg combined it still drinks enough premium-grade fuel to require a $3,700 gas-guzzler tax.
740 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm
509 lb-ft of torque @ 6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/16 mpg
Including its delivery and gas-guzzler fees, the 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta arrives with a price of over $323,000. This is, of course, before options, which alone can add up to the cost of some economy cars. At this price level, the Berlinetta basks in rare 2-door sports-car territory, far beyond the base price of exotics such as the Maserati GranTurismo, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, Audi R8, and even the Aston Martin Vanquish and Bentley Continental. One of the few supercars that still eclipses the F12berlinetta in price is the nearly $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador. Due to the F12's newness and exclusivity, Kelley Blue Book's estimated residual pricing on this Ferrari is still to be determined. This is also the point where we'd usually point you to our Fair Purchase Price tool, but at the Berlinetta's cost, it's fair to think you won't be squabbling over a few thousand dollars.