By Andrew Bornhop -- Contributing Editor
A naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 engine with 731 horsepower gives the 2-seat Ferrari F12berlinetta a top speed of 211 mph, which should be enough to satisfy everyone’s performance urges. Sure, cars such as the McLaren 650S and Bugatti Veyron are faster, but Ferrari’s 2-seat flagship isn’t about numbers. It’s a car for people who see the automobile as rolling art, a mechanical sculpture imbued with the spirit of this most famous manufacturer in motor racing.
Looking for an everyday supercar? The 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta is it, aided by a paddle-shift automatic that shifts on its own or can be controlled by paddles. At mild throttle openings, the F12berlinetta is nearly as docile and refined as a Honda Accord. With more gas, you’re waking a ferocious giant.
Ferrari’s F12berlinetta flagship sails unchanged into 2016, still based on the advanced Scaglietti-designed chassis that employs 12 different alloys for exceptional rigidity.
Is the 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta as fast as it looks? Yes. The car hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in a claimed 3.1 seconds, and the top speed is in excess...
... of 211 mph, thanks to the powerful V12 engine that’s mounted aft of the front axle for improved weight distribution. At the track, the F12berlinetta impresses with its immediate response, superb grip and forceful thrust, always accompanied by the thrilling wail of that gloriously mechanical V12. Even though horsepower and torque abound, the F12berlinetta is remarkably composed, owing not just to the car’s excellent fore/aft balance but also its remarkable MagneRide suspension, which always seems to provide the correct shock damping for the given situation.
Seven hundred and thirty one horsepower from 6.3 liters of displacement. We’re not sure how the Ferrari engineers find this power, but we’re glad they do.
Getting seven years of complimentary maintenance for your $300,000-plus Ferrari supercar shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Ferrari owners clearly can afford it. Still, a perk is a perk.
Impressing your passenger is easy in the 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta, thanks to a passenger-side information readout that displays speed, among other things. This is a purposeful 2-seat cockpit, and the abundant leather is complemented by handsome trim in carbon fiber and aluminum. The elegant gear selector has buttons for Forward, Reverse and Launch, and switches typically reserved for stalks are found on the steering wheel itself. Ferrari also offers a selection of seats to fit drivers of varying sizes, so order accordingly.
Pininfarina has worked its magic again, crafting a shape for Ferrari that is at once purposeful and beautiful. The aerodynamic channels on the sides of the 2016 F12berlinetta decrease drag and aid downforce by helping channel air away from the roof. Brake-cooling ducts also contribute to aerodynamic efficiency by opening only when the brakes are at high operating temperatures. As with the interior, there are several ways to personalize the exterior of the 2016 F12berlinetta, most notably with paint and wheel selections.
You should get a lot of car for nearly $330,000. And with the 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta, you get just that. This is a race-ready 2-seat exotic with a delectable V12 engine powering a fantastic chassis with 20-inch wheels and staggeringly powerful carbon-ceramic brakes. And let’s not forget about the plush leather interior with a choice of seat sizes, or an infotainment/navigation system with Bluetooth streaming and a USB connection. Color TFT screens in front of the driver relay important infotainment and performance information to the driver.
You won’t see yourself coming and going in the Ferrari F12berlinetta. Even so, there are boatloads of personalization options for this exotic coupe. These include more than two dozen paint colors (including 10 historic ones), various wheel selections and even custom interior stitching. Other handy options include front and rear parking cameras, electrically adjustable seats, a suspension-lift system and even a custom-fitted luggage set. Although the optional JBL Professional sound system pumps out 1,280 watts through 12 speakers, we’re more enamored of the optional passenger-side display that graphically displays all the thrills you’re experiencing behind the wheel.
Only one engine is available in the 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta: a high-revving 6.3-liter V12 that sends 731 horsepower to the rear wheels via a 7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission with manual controls. Ferrari's 3rd-gen E-Diff 3 electronic differential helps put that power to the pavement, aided by F1 traction control and the MagneRide suspension. While most buyers of the F12berlinetta are not all that worried about EPA fuel economy, the F12berlinetta gets 13 mpg combined, which is slightly more efficient than the previous Ferrari flagship. Nevertheless, the F12 is still subject to a $3,700 gas-guzzler tax.
731 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm
508 lb-ft of torque @ 6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/16 mpg
Factoring in a delivery charge of $3,750 and a gas-guzzler tax of $3,000, the 2016 Ferrari F12berlinetta has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $326,745. Yes, that’s more expensive than many homes, and that’s without many pricey options such as the Rossi Berlinetta paint, which costs $26,656, or the carbon-fiber cup holders that add another $3,533 to the price. But if you’re worried about those sorts of things, the F12berlinetta is probably not for you. Competitors come from a wide spectrum, and they include the Lamborghini Aventador, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, and even the Aston Martin Vanquish. As always, look to the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price tool for pricing guidance on this Ferrari flagship, which should have no problem holding its value.