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2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta

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2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta Expert Review

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If the 731-horsepower naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 engine under the hood of the 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta doesn't satisfy your performance needs, we can only assume you're used to flying fighter jets. There are faster cars, and quicker cars, but that's not the point. The 2-seat Ferrari F12berlinetta flagship isn’t about numbers. It's about owning and driving a car that's for people who see the automobile as rolling art, a mechanical sculpture imbued with the spirit of this most famous manufacturer in motor racing. Competition? Sure, there are alternatives with similar price tags and performance from McLaren and Lamborghini, but none with the F12berlinetta's classic front-engine/rear-drive layout. And while less expensive cars can match its performance, well, they aren't Ferraris now, are they?

You'll Like This Car If...

Despite its exotic nature, the Ferrari F12berlinetta is a perfectly livable daily driver. Whether you use the paddle shifters or let the automatic transmission make the decisions, this Ferrari is nearly as docile as a Honda Accord with mild throttle inputs. With more gas, you’re waking a ferocious giant.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There's a wait list, but beyond that, the F12berlinetta can cost more than twice the average price of a home in the U.S. If that's a concern, but you still want to go Italian, the Maserati GranTurismo and Ferrari’s own California T hardtop convertible are possible alternatives.

How It Ranks
What's New for 2017

There are no changes for the 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta, with Ferrari clearly adhering to the age-old wisdom of "se non è rotto non correggerlo," that is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Driving the F12berlinetta
Driving Impressions

Is the 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta as fast as it looks? No...it's faster. You'll hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in a claimed 3.1 seconds, and the F12 keeps pulling until it...

... maxes out at 211 mph. It's all thanks to that massively powerful V12 engine. Mounted behind the front axle to improve weight distribution, the F12berlinetta impresses at the track as well with its immediate response and superb grip. That forceful thrust is always accompanied by the thrilling wail of that gloriously mechanical V12. Yet, away from the track, the F12berlinetta remains remarkably composed. It's a credit to the car's excellent fore-aft weight balance, but also the adjustable MagneRide suspension, and its uncanny ability to provide the correct shock damping for the given situation.

731 HORSEPOWER
The 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta's 6.3-liter V12 engine puts out 731 horsepower, all without the aid of turbochargers or superchargers. We’re not sure how the Ferrari engineers find this power, but we're not ruling out black magic.

COMPLIMENTARY MAINTENANCE
Owning an exotic like a Ferrari is a lot like owning an airplane: The more it runs, the more maintenance it needs. And, being a Ferrari, that maintenance isn't cheap. If you're rich enough to afford a Ferrari, surely you can handle maintenance, but still, this is a nice perk.

2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta Details
Interior

Ferrari believes your passenger should enjoy the F12berlinetta experience as much as the driver, so it has included a passenger-side information readout that displays speed, among other things. It's a cool quirk in a purposeful 2-seat cockpit. Handsome trim in carbon fiber and aluminum complements the abundant leather. The elegant gear selector uses buttons for Forward, Reverse and Launch, and the kinds of switches you'd usually find on stalks -- headlights, windshield wipers, etc. -- are on the steering wheel itself. Ferrari also offers a selection of seats to fit drivers of varying sizes, so order accordingly.

Exterior
2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta photo

The Pininfarina styling of the Ferrari F12berlinetta is pure art and borders on magical. The shape is purposeful and beautiful, with aerodynamic channels on the sides of the F12berlinetta decreasing drag and aiding downforce by channeling air away from the roof. Brake-cooling ducts also contribute to aerodynamic efficiency, opening only when the brakes are at high operating temperatures. As with the interior, there are several ways to personalize the exterior of the 2017 F12berlinetta, most notably with paint and wheel selections.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta costs about $325,000, enough for a nice house, so you should expect a lot for your money. And you get it. This is a race-ready 2-seat exotic, its delectable V12 engine powering a fantastic chassis with 20-inch wheels and staggeringly powerful carbon-ceramic brakes. Then there's the plush leather interior with custom-sized seats, an infotainment and navigation system, which, of course, features Bluetooth streaming and a USB connection. In front of the driver are color screens instead of gauges, conveying all the important infotainment and performance information the driver could want.

Optional Equipment

It's not as though you'll see yourself coming and going in an F12berlinetta, but Ferrari offers plenty of ways to make it uniquely yours. There are more than two dozen paint colors (including 10 historic ones), various wheel selections and custom interior stitching. There are front and rear parking cameras -- get these -- electrically adjustable seats, a suspension-lift system to help clear speed bumps, and even a custom-fitted luggage set. The JBL Professional sound system pumps out 1,280 watts through 12 speakers, but our favorite option is the display that tells your passenger all the thrills you’re experiencing behind the wheel.

Under the Hood

The only engine available in the 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta is an engineering masterpiece: 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. It benefits from Ferrari's 3rd-gen E-Diff 3 electronic differential, which helps put that power to the pavement, all aided by F1 traction control and the MagneRide suspension. Fuel economy is unlikely to be a concern with the F12berlinetta's target audience, but nonetheless the 13-mpg combined score is actually slightly better than its predecessor. Still, it's not good enough to avoid a $3,700 gas-guzzler tax.

6.3-liter V12
731 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm
508 lb-ft of torque @ 6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/16 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

When you include the $3,000 gas-guzzler tax, and the destination fee of $3,750, the total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta comes to about $327,000. You can buy new helicopters for less than that, or houses, boats, gigantic motor homes...you get the picture. And that's all without options like the $26,700 Rossi Berlinetta paint, or the $3,500 carbon-fiber cup holders. Then again, as the saying goes, if you have to ask, right? Competitors include cars like the Lamborghini Aventador, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, and even the Aston Martin Vanquish, but in many ways the 2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta is unique. 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.

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