The new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is the fastest road model ever offered by the Italian supercar builder and that begins with the most powerful V12 engine ever offered in a road car. The new 6.3L engine churns out a stunning 740 horsepower and 509lb-ft of torque with all of that power being funneled to the rear wheels via a new 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. This amazing drivetrain allows the new F12 Berlinetta to rip from 0-62 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds and reaching 104 miles per hour takes the F12 just 8.5 seconds. Showing that it is far more than just a car with great acceleration, Ferrari’s internal testing found that the new F12 can lap their Fiorano test circuit in just 1 minute and 23 seconds – making the new Ferrari the quickest road vehicle to ever around that track.
The performance capabilities of the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta are way more than just a 740 horsepower V12 and that begins with the lightweight construction. Scaglietti designed an ultra light chassis and body with 12 different alloys, using both new materials and new assembly techniques to bring about a curb weight of just 3,362 pounds. That is 154 pounds lighter than the Ferrari 599 while also offering a 20% increase in chassis rigidity.
In addition to being lighter than its predecessor, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta has an engine and drivers compartment that are set lower in the vehicle which allows for a lower center of gravity thus improved handling. The wheelbase is shorter than the 599 and with the design of the drivetrain, the F12 Berlinetta offers what the company calls an ideal 54% weight ratio over the rear end.
The lightweight body of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta also offers incredible aerodynamic properties, with a coefficient of drag of just 0.299 while the physical design offers 76% more downforce at high speed for improved stability over the previous Ferrari 599. The sleek greenhouse is set back on the chassis with a long bonnet that works to channel air out over the sides of the car where it merges with the “wake” of air from the wheel wells to decrease drag – a system the Italian automaker calls the Aero Bridge. The F12 also features a unique active brake cooling system that uses a system of shutters on the front fascia to cool the brake system when the vehicle detects that the braking components are getting too hot. When the brakes are not running hot, these shutters (located on the lower, outside corners of the front fascia) close to improve aerodynamics.
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta will make its formal public debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show but in the meantime, feast your eyes on the gallery on the right – offering the first official pictures of the fastest Ferrari ever built for road use.