Ferrari’s all-new 599 replacement has been confirmed as the F12berlinetta, with no space and irritating lower case ‘b’ as the apparent official spelling. So not the F620 GT, as had been widely reported. Us included!
599 replacement weighs 70kg less
A classic front/mid-engined V12 coupe, the F12berlinetta is, it’s claimed, the fastest Ferrari ever built thanks to a mighty 740hp version of the FF’s 6.2-litre V12. A dry weight of 1,525kg equates to a saving of 70kg over the standard 599 GTB, the F12berlinetta able to lap Ferrari's Fiorano test track in just 1min 23sec, faster than any other Ferrari road car and a whole second quicker than the 599 GTO. Self aggrandising box ticked there, then.
80hp up on the FF, the V12’s tickling has only unleashed a marginal torque gain over the FF, with the real drama coming higher in the rev range. A chunky 80 per cent of peak torque of 509lb ft is there from just 2,500rpm, but peak horsepower demands holding off the right gearshift paddle until the rev counter reads 8,500rpm, the redline line not cutting in for another 200rpm. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a power band…
TR7 influence in the wing scallops there?
This equates to some suitably astonishing performance stats, including 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds and 0-125mph in just 8.5 seconds. Top speed is coyly referred to as ‘over 340km/h’ (341km/h perhaps?) which, in old money, is far enough over 200mph to join that particular club but still 10mph short of the 220mph achieved by the Aston Martin One-77. As much as these things matter.
The One-77 is, at face value, the F12berlinetta’s most obvious rival, not least for the comparable performance stats, weight and, indeed, physical proportions. Aluminium rather than carbon like the One-77, the F12 won’t be as rare or expensive as the Aston but will very much be the flagship of the Ferrari range when it goes on sale.
Active brake ducts among aero features
And the bare weight savings over the 599 are just the start of it – it’s where that mass lies in the chassis that matters. The adoption of the twin-clutch transaxle gearbox brings the F12 into line with the rest of the Ferrari range, this and new rear suspension reducing the size of the rear axle assembly. The wheelbase is shorter and the engine, seats and dash mounted lower in the chassis, lowering and shifting the centre of gravity rearwards for a 46:54 front-rear weight distribution. Stiffness is up by 20 per cent over the 599 and downforce increased by a staggering 76 per cent, equating to 123kg at 125mph. Drag reduction has also been a big focus, active brake ducts that only open when needed among the new features.
So no integration of hybrid tech as previewed in the 599 HY-KERs concept then? Not yet it would seem, Ferrari happy to boast of an improvement in fuel consumption of nearly a third and CO2 emissions of ‘just’ 350g/km. Like the target audience will be bothered.
And what of the looks? Eye of the beholder stuff and, no doubt, a topic of hot debate even before the covers are officially pulled aside at Geneva next week.