Ferrari F12 Berlinetta revealed

6 Mar, 2012 1:00pm Sam Hardy

New 2012 599 replacement is the most powerful Ferrari road car ever with 730bhp

This is the new 2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta – the most powerful road car ever to wear the famous prancing horse badge, thanks to a 730bhp 6.3-litre V12 engine. 

That figure eclipses even the 700bhp Lamborghini Aventador – but the replacement for the 599 GTB Fiorano is not just about headline power. It's also lighter, smaller and more aerodynamically efficient than its predecessor. 

Video: Watch our video of the new F12 Berlinetta

Making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the front-engined, rear-drive two-seater has a striking aluminium body that mixes cues from the current 599 with a grille and headlight combination inspired by the FF. 

It's more compact than its predecessor, though, at 4.62m long. That means it is 47mm shorter than before as well as being 20mm narrower and 63mm lower. Thanks to an all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis, it also weighs 70kg less, tipping the scales at just 1,525kg in dry trim. 

Expertise gained from Formula One and the 599 XX has been applied to the body too. The sweep you can see running from the top of the wing is not just for show. Called the Aero Bridge, it channels air away from the bonnet to reduce drag. In addition, the F12's Active Brake Cooling system uses flaps in the front wing edges which open up speed to cool the carbon-ceramic brake discs. 

Look at the top of the rear wing and you can just about make out a vent. Although it hasn't been confirmed, it is thought that a fan is located in the rear wing, which draws air through the vent to the rear, creating an F1-style blown diffuser. 

All these tweaks reduce the aero Cd drag coefficient to just 0.299 while the shape actually produces real downforce – 123kg at 124mph, up 76 per cent on the 599 GTB.

Together with a lower overall weight and extra power, the F12 Berlinetta is enormously fast. As well as producing 730bhp at 8,500rpm – up 118bhp on the 599 GTB – it has 690Nm of torque, an increase of 83Nm. 

Hooked up to a development of the seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox in the FF and California, with shortened ratios, the F12 Berlinetta does 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds (0.6 seconds faster) with a top speed of 211mph (up 6mph). It can also accelerate from 0-124mph in just 8.5 seconds. 

With lower weight, better aerodynamics and stop-start, it's also more efficient than the old 599 GTB, claiming 18.8mpg, up from 15.8mpg, with CO2 emissions of 350g/km, down from 415g/km. 

Standard equipment includes the latest evolution of Ferrari's magnetic damping system, along with an electronic differential. As a result of the lighter weight and increased power, Ferrari says the F12 Berlinetta can lap the Fiorano circuit in just 1min 23 seconds, making it faster than any other Ferrari road car. 

The cabin is inspired by the FF. Ferrari says it incorporates all-new Frau leather, and new carbon fibre and aluminium air vents. Most of the car's controls are located on the steering wheel. It should be reasonably practical too with a hatchback tailgate and space behind the rear seats for luggage.  

The F12 Berlinetta is available to order at the Geneva Motor Show.