When the Ferrari F12 has announced it was more than obvious that this was the long-awaited replacement for the Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano.
With a price tag of 240,000 Euro, the Ferrari F12 was produced with the goal of everyday practicality with uncompromised performance and breathtaking looks. The decision to engineer the Ferrari F12 also shows that Ferrari can be sentimental when it comes to their decades-old traditions despite their reputation as the leader in technological wonders. In other words, the Ferrari F12 was supposed to be a Gran Turismo or a Grand Tourer.
The Ferrari F12 was supposed to be able to rival the dynamics of a mid-engine V8 supercar like the Ferrari 458 Italia, but considering that at least 20% of the Ferrari F12 owners will use them on an everyday basis, this goal wasn’t looking like such a bright idea.
Unlike the good old days, now Ferrari was bound with constraints such as the CO2 emissions, so they have to make the power match the legislations. Since this is a GT car, they had to come up with a better-accommodated interior suitable for long-distance traveling. According to the lead technical officer of the Ferrari F12 project, they tried to transform the Ferrari 599 GTO chassis to accommodate the new V12 and enough cabin space, but they couldn’t.
So, what they did was, the spent time developing an all-aluminum space frame and body. The entire space frame chassis and the body are made out of castings, stamping, extrusions; no fewer than 12 separate aluminum alloys, welded, bolted, riveted, and glued. This was a controversial decision as all the supercars of its time were constructed using carbon-fiber and resins to save weight.
Despite the decision to use aluminum, the clever manufacturing techniques resulted in reduced weight. The Ferrari F12’s body was 56 kg lighter than the Ferrari 599’s body. Franco Cimatti was the structural technical director attached to the project.
The engine and transmission development were also taken extra seriously as this was the first front-engine v12 Ferrari in a long time. The bulky startup catalysts are now gone, and the chassis strength meant that there was no need for a torque tube, which resulted in a much narrower transmission tunnel. This meant that the engine could sit lower and further back, so the scuttle was now lower, and the seats were lowered and placed further forward. At the rear section of the car, the seven-speed twin-clutch transmission transaxle and a smaller fuel tank were installed nearer the rear firewall, resulting in an improved lower center of gravity and better weight distribution as the major masses sit near the center of the car.
The weight distribution of the car is now improved to a ratio of 46:56 front: rear.
When compared to the Ferrari 599, the Ferrari F12, at 181.8-inch long, 1.8-inch shorter, at 76.46-inch wide, is 0.78-inch narrower, at the 107-inch wheelbase, it is 1.18-inch shorter. These lower dimensions and clever engineering and production techniques resulted in 154lb lighter curb weight at 3593lb.
Ferrari F12 was designed by Pininfarina design house as usual, and the body was built by Ferrari in its Scaglietti plant.
Aerodynamics was revised by Dr.Wunibald Kamm, to feature a ducktail rear spoiler which wasn’t featured in the original design. This rear spoiler was clearly based on F1-derived active aerodynamic techniques.
The front brakes are cooled via grille ducts, which open when the temperature of the rotors is higher to cool them down. These ducts remain closed at all other times to improve aerodynamic drag efficiency.
The front wings of the car feature air bridges at the back to channel air off the hood of the car and onto the sides of the car to improve downforce, which results in better grip and handling. However, this design element is rumored to be the brainchild of chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who suggested that they need a little something to make it more distinctive, and the project manager consulted the aerodynamic engineers rather than going to the design department to revise the front end. Some say that Pininfarina actually proposed the idea which turned out to be helpful in wind tunnel testing.
Ferrari F12 encapsulates the classic chic aura design elements and body proportions of the classic Ferrari GT cars, especially when looking at it from the rear and the sides.
The engine of the Ferrari F12 was loosely based on the Ferrari Enzo’s engine and closely related to the engine of Ferrari FF. This 65 degree 6.3-liter short-stroke V12 with twin overhead cams per bank and four valves per cylinder inside a pent-roof combustion chamber. This engine was then mated with a central spark plug and direct fuel injection at higher pressures up to 2900psi. It also uses ionization knock and misfire detection to measure the conductivity of the combustion flame using a low voltage fed through the spark plug.
In This closed deck, the dry-sump block has sealed crankcase chambers for each opposite pair of pistons, and this results in reduced pumping losses and windage. Steel reed valves in each chamber provide ventilation and oil is scavenged via four pumps with a variable geometry main oil pump to reduce parasitic losses.
The combustion ratio is 13.5:1, which is maintained with close control of combustion and multi-spark ignition, which generates three sparks of different duration and intensity in quick succession.
The transmission unit chosen for this car was a seven-speed twin-clutch semi-automatic transaxle to deliver the power to the rear wheels of the car.
The maximum power output is now 730 horsepower at 8250rpm, and maximum torque is now measured at 509 lb-ft at 6000rpm. The rev-limiter was now 8700rpm.
The curb weight of the car was measured at 1630 kg.
The top speed is now 211mph, and 0-62mph was achieved in 3.1 seconds with the help of the launch control system.
To protect the moving mechanical components, there were minute crankshaft counterweights, graphite-coated pistons, diamond-like coatings on the valve tappets, and micro-polished camshafts. Elongated plenum chambers on the top of the engine further protect the internal components from outside elements.
Despite these breathtaking performance figures and volcanic power and torque outputs, the Ferrari F12 came with a claim that it would do 18.8mpg.
Due to the laid-back GT style looks, and spacious cabin, there’s no valid reason to justify the availability of 730 horsepower for the road and this volcanic power delivery dominates the driving experience, making it feel more masculine than it really has to be. Even at a lower rev range, it delivers reasonable enough power to cruise at considerable speed.
The twin-clutch paddle gearbox was heavily praised for its silky-smooth gear shifts, and its improved downshift and up-shift speeds.
The steering was a rack and pinion unit with hydraulic assistance and comes with a faster ratio than the Ferrari 599, and it’s certainly linear in response, and it’s fast to respond.
The steering-wheel houses the manettino, which provides four main settings. The Wet, Sport, Race, and a professional racing driver-oriented switch off everything mode. These modes dial the damping and electronic stability and traction control modes accordingly between the modes.
The suspension in the front was of double wishbones, coil springs, SCM-E magnetorheological dampers, and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension consists of double wishbones with a five-link location, coil springs, SCM-E magnetorheological dampers.
Carbon-ceramic brakes were provided all around for better handling and stopping power.
The cabin features extensive carbon fiber trim and following the tradition of modern-day Ferrari supercars, every instrument is driver-focused and comes with pure priorities. The seating position and the seat are designed to make them more suitable for everyday use. The steering wheel is also designed to be elegant and practical. The massive yellow-faced rev counter also gives the driver a feeling that they are behind the wheels of a Ferrari. The cabin space was 320 liters according to Ferrari and can be extended up to 500 liters if the rear seats were folded into the rear parcel shelf. There’s also a ski hole to deposit skies in the car.
What Ferrari wanted to offer was the daily driving practicality, spacious cabin, comfort, uncompromised speed, and handling, and they were able to design the Ferrari F12 to feature all those qualities. Whether it is supposed to be used as a daily driven car to take the owner to the nearest golf club or for shopping as a decent sports car, or to be used on the track as a raw unrefined performance car, it could get both jobs done without any limitation. Ferrari F12 was undoubtedly a game-changer and ended up as a sales success and by every means a true red-blooded Ferrari.
Ferrari F12 was unveiled in 2013 with a price tag of almost 240,000 euros.