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Ferrari Turns History into the Future. "12Cilindri"



I was a pretty weird teenager in many ways, but one weirdness is relevant to this story. My bedroom wall had pictures of cars. Even then, some weird cars as well - think of the Facel Vega from France and the Gordon-Keeble, which was conceived in my Buckinghamshire neighbourhood.

 

Ford’s Thunderbird got a guernsey, up until the 1968 version with the fighter-jet front grille that threatened to swallow pedestrians. Every model after that lapsed into ordinariness. The E-type of course (the 2-seat 3.8-litre, not the 2+2 4.2-litre, and decidedly not the V12), but even that slid down the wall when I found out that there was actually an American car that was faster.

 

The beautiful Lotus Elan S2 was a feature for a while, but unlike other car-mad boys, Lambo’s Countach never got a look in. It was too much like a spaceship for me.

 

But top of the tree – permanently, much to the annoyance of my dad when he found out it had been glued - was the 1968 Ferrari 364 GTB – "The Daytona." I drooled over that car for hours and days, doodling versions of it in my schoolbook margins during lessons, especially Latin.

 

So now I have a new auto headline for the bedroom wall, but now only in my imagination (wife will not allow car posters in the house).

 

The Ferrari 12Cilindri, Maranello’s new two-seater Berlinetta powered by a mid-front-mounted, naturally-aspirated V12. Globally launched last month in Miami Florida, the car has just been announced in Australia, although RHD versions will not leap off the production line until 2025. No electric motor, no battery storage, no turbos. Just 12 cylinders in the classic Ferrari 65-degree V format, delivering 830 horsepower at a remarkable 9,500rpm.


Ferrari execs told me in a video conference last week that the car is not a rebirth of the Daytona, but rather a futuristic expression of the classic 2-seat V12 GT. In their words, “simple yet harmonious lines” - that's straight from the prancing horse's mouth. Ok. So why does it look like a contemporary expression of my favourite but bygone pinup? Because it worked then, and it works now.



Those lines follow the aerodynamic theme of the 296 GTB, which delivers powerful ground-hugging aerodynamics without the visual intrusion of acres of wings bolted onto the rear. Instead, the 12Cilindri has two integrated active aerodynamic flaps built into the trailing edge of the car, only deployed between 60 and 300km/h.


The power curve shows 80% of total torque is already available at just 2500 rpm, resulting in instantaneous pick-up for maximum accelerator response and a feeling of never-ending urge.


A glass roof, prestigious interior materials and a central display in addition to one for the driver and a third ahead of the passenger make the cockpit of Ferrari’s latest a place to play in before you even start it up.

 

The F140HD engine features modified components and software, some of which were already adopted on the special series 812 Competizione, ensuring it tops its category in terms of performance. To allow the V12 to rev so high, the engineers worked to reduce the weight and inertia of the engine’s components, adopting titanium con rods, which guarantee a saving of 40% in rotating mass compared to steel with the same mechanical resistance. A different aluminium alloy was used for the pistons, making them lighter than on previous applications. Further weight reduction was gained by the adoption of a rebalanced crankshaft which is 3% lighter.

 

FOR THE TECH BUFFS - F1 experience is reflected in sliding finger followers with a Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) coating, reducing mass and enabling more high-performance valve profiles. The manifold and the plenum layout is now very compact: shortening the length of the tracts and optimising the cam profiles allows power to be unleashed at high revs, while the torque curve is optimised at all engine speeds by a system of variable geometry inlet tracts which enables the length of the intake tract to be continuously varied to maximise the dynamic charge in the cylinder.


Software strategy modifies the maximum torque available depending on the gear selected. This gives the driver the feeling of smooth, progressive pick-up as the transmission ratio increases, another vital factor in delivering the driving exhilaration expected.

 

How about the sound? It's a Ferrari, so sound is pivotal to marrying the comfort, luxury and exhilarating driving emotions typical of a Ferrari V12. Equal-length exhaust tracts, the 6-in-1 manifold for every cylinder bank and the innovative design of the central sections delivers Ferrari’s typical V12 howl all the way to the limiter.

 

There’s the same F1 derived 8-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) that received accolades on other cars in the range, starting with the SF90 Stradale. Thanks in part to larger tyres on 21” rims, this solution delivers 5% shorter gear ratios in the lower gears and a 12% increase in torque at the wheels compared to previous V12 applications, all to the benefit of longitudinal performance under acceleration and gear shifting times (30% faster than the previous V12 Berlinetta applications).

 

Flavio Manzoni and the Ferrari Styling Centre design team opted for sustainable materials such as Alcantara© containing 65% recycled polyester in the interior style, taking its inspiration from the Prancing Horse’s dual-cockpit architecture. In recent years, that layout was used for the Ferrari Roma and Roma Spider as well as the Ferrari Purosangue.


The Ferrari 12Cilindri’s cabin has an almost symmetrical structure comprising two modules for driver and passenger and suggests a broad level of comfort and involvement in the driving experience.

The dashboard upper section features two distinct binnacles dedicated to the driver and passenger instrumentation and to the climate control vents.

All of the main functions can be controlled from the central 10.25” touchscreen capacitive display within reach of both driver and passenger. This is flanked by a 15.6” driver display showing all of the driving and vehicle dynamics information. Lastly the passenger is always completely involved in the driving experience thanks to an 8.8” display that ensures they feel like a genuine co-driver.


The car sports the capacitive steering wheel seen on all of the latest models in the range featuring the indented "haptic" buttons that Ferrari claims are for ease of use. They've been improved over the 296 we are assured - that car's buttons sometimes refused to respond, and of course, it was always in the most unfortunate situation.


Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®-based mobile connectivity systems are standard, both easily controlled from the new central display. A wireless charging mat on the central tunnel is included.



Low Drag and High Downforce are not easily achieved, yet both are essential for the performance profile of this GTB. In between 60 and 300 km/h downforce plays a central role and the spoiler flap’s movement depends on the car’s longitudinal and lateral acceleration. In high downforce configuration, the Ferrari 12Cilindri generates maximum downforce and guarantees that the car is aerodynamically balanced. Tip - don't try explaining to the plod that you were only heading for 300km/h so you could get the rear wing flaps to retract. Save all that for the track.


As was the case with the 812 Competizione, downforce on the front underbody is generated by three pairs of vortex generators optimised in the wind tunnel. The front underbody also contributes to brake cooling by delivering a flow of lower-temperature air from the front splitter.

 

COOLING SYSTEM

The large engine and compacted engine bay demanded a redesign of the car’s entire cooling system which resulted in front underbody being optimised, with no fewer than seven openings in the front bumper. This car is hungry for air.


In particular, the space between the longitudinal elements of the chassis houses the engine coolant radiator and air-con circuit condenser, which are fed by the central opening, while the oil radiator has been split into two separate elements, lying ahead of the front wheels.

 

VEHICLE DYNAMICS AND CHASSIS

As far as front-engined Berlinetta dynamic controls are concerned, brake-by-wire allowed the latest innovations from the range to be adopted, including ABS Evo that debuted on the 296 GTB and the 6D sensor that guarantees optimal precision to the Virtual Short Wheelbase (PCV) 3.0 and Side Slip Control (SSC) 8.0 systems, together with reduced braking distances and a more accurate repeatability of braking.

 

The car features the four-wheel independent steering (4WS) that debuted on the special series 812 Competizione, which manages the movement of every wheel independently to improve yaw management in cornering and responsiveness during rapid direction changes. The rear-wheel steering has innovative mechanical characteristics that significantly improve precision of control of the position of each single actuator, giving faster axle response time and consequently improved responsiveness through corners. The car’s responsivenessear benefits from near ideal weight distribution – 48.4% front and 51.6% rear - and the 20-mm reduction in the wheelbase compared to the 812 Superfast.


The greenhouse topping the new chassis boosts NVH and safety performance in addition to clean load lines which allowed stiffness to be improved without increasing weight compared to previous Ferrari V12s. The result is an increase of 15% in torsional rigidity compared to the 812 Superfast which ensures more predictable dynamic behaviour, with consequent benefits for suspension precision.


Ferrari’s increasing focus on client service underpins the extended seven-year maintenance programme offered with Ferrari 12Cilindri, covering all regular maintenance for the first seven years of the car’s life. This scheduled maintenance allows owners the certainty that their car is being kept at peak performance and safety over the years. It’s also available to owners buying pre-owned Ferraris.

Regular maintenance (at intervals of either 20,000 km or once a year with no mileage restrictions), original spares and checks by staff trained directly at the Ferrari Training Centre in Maranello using digital diagnostic tools are features of the programme. The service is available on all markets worldwide and from all Dealerships in the Official Dealership network.


Forecast retail price will be on the rich side of $800,000 and that's before "personalisation" - options for other car manufacturers. Ferrari tells me that all new Ferraris have a solid level of personalisation, and a figure between $150,000 and $300,000 is expected on top of the sticker price.


That means a wait of around 18 months from order time, but you have to be an acceptable buyer before you even get to view an order form. In reality, there'll be no first-time Ferrari buyers for this super-coupe.


How about the environmental impact? Well. you have to admit - it makes the place look better . . .

 

FERRARI 12CILINDRI – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

POWERTRAIN

Type V12 – 65° – Dry sump

Overall displacement 6496 cm3

Bore and stroke 94 mm x 78 mm

Max. power output* 830 cv @ 9250 rpm

Max. torque 678 Nm @ 7250 rpm

Max. revs 9500 rpm

Compression ratio 13.5:1

Specific power output 128 cv/l

 

WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS

Length 4733 mm

Width 2176 mm

Height 1292 mm

Wheelbase 2700 mm

Front track 1686 mm

Rear track 1645 mm

Dry weight** 1560 kg

Dry weight-power ratio 1.88 kg/cv

Weight distribution 48.4% front / 51.6% rear

Fuel tank capacity 92 litres

Boot size 270 litres

TYRES AND WHEELS

Front 275/35 R21 J10.0

Rear 315/35 R21 J11.5

BRAKES

Front 398 x 223 x 38 mm

Rear 360 x 233 x 32 mm

TRANSMISSION AND GEARBOX

8-speed DCT

ELECTRONIC CONTROLS

SSC 8.0: TC, eDiff, SCM, PCV 3.0, FDE 2.0, EPS, ABS Evo in all Manettino positions, 6D sensor,

performance ABS/ABD

PERFORMANCE

Max. speed > 340 km/h

0-100 km/h 2.9 s

0-200 km/h <7.9 s

100-0 km/h 31.4 m

200-0 km/h 122.0 m

 

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