Ferrari F12berlinetta packs 740 prancing horsepower

The latest V-12 powered supercar out of Maranello, Italy, is also the fastest and most powerful.

Ferrari F12berlinetta
Ferrari

Remember last week, when I casually stated that there was no way that Ferrari's new V-12 halo car would be more powerful than the 720-horsepower 599XX ? Well, I was wrong. The new model's 6.3-liter V-12 spins with the fury of 740 galloping equines. You may also remember that the rumors pointed to the new model being called the F620 GT. Well that was wrong too, because what Ferrari pulled the wraps off of on its Web site this morning has been dubbed the F12berlinetta.

That's right, the 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta, with no space and a lowercase "b"--someone at Ferrari must really hate copy editors. But no one really cares about the name, right? We'll just call it the "F12" for short and move along to the important bit: the speed.

With all of its drive modes set to their most aggressive, the F12 should pass 62mph (100kph) from a dead stop in 3.1 second and hit 124mph (200kph) at about the same time your stopwatch ticks off 8.4 seconds. From there it can go on to a maximum speed of over 211 mph.

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The F12's 12-cylinder engine sits ahead of the driver at the front of the vehicle, sending its 509 pound-feet of torque to a dual-clutch automated transaxle (which uses F1-inspired technology, of course) that sits aft of the cabin and between the rear wheels, through which the power reaches the road. Ferrari doesn't state the number of ratios available on the F12's transaxle, but the safe bet is that this gearbox is based on the seven-speed unit in the Ferrari FF. This configuration gives the F12 a rear-biased 46/54 front-to-rear weight distribution. Overall, the F12 is about 154 pounds lighter than the 599 that it replaces and features a shorter wheelbase and a lower center of gravity. All of these factors should contribute to a nimbler track car--which really should be the point of any vehicle that wears the Prancing Horse badge.

Magnetically controlled suspension bits, carbon ceramic brakes, and one of the most impressive collections of traction control, power management, and stability aid systems this side of a Formula 1 car are all at the driver's command.

Ferrari claims its new toy is 30 percent more efficient than its old V-12 GT car and that it's more aerodynamic with a coefficient of drag of just 0.299--that's about on par with a Toyota Prius . However, Ferrari has also managed to increase downforce by 76 percent over the old model. How'd they do it? It has something to do with a bit of sculpting on the hood called the Aero Bridge that generates downforce while guiding flowing air around the vehicle to also reduce drag. There's also active shutter technology on the brake cooling vent, which only opens the brake ducts when the brakes are operating at high temperature to reduce drag while cruising.

Ferrari collaborated with legendary coachbuilder Pininfarina on the exterior styling and aerodynamics. Meanwhile, the inside benefits from new Frau leather trim, carbon fiber and metal accents, and--get this--increased luggage space and a larger tailgate opening. Yes, even on its most powerful and fastest car yet, Ferrari is thinking about my luggage.

Expect more details to emerge as the 2012 Geneva auto show approaches, including the curiously missing price tag. Until then, click through to our gallery for more photos.

 

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