Ferrari F12 Berlinetta coupe (2012-2017)
"Beautiful, thrilling and yet surprisingly practical, the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is a true event."
- Powerful engine
- Stunning design
- Smooth gearbox
- Crazy price
- Fiddly stereo controls
- High fuel consumption
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta replaces the 599 GTB in Ferrari's line-up. It's a more practical model than the 458 Italia supercar, with a V12 engine in the front and a reasonably sized boot in the back – although there's only space for two occupants. The engine is a 6.3-litre V12 that produces an incredible 730bhp, which makes this the fastest and most powerful Ferrari road car ever made. The bodywork – designed by Pininfarina – is beautiful from every angle and also aerodynamically efficient, so this car uses 30% less fuel than its predecessor.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Running a Ferrari is a huge financial commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Repair bills can be astronomical, as can the cost of wear-and-tear items such as brakes and tyres. Fuel economy has improved by 30% compared to the 599, but 18.8mpg will still hit your wallet hard. However, Ferrari now offers a free seven-year servicing deal that covers all scheduled maintenance for the car, regardless of mileage, which should help lighten the load.
Engines, drive & performance
Driving a Ferrari is always an event, and the F12 lives up to the hype. The 6.3-litre engine is tuned to to encourage you to change gear later and let the engine rev. Do that, and the noise is sensational. Ferrari has altered the steering so the F12 reacts immediately to even the smallest movement, and, because the centre of gravity has been lowered significantly, it feels more responsive than the 599 and is more stable at high speed. The acceleration is phenomenal, but what sets the F12 apart is that it makes all that power useable, so it’s surprisingly easy to drive. A 458 Italia is marginally more exciting to drive, but the F12 is ultimately faster.
Interior & comfort
The F12 has the most difficult job of any Ferrari – it needs to be thrilling but also comfortable when you take it on a long-distance drive. The deeply sculpted leather sports seats are firm and set extremely low, but remain comfortable and provide a perfect driving position. Leave the twin-clutch automatic gearbox in auto mode and the engine hums away quietly, while there’s relatively little road or wind noise. The suspension feels firm over uneven surfaces, but a ‘bumpy road’ setting makes it perfectly bearable for everyday driving.
Practicality & boot space
Compared to the 599 GTB, the F12 is 20mm narrower, 50mm shorter and has a 30mm shorter wheelbase. Even so, it has an identical amount of space inside, so it feels spacious for the driver and passenger. There’s a good-sized 350-litre boot, too, which can be expanded to 500 litres (roughly the same as a VW Golf estate) if you remove a rear divider. Smaller dimensions and extensive use of aluminium means the F12 weighs 70kg less than its predecessor, and it's much easier to drive on public roads. The 90-litre fuel tank will cost you around £125 to fill, but that’s enough to take you over 370 miles between fill-ups.
Reliability & safety
Unlike older models, which could be surprisingly fragile, modern Ferraris are beautifully made and reliable if well looked after. No recalls or major mechanical issues have been reported to date and the dual-clutch gearbox, which features in other models in the range, has proved sturdy so far. Huge carbon-ceramic brake discs are fitted as standard, as are carbon brake pads that resist wear extremely well, providing immense stopping power no matter how hard you use them. Without a complicated folding roof mechanism (like the California) or a four-wheel-drive system (like the FF), the F12 has fewer things to go wrong.
Price, value for money & options
It’s difficult to think of a car costing so much representing value for money, but compared to some of its rivals, that’s a normal price. The 599 GTO – the more powerful special edition of the 599 GTB – was priced at £300,000, while the Lamborghini Aventador starts at a few thousand pounds more than the F12, and neither can match the F12 for power. Get your hands on an F12 early and there will be plenty of buyers willing to pay more than the list price to take it off your hands.