Dream Car: 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta reviews luxury cars first drives ferrari
2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta. Click image to enlarge

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Ferrari – Canada

Review by Michael Bettencourt, photos by Michael Bettencourt and courtesy Ferrari

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2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta

Maranello, Italy – VaaaRRROOOOOMMMM… announces the Ferrari F12berlinetta upon startup, loudly announcing that there’s now a fully awake monster lurking just past your toes. Its vicious bite of sound at startup may not make you popular with your neighbours, or then again it may, but it feels as if everything becomes clearer instantly. It’s not time to run errands, or head to work, or attend to any other such trivial matters.

It’s time to drive. Hard.

The F12 is the most powerful road-legal Ferrari ever. Its monstrous V12 engine, with its 730 hp and cylinder count reflected in its name, is now the most powerful naturally aspirated production car in the world. Only the Bugatti Veyron, helped along mightily by its four turbochargers and sixteen cylinders, can surpass these horsepower numbers, at least in North America.

Ferrari has confirmed that this engine will be the basis for Ferrari’s upcoming hybrid supercar, unofficially dubbed the F70, which will become the limited edition Enzo replacement to debut early in 2013. Details of that model are still sketchy as I write this, but a development of its HY-KERS gas-electric hybrid system will be used to boost power and lower emissions, as well as help the handling through a new torque vectoring system, all in a footprint and weight close to that of the current 458. Whether or not whispered horsepower numbers in the 900 range come to pass, it will certainly overtake the F12’s brief reign as the most powerful production Ferrari in history.

Dream Car: 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta reviews luxury cars first drives ferrari Dream Car: 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta reviews luxury cars first drives ferrari
2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta. Click image to enlarge

But the F12 is not meant to be Ferrari’s sportiest car, it’s meant to be its most exciting grand touring car. Its high pony count may be the most of any current Ferrari, but its overall demeanour on the road suggests that practicality and comfort also came into the equation far more than in, say, a rear-engine 458.




About Michael Bettencourt

Michael Bettencourt is on the World Car of the Year jury, has been a long-time AJAC member, and is on its Technology of the Year judging panel.