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Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 2013

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 2013 front

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 2013 side

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 2013 headlights

After weeks of whispers, teasing, and leaked images, Ferrari has finally unwrapped its latest 12-cylinder gran turismo. The new 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta effectively replaces the aging 599 GTB Fiorano, and will make its first public debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Styling/ Construction
While the F12 Berlinetta's general profile roughly resembles that of its predecessor, there's not a single bit of sheetmetal shared between the two cars. Styled by longtime design partner Pininfarina, the F12 Berlinetta is an interesting amalgamation of strong, flowing surfaces and existing design cues.

Up front, the F12 Berlinetta's long headlamps bear a resemblance to those of the 458 Italia, while a large egg crate grille -- much like that used on the four-wheel-drive FF -- dominates the lower half of the fascia. The F12's front fenders quickly taper to a narrow point, allowing the hood surfaces to wrap down and around the side of the car, terminating in a large V-shaped swage that curves upward into the rear fenders.

While the F12's rear quarters are rather conservative, they're not without some dramatic flair. The lower edges of the rear valence curve downward, forming a surface that intersects the rear diffuser and neatly wraps beneath the bumper.

The F12's look will undoubtedly inspire heated debate among Ferrari aficionados and purists, but the automaker says the form is actually functional. Active shutters on the brake cooling ducts help reduce drag, while the so-called "Aero Bridge" scoops, located between the front-wheel arches and the cowl, channel air from the front of the car to its sides. Ferrari says the F12 Berlinetta boasts a 76-percent increase in downforce, along with a surprisingly slippery drag coefficient of 0.299.

If you think the F12 Berlinetta appears a little smaller than the outgoing 599, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Preliminary specifications indicate the F12 is about 2 inches shorter, 7/10 of an inch narrower, and 2.5 inches lower than its predecessor. The F12's body is also lighter than the 599's, thanks in part to a new aluminum-intensive spaceframe. An estimated curb weight of 3363 pounds means the F12 is not only 360 pounds lighter than the 599 GTB, but it's also about 176 pounds lighter than the hard-core, performance-tuned 599 GTO. As was the case on the 599, the use of a transaxle -- a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, in this instance -- allows the F12 to shift 54 percent of its curb weight to its tail end.

Although Ferrari has previously dabbled with hybrid systems and forced induction, the F12 Berlinetta sticks to a time-tested tradition: a big, normally aspirated 12-cylinder engine.

The new F12 uses the same basic 6.3-liter V-12 as the FF wagon, but the engine appears to be much more powerful in F12 guise. According to Ferrari, it provides the FF with an incredible 730 horsepower at 8000 rpm, along with 508 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm. Early claims of the F12 Berlinetta becoming the most powerful (road-legal) Ferrari appear to be accurate. Not only does this mean the F12 Berlinetta eclipses the 599 GTB (600 hp/448 lb-ft) and the 599 GTO (660 hp/494 lb-ft), it also surpasses the original 599xx racer (720 hp/506 lb-ft) and comes close to the track-focused 599xx Evoluzione (750 hp/516 lb-ft).

Coupled with the lightning-quick seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, Ferrari claims the 6.3-liter V-12 is capable of launching the F12 Berlinetta from 0-62 mph in a scant 3.1 seconds, and suggests a top speed just over the 211-mph mark. Ferrari is equally proud of two other performance metrics: When packaged with an optional start/stop system, the F12 can deliver a 30-percent increase in fuel economy, along with a 16-percent decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.

As is expected of such a machine, the F12 Berlinetta is equipped with Ferrari's full suite of performance-enhancing features, including E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS algorithms. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard, as are Ferrari's revised adaptive magnetorheological dampers.

Still Sumptuous Within
The F12 Berlinetta may be quick, but as Ferrari's premiere gran turismo, it can't skimp on interior amenities. Subsequently, we're not surprised to learn the cabin is covered in liberal amounts of Frau leather and carbon-fiber trim. Photos show an attractive saddle-hued interior, but as always, interior schemes are left to the customer's discretion (and budget).

The F12's dashboard largely resembles that of the FF, but there is one significant difference: It no longer packs a large, clunky-looking navigation unit into the center stack. Instead, the F12 displays all infotainment-related screens through the digital Human Machine Interface gauge cluster, controlled by a small bank of switches located to the right of the steering column.

On Sale: Late 2012

Engine: 6.3-liter V-12
Power: 730 hp @
Torque: 508 @ 6000 rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive: rear-wheel

Length x Width x Height: 181.8 in x 76.5 in x 50.1 in
Curb Weight: 3363 lbs

0-62 mph: 3.1 seconds
Top speed: >211 mph (est)

Ferrari 458 Spider 2012

Ferrari 458 Spider  2012 back

Ferrari 458 Spider  2012 dashboard

Ferrari 458 Spider  2012 on the run

Without question, the Ferrari 458 Italia is the best car I have ever driven. You might assume the Italian supercar earns that distinction on sheer performance and sex appeal, but the truth is that the 458 is a much more complete car. Its excellence is in how it combines measured balance with raw capability unlike any other vehicle. The 458 Italia is sophisticated but visceral. Aggressive yet refined. Elegant and brutish. With the Spider, Ferrari aims to add one more contradiction to the 458's achievements: a convertible that's also a coupe.

Ferrari's task in building a Spider is not quite as intuitive as it sounds. The open-air 458 is certainly a predictable and modest evolution of the Italia, but the buyers of the two cars are very different. The average 458 Italia will see most of its action on the weekend, without a passenger, and on shorter trips. Spiders, on the other hand, are more likely to be daily drivers exposed to city streets, often with a passenger in the right seat. More notably, Ferrari asserts that Spider owners drive with a sporty -- not aggressive -- style.

Even with buyers using their cars in an entirely different manner, Ferrari won't compromise any of the intensity in its mid-engine coupe to deliver a droptop version. Despite the fact that the Spider is 30 percent less rigid than the coupe, the spring rates are unchanged. And while the magnetorheological dampers are specifically tuned for the Spider, you won't notice a difference in the ride quality between the two cars. The Spider is every bit as firm, controlled, and focused as the Italia. The steering is just as sharp, the throttle pedal just as responsive, and the suspension just as poised. Twist the manettino to Race mode, however -- perhaps an unlikely move for the less aggressive convertible buyers -- and the Spider can't hide the fact that it's missing a major structural component. With the dampers firmed up, the bumps aren't just felt through the seat. They're seen in a small wiggle of the windshield and heard in the muted rattle of the aluminum chassis. Nothing unusual, but this is the one clear difference between coupe and convertible.

The 458 Spider's retractable roof is a two-piece hardtop inspired by the 575 Superamerica. Like that car, the roof rotates -- rather than folds -- into its stored position. Unlike that car, the 458 Spider uses an aluminum skin instead of glass. Ferrari claims that the 458's hardtop assembly is actually some 55 pounds lighter than the 430 Spider's fabric roof. It adds roughly 110 pounds to the Italia's 3400-pound curb weight.

The additional weight hasn't made the 458 any less graceful or beautiful. The Spider preserves the proportions and elegant surfaces that make the fixed-roof car so stunning. Buttresses behind the rear seats create a classic profile reminiscent of prior mid-engine convertibles, but they are taller so that the folding roof is flatter and easier to store. With the roof raised, the Spider could pass for a fixed-roof coupe, showing some resemblance to the Lotus Evora in the greenhouse. Unfortunately, the air ducts that feed the engine just behind the coupe's passenger compartment couldn't be adapted to the Spider. Instead, the intakes have been moved to the top of the decklid and pushed all the way to the rear of the car, resulting in much shorter plumbing. Because the roof is stashed directly above the mid-mounted engine, Ferrari also had to abandon the glass panel that shows off the 9000-rpm gem in the coupe.

The roof disappears in a swift 14-second routine and the rear window lowers into a wind-stop position about an inch above the decklid to limit the buffeting in the cabin. That window can be raised another inch or lowered completely and functions as a third window when the roof is closed. The Spider's interior is the same hyper-modern, overwhelmingly driver-centric cockpit found in the Italia. The steering wheel is dotted with control buttons and the radio and navigation system rely on too few buttons with too many shared functions to be intuitive. Headroom is unchanged, so the Spider retains a spacious feel with the top up. Only the shallow passenger footwell feels restrictive; the right seat is best left to those 5'8" and shorter. Specs for the Spider are identical to those of the Italia: A 4.5-liter V-8 generates 562 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, which travels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to meet the pavement via the rear wheels. Performance claims remain impressive -- the sprint to 62 mph can be done in less than 3.4 seconds and the top speed reaches 198 mph -- but those numbers do little to communicate how enchanting the 458 really is. It remains a rare normally aspirated screamer that swells to a riotous rpm to make peak power. Its soul mate is the dual-clutch gearbox, delivering instantaneous action and absolute confidence in response to pulls of the column-mounted paddles. Along with the new intake, there's a reworked exhaust, though it does little to change the Italia's symphonic arrangement of burbles, shrieks, and growls. No complaints here. A roofless 458 set to race mode and run through the gears in a tunnel makes for the ultimate amphitheater to enjoy one of the best automotive performances in existence.

Ferrari 458 Spider
Base price: $257,000 (est.)
Engine: 32-valve DOHC V-8
Displacement: 4.5 liters
Power: 562 hp @ 9000 rpm
Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Drive: Rear-wheel
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Fuel economy: 11/18 mpg (city/highway, est.)

Ferrari FF Shooting Brake 2012

Ferrari FF Shooting Brake 2012 back

Ferrari FF Shooting Brake 2012 seats

Ferrari FF Shooting Brake 2012 front

All-wheel-drive? Wagon? Those two adjectives are commonly paired when describing Subaru’s best-selling models, not the latest gran turismo to roll through the factory gates in Maranello. Still, Ferrari says rolling those two features together -- as unconventional as they may be in the world of traditional V-12-powered luxury sports cars -- produces a vehicle that “effortlessly melds extreme sports car performance with the versatility and usability of a genuine GT.”
Admittedly, the FF looks much like a genuine Ferrari GT, albeit with a modern twist. The exterior design, executed by longtime styling partner Pininfarina, blends cues from the company’s recent 458 Italia with those of the FF’s forebear, the outgoing 612 Scaglietti. The long, upright headlamps and oblong fender forms bear some resemblance to the company’s latest mid-engine sports coupe, while the expansive eggcrate grille apes those used on modern Ferrari GT models.
Although the FF’s elongated roofline and hatchback may rankle the most traditional of Tifiosi, the car’s rear quarters aren’t as ungainly as previous coachbuilt attempts to craft Ferrari station wagons. The roof dramatically curves down towards the car’s trailing edges, but the D-pillars are neatly sculpted into the already muscular rear fenders. If nothing else, this design does afford considerable space within. Not only are rear seat occupants treated to commendable headroom, but there’s nearly 15 cubic feet of cargo space to swallow their belongings (that volume swells to 30, should you fold the second row flat).
Like beauty, innovation is more than skin deep, so it isn’t surprising to learn the FF’s mechanicals are as groundbreaking as its exterior. Its 660-horsepower, direct-injection, 6.2-liter V-12 is certainly a welcome new addition, but the true party trick lies with the driveline itself. Although the rear-mounted, seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle may be identical to those used in other rear-wheel-drive GT models (including the 599 GTB), the addition of a driven front axle is truly newsworthy.
Instead of developing a transfer case for the transaxle and running a prop shaft to the front end of the car, Ferrari’s 4RM system actually drives the front wheels from the engine’s crank itself. A separate gearbox for the front axle has two speeds, with ratios similar to those used for the transaxle’s third and seventh gears. When the FF’s stability system detects a loss in traction, computers select the proper gear in the forward gearbox, and then manipulate an electronically controlled clutch pack. between the crank and the gearbox. Doing this allows the system to vary the amount of slippage, and subsequently, vary the power sent to the front wheels. An unusual approach, but the system allows Ferrari to craft a rear-biased all-wheel-drive without disrupting the FF’s near-perfect weight distribution or developing an all-new driveline. Better yet, the company says the 4RM system is roughly half as heavy as a conventional AWD configuration.

Unimog Mercedes Benz


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