Ferrari 12 Cilindri debuts with stunning looks, 819 hp

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Ferrari late on Thursday unveiled its successor to the 812 Superfast in the form of the 12 Cilindri. The reveal took place at a special event in Miami Beach to mark 70 years of Ferrari sales in the U.S.

Unlike the 812 Superfast which was derived from its F12 Berlinetta predecessor, the 12 Cilindri represents a ground-up redesign for Ferrari’s flagship GT. And both coupe and convertible body styles will be available from the start, with the latter, dubbed the 12 Cilindri Spider, utilizing a retractable hard-top roof.

The car’s engine is the latest iteration of the iconic Ferrari V-12, code-named the F140HD. It makes a peak 819 hp without the use of forced induction or hybrid systems. Given the car’s name, this may be Ferrari’s final model powered purely by a 12-cylinder engine. The V-12 isn’t going away anytime soon, though future versions will likely be electrified.

The engine in the 12 Cilindri revs to a heady 9,500 rpm, and impressively Ferrari engineers have ensured that 80% of the peak torque of 500 lb-ft is available from just 2,500 rpm. This will help deliver strong off-the-line performance. Lightweight internals, including the use of titanium for the connecting rods, are key to the engine revving so freely and so high.

Ferrari 12 Cilindri Spider

The engine is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and powers the rear wheels only. According to Ferrari, gear shifts are 30% faster than in the 812 Superfast. Claimed performance includes 0-62 mph acceleration in 2.9 seconds and a top speed in excess of 211 mph.

The 12 Cilindri sits on Ferrari’s newest platform for front-midship cars. The aluminum design, which was first announced in 2018, supports multiple wheelbase lengths, engine types, and seating configurations. It can also be equipped with all-wheel drive and hybrid technology.

For the 12 Cilindri, the wheelbase has been reduced by 0.8 of an inch compared to the 812 Superfast, which Ferrari said results in increased agility. This is further aided by standard rear-wheel steering. Thanks to packinging of the engine behind the front axle, the weight distribution is a near ideal 48.4-51.6% front to rear split.

The mechanical package is wrapped in a stunning exterior clearly inspired by the 365 GTB/4 Daytona. The design team, led by Flavio Manzoni, has striven to reduce lines, resulting in a very clean look. This is epitomized by the wide clamshell hood that eliminates the need for front fenders. The headlights are integrated into a single wraparound band from which the daytime running lights emerge like blades.

Ferrari 12 Cilindri Spider

Ferrari 12 Cilindri Spider

Ferrari 12 Cilindri Spider

Ferrari 12 Cilindri Spider

Aerodynamics also helped shape the car, though efforts were made to ensure this didn’t come at the cost of elegance and beauty. As a result, active elements have been employed. The highlight is a pair of flaps at the rear that stay flush with the body in a low-drag configuration that is active during speeds below 37 mph and above 186 mph. Between this range, when high downforce is required, the flaps extend.

Inside, there’s seating for two and a dash that’s somewhat fussy relative to the clean lines of the exterior. There are screens for a digital gauge cluster and infotainment hub, plus a third screen for the passenger, which features access to media and other vehicle functions. The center console in contrast is relatively simple, with only the controls for the transmission standing out. They resemble the gated manual design of classic Ferraris.

The 12 Cilindri starts sales later this year with a starting price expected to lie slightly above $400,000.

Aston Martin is also close to revealing its own V-12 super GT to go up against the Ferrari. Expected to revive the Vanquish name, the car is coming with a V-12 rated at a higher 824 hp, though the Aston engine relies on a twin-turbocharging system to generate its peak power.

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