FERRARI F12 BERLINETTA
The F12's arrival on the international stage follows years of rumours, months of spy photos, and a week's worth of leaked images and whispered details.
The new front-engined Ferrari flagship enters as the Italian legend's rival to Lamborghini's 525kW Aventador supercar, offering a V12 engine with more power and comparable performance figures, packed into a smaller body.
The new Fezza is driven by Ferrari's new naturally-aspirated V12 engine, delivering 545kW at 8500rpm and 690Nm of torque, the latter hitting 80 percent of its potential at just 2500rpm, before peaking at 6000rpm and topping out at 8700rpm.
Despite the rumours of adopting the new FF's 4RM all-wheel-drive system, the F12's engine passes power to the rear wheels only, sent on its way by the brand's latest-generation seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Ferrari says the F12 will hit 100km/h from a standstill in 3.1 seconds (0.2 off the all-wheel-drive Aventador's time), hitting 200km/h in 8.5 seconds on its way to a top speed "in excess of" 340km/h.
Driving aids include a magnetorheological suspension control system, an electronically-controlled differential, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, ABS and carbon-ceramic brakes.
The F12 is a smaller car than its predecessor, measuring 4618mm long, 1924mm wide and 1273mm tall - making it not only 47mm shorter than the 599, but also 162mm shorter than the relatively giant Aventador.
With the smaller dimensions came a repackaged underside, including a new layout for the rear suspension and transmission.
As a result, the engine, dashboard and seats now sit lower, and - thanks also to its Ferrari and Pininfarina-penned design, downforce is improved by 76 percent.
The stronger downforce, and its new drag coefficient of 0.299, is attributed to two elements: a bonnet design that channels air away from the upper part of the car to its flanks, interacting with the wake from the wheel wells, and a new Active Brake Cooling system that opens guide vanes at high-operating temperatures.
The all-important kerb weight figure has fallen by 70kg, to 1525kg, thanks to a new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell that utilises 12 different alloy types and increases rigidity by 20 percent.
Ferrari distributor Ateco has confirmed the F12 Berlinetta will arrive Australia and New Zealand in early 2013, when local prices and specifications will be announced.
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