Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: first official promo video revealed

Article by Christian A., on March 12, 2012

Even before Ferrari’s F12 Berlinetta was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, it had already received orders for 360 units, according to CEO Amedeo Felisa. For one week, the new car was previewed to prospective customers. So far, about 450 customers have seen the car. About 80% of that figure immediately placed their orders.

Ferrari said that the F12 Berlinetta is its fastest and most powerful road car ever. The F12 Berlinetta is the replacement of the Ferrari 599. It is powered by the 730bhp 6.3-litre V12 engine that brings in a new lineup of V12 engines that would include an all-new Enzo by the end of 2012.

The F12 Berlinetta can accelerate from zero to 62mph in only 3.1sec and can sprint from zero to 124mph in 8.5sec. It has a total torque output of 509lb ft, about 80% of which is available from 2500rpm. The normally aspirated V12 revs all the way 8700rpm. Initially, it was supposed to be named the Ferrari 620GT.

However, the official name is reminiscent of classic Ferraris such as the 250 GT Berlinetta. Ferrari has also made a claim that this new car can get through a lap in its Fiorano test track in 1m 23s, which would mean that it is the fastest Ferrari road car to have ever been driven through a lap in the circuit. It also claims to have a top speed of “over 211mph.”

This engine, which has a specific output of 116bhp/litre in the F12, is based on the same 6262cc 65 degree V12 that’s used on the Ferrari FF. However, the F12 delivers 80bhp and 5lb ft higher than the FF. Its power and torque outputs also exceed those of the 612bhp, 448lb ft 6.0-litre V12 offered in the 599.

The power has risen significantly in the F12 over the 599 but its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have dropped at a similar rate. Its fuel economy is claimed to have been boosted over the 599’s 15.8mpg combined figure to 18.8mpg. Its CO2 emissions have also decreased from 415g/km to 350g/km. These two figures are achieved when the optional stop-start system is used.

Ferrari F12berlinetta showcases aerodynamics that has been developed using computational fluid dynamic or CFD simulations plus more than 250 hours’ worth of Wind Tunnel testing. Research focused on external and internal air flows, giving particular attention to thermal factors like radiators, brakes, and heat exchangers.

Aside from boosting the F12berlinetta's fluid dynamic efficiency, research also resulted to a reduced volume of the car through the optimized packaging of its mechanical components. All this research produced the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari vehicle ever, as attested to by a 1.12 figure, which is twice the 599 GTB Fiorano’s figure. Also, downforce was boosted by 76% (123 kg at 200 km/h) whereas drag was significantly reduced (Cd is just 0.299).

Aerodynamic efficiency brass for the Ferrari F12berlinetta is mostly generated by 3 elements: the Blown Spoiler, the aerodynamic underbody, and the Aero Bridge. The Blown Spoiler utilizes air flows near the car’s rear to modify the pressure field along the wheel wells via special intakes, thereby boosting the car’s overall efficiency. Meanwhile, the flat underbody of the car has evolved, thanks to the front splitter that’s now separate from the bumper.

This, in turn, generates downforce while also directing air flows toward the car’s rear extractor and improves efficiency. Lastly, the Aero Bridge is one innovative solution that makes use of the bonnet to produce downforce. It gets aerodynamic channel on every side. These channels pass below a bridge along an area located between the wheelarch at the front and the A-pillar’s bottom, then deflect the air flow to scoops found in the flanks, where this air flow interacts with the wake coming from the wheel wells in order to reduce drag.

Aerodynamic dams as well as semi-cone diffusers have been positioned ahead of the car’s front wheels, generating downforce and helping the brakes cool. The rear dam directs the airflow from the wheel and also generates a vortex, isolating the underbody from the centrifugal forces produced by the rear wheels’ movement. The rear diffuser has four fins, with the middle two having vortex generators, all contributing to the increase in downforce.

As for the integration of fluid dynamics with thermal management, the bonnet’s central air vent boosts the cooling system’s efficiency as well as helps reduce air impact on the windscreen at higher speeds, in turn creating a cushion that deflects natural air flow. Additionally, drag is reduced with the help of the Active Brake Cooling system on the car’s brake air ducts, which only open if the brake operating temperature is high enough.

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