Ferrari F12berlinetta debuts in Asia at Beijing International Motor Show

Article by Anita Panait, on April 25, 2012

Ferrari gears ups to introduce its most powerful and high-performance road-going vehicle model to one of the largest sports car market in the world, China. Ferrari has confirmed that the 12-cylinder F12berlinetta will make its Asian debut at the Beijing International Motor Show, months after the supercar’s widely acclaimed debut at the Geneva Motor Show. 

The Ferrari F12berlinetta is powered by a V-12 engine that gives the super car a major boost in acceleration and speed. The F12berlinetta features a new car transaxle architecture and design as well as new components and electronic controls. The F12berlinetta features extremely advanced aerodynamics and stunning classic looks -- shorter, lower and narrower car than the previous V12 model. Ferrari had the car’s wheelbase built shorter while positioning the engine and driver position lower.

The F12berlinetta’s design also resulted in a more compact tail section, thanks to a new suspension and gearbox layout. The car also features a perfect weight distribution -- 54% over the rear axle -- and a lower centre of gravity back in the chassis.

This results in a well-balanced handling that allows drivers to maneuver with full control even at low speeds. It also results to capabilities that only mid-rear-engined cars offer.  The F12berlinetta finished the Fiorano circuit with a lap time of 1’23’’. It also boasts of acceleration rates of zero to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and zero to 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds.

Despite its dynamic performance, the F12berlinetta consumes 30% less fuel than the previous V-12 coupe, as Ferrari made sure that the car’s fuel consumption is one of the best, using up just 15 liters per 100 km and emitting 350 grams of Carbon Dioxide per kilometer.

Meanwhile, Ferrari plans to unveil its HY-KERS laboratory concept at Beijing International Motor Show. The HY-KERS concept combines hybrid technology with mid-rear architecture to reduce fuel consumption and Carbon Dioxide emissions by 40 percent while also improving car performance.

In order to properly develop the aerodynamics of the new F12berlinetta, Ferrari made it a point to look at its style plus use computational fluid dynamic simulations, or CFD. This was not enough as wind tunnel testing was conducted as well amounting to at least 250 hours. When conducting the research, Ferrari not only put focus on the external air flow but also on what goes on inside as well, putting extra emphasis on the thermal factors like brakes, heat exchangers, and radiators. The research not only led to the fluid dynamic efficiency of this model being increased, but by optimizing how the mechanical parts are packaged, it also lowered the volume.

As such, the F12berlinetta can be considered as the most aerodynamic model to come from the brand. The downforce is now 123 kg when running at 200 km/h, an increase of 76%. Its coefficient of drag meanwhile has been reduced and is now at Cd of 0.299. Thus, aerodynamic efficiency therefore of the F12berlinetta is 1.12, twice as much when compared to the 599 GTB Fiorano. The reason for the improved aerodynamic efficiency of the F12berlinetta is due to three important factors.

First is the Aero Bridge, a pioneering solution Ferrari has implemented for the first time in this model wherein the downforce is due to the bonnet. What it does is utilize an aerodynamic channel on either side which then goes under a bridge positioned in the middle of the wheel arch and the A-pillar’s bottom region. Through this, the airflow is channeled to the sides where it then works together with the wake that is created from its wheels in order to lower the drag. Second is the Blown Spoiler which utilizes the air flow that is present in the rear section of the vehicle.

With the use of special intakes, it enhances the pressure field that is in the wheel well and this increases the vehicle’s overall efficiency. Finally, the third is the aerodynamic flat underbody. Ensuring that this portion has indeed been made better is mainly due to separating the front splitter from the bumper. Because of this, downforce is created while at the same time the air flow is channeled the extractor in the rear.

The result is better efficiency. Helping with the efficiency as well are the semi-cone diffusers and the aerodynamic dams, both of which have been positioned ahead of the wheels in the front. This serves two functions as well as it creates that needed downforce while ensuring that the brakes are cooled. Even the rear dam has two functions: the first of which is to generate a vortex and help the underbody insulated from any of the centrifugal forces that can cause the wheels in the rear to move. Second is that it ensures the airflow is directed away from its wheel.

Still on the rear section, the diffuser has a total of four fins wherein the two in the middle have vortex generators. This means that they also help in increasing the generated downforce. Then there is the central air vent that is placed on the bonnet. This serves as an example of what happens when thermal management is combined with fluid dynamics. As a result, it makes sure that the cooling system’s efficiency is improved. When running at high speeds, it ensures that whatever impact the air has on its windscreen is lessened. Thus, it makes a cushion which helps deflect any of the natural air flow.

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