Ferrari to complete revival of full line in the US with release of F12 Berlinetta in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on September 5, 2012

Ferrari is bound to complete next year the renewal of its entire lineup in the United States, a build-up that started in 2009. The completion would only happen once Ferrari launches its new F12 Berlinetta, a production model boasting of the power of a Formula One race car, in the US in March 2013. According to Italian press reports, Ferrari is currently developing a successor to its Enzo supercar.

The Enzo successor is expected to hit the showrooms in 2013 with a power of more than 900hp. The Italian carmaker has already outlined its plans for the next three years.  The company will add a sportier variant of the 458, the Scuderia in 2013. The carmaker is also planning to refresh its best–selling model, the 458 Italia in 2014.

The automaker just freshened it 2+2 roadster this spring, with the next modifications to come in 2015. Ferrari just launched its 458 Spider this year, and consumers should not expect a freshened version until 2016.

As for the much awaited F12 Berlinetta, Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, revealed some specs of the supercar. According to di Montezemolo, the F12 Berlinetta delivers 740 hp, which is comparable to around 740 hp and 750 hp provided by the current Formula One cars. For more than $300,000, including shipping and gas-guzzler tax, a consumer could avail of F1 power in a road car.

The F12 Berlinetta could accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds and boasts of completing a lap of Ferrari's Fiorano test track in a road car record of 1 minute and 23 seconds. The F12 Berlinetta is powered by a new 6.3-liter gasoline direct-injection V-12 engine, and provides 15 percent less carbon dioxide emissions but 9 percent more horsepower than the latest version of the 599. The F12 Berlinetta weighs 3,362 pounds, 154 pounds less than the 599 GTB Fiorano coupe.

As expected of Ferrari, both the aerodynamics and styling of the new F12berlinetta were developed simultaneously, with designers and engineers at Maranello employing tools like CFD (computational fluid dynamic) simulations as well as Wind Tunnel testing (more than 250 hours). Ferrari didn’t only consider external airflow in designing the new F12berlinetta, but also factored in internal elements like temperature of the radiators, heat exchangers and brakes.

Ferrari also worked on the F12berlinetta’s fluid dynamic efficiency, which research also helped in reducing volumes by optimizing packaging of its mechanical components. This allowed the new F12berlinetta to be overly superior in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, with a figure of 1.12 -- double that of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. Its aerodynamic drag was pegged at just 0.299 Cd with a downforce of 123 kg at 200 km/h.

There are three elements that mainly defined the aerodynamic efficiency of the Ferrari F12berlinetta: the Aero Bridge, the Blown Spoiler, and the aerodynamically flat underbody. This Aero Bridge employs the bonnet to create downforce, simply by making use of an aerodynamic channel on each side of the hood. Passing below a bridge between the front wheelarch and the bottom of the A-pillar, the Aero Bridge could redirect the flow of air into scoops in the flanks of the F12berlinetta. Airflow then works with the wake from the wheel wells to reduce aerodynamic drag.

On the other hand, the Blown Spoiler employs a special air intake to allow airflow near the rear of the F12berlinetta to change the pressure field in the wheel well. Meanwhile, the flat underbody of the F12berlinetta – as helped by a front splitter separate from the bumper – helps generates downforce while guiding airflow to the rear extractor for better efficiency. In addition, aerodynamic dams and semi-cone diffusers – all located forward of the front wheels – generate further downforce while helping cool the brakes. The rear aerodynamic dam could also guide airflow away from the wheel while generating a vortex separating underbody from the centrifugal forces resulting from the rear wheel movements.

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