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2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: No conventional manual transmission; sobering price tag.

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Interior: The F12 Berlinetta's cabin is certainly a step up from the generic layout of the 599. Materials quality has improved, and the dashboard's subtle contours produce a suitably driver-centric feel. A thin "floating" panel on the center console gives the transmission buttons a fashionable place to live, while the optional passenger performance display lets your copilot keep tabs on the current gear, speed and rpm. The thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel has been entrusted with many more functions than the 599's tiller, carrying over the familiar manettino drive-mode selector and adding controls for the turn signals, headlights, windshield washers and suspension dampers.

Certain items, such as the climate control knobs, still seem a bit uninspired for this price range. The seats, on the other hand, are exquisite, whether you stick with one of the standard designs or opt for the fitted carbon-fiber race seats (available in small, medium or large). The F12's twin high-resolution digital displays are another highlight: Flanking the tachometer, with infotainment functions on the right and vehicle information on the left, they lend a contemporary, high-tech air to the proceedings. On the downside, these screens are accessed via two separate control pods that sit behind the steering wheel and don't lend themselves to quick adjustments on the fly.

The F12's hatchback trunk is equipped with a hinged partition that, when it's in place, prevents cargo from flying forward. Standard capacity is 11.3 cubic feet, growing to 17.7 cubes with the partition swung out of the way.

Body: The 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is a two-seat exotic sports car available solely as a coupe.

Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, adaptive magnetorheological suspension dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive automatic xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, adjustable driving and vehicle settings, keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, metallic interior accents, a multifunction flat-bottomed steering wheel with manual tilt-and-telescoping functions, partial power seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, a navigation system, a six-speaker audio system and voice controls.

Options are extensive and include many different paint colors and types plus forged alloy wheels, a height-adjustable suspension, carbon-fiber exterior trim, front and rear parking cameras, a power-adjustable steering column, full power seats, fitted carbon-fiber race seats (offered in three sizes), extended leather and synthetic suede (Alcantara) interior trim, carbon-fiber inlays, a 12-speaker JBL Professional audio system, a digital passenger-side instrument display, a fire extinguisher and Ferrari Telemetry with an available video camera.

Driving: The F12 Berlinetta's adaptive suspension dampers provide a ride for every occasion. In normal driving, they soak up pavement imperfections with remarkable ease, giving the F12 true daily-driver potential. But when the mood strikes, you can tap the suspension button on the steering wheel and transform the car into an invincible cornering machine. Contributing to this are the multistage stability control system and the "E-Diff" electronic limited-slip differential, which team up to facilitate enthusiastic driving like never before in a Ferrari V12 touring coupe. The ultra-quick steering demands respect, though. A little input goes a long way.

Of course, the Berlinetta's engine will be the main draw for many buyers. With automakers increasingly turning to turbochargers in order to improve fuel economy, a brand-new naturally aspirated V12 is a special treat indeed. The revs come so fast that it's a challenge to upshift before you hit the 8,700-rpm fuel cutoff, but there's also plenty of roll-on power at lower engine speeds. The soundtrack at full throttle is spine-tingling, and the seven-speed automated manual transmission ensures that every shift is smooth and instantaneous.

What’s New: The 2013 F12 Berlinetta is an all-new model.

The rear-wheel-drive 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is propelled by a 6.3-liter V12 engine rated at 731 hp and 508 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual with paddle shifters and launch control. Ferrari reports that the F12 needs just 3.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, racing onward to a stunning top speed of 211 mph.

The EPA estimates that the F12 Berlinetta will return 13 mpg combined (11 city/16 highway), improving to 12 mpg city (but keeping the same ratings otherwise) with the available auto stop-start system.

Safety: Standard safety equipment for the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta includes antilock carbon-ceramic disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear parking sensors and side airbags. Front and rear parking cameras are optional.

Pro: Awesome V12 engine; otherworldly handling abilities; excellent dual-clutch automatic; richly trimmed cabin; daily-driver comfort.

Edmunds Say: Replacing the 599 as Ferrari's flagship grand tourer, the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is a V12-powered dynamo with an astonishing mix of performance and refinement.

Introduction: How do you improve on an Italian super coupe with a 612-horsepower V12, racecar-grade handling and drive-all-day luxury? That was Ferrari's modest challenge in designing the successor to the world-beating 599. The all-new 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is what the company came up with, and there are some strong early indicators that the F12 is up to the task. Most notably, the larger-displacement V12 under the hood makes an astonishing 731 horses, the dual-clutch automated manual transmission is much smoother than the 599's single-clutch unit, and the stability-control system allows some genuine tail-out shenanigans if you want it to, without shirking its duty to keep you on the road.

The F12's cabin technology also constitutes a significant upgrade. The Berlinetta boasts two high-resolution, multifunction displays that surround the center-mounted tachometer in the gauge cluster. The ergonomics are far from perfect -- each screen has a dedicated control pod that's mounted below the cluster, making on-the-fly adjustments an iffy proposition -- but the execution is worlds better than what the 599 got away with. Ferrari also offers intriguing add-ons like a passenger-side performance display (including current gear, speed and rpm) and a telemetry suite that can be paired with onboard video for full track-day recording and analysis.

So what's not to like? Well, the robust demand for used Ferraris tells us there are plenty of enthusiasts out there who enjoy a manual transmission, yet the F12 Berlinetta doesn't offer one at all, distancing itself from the 599 and its standard six-speed manual. Additionally, the F12's styling may leave something to be desired, from the odd aerodynamic squiggle along the side panels to the perhaps uncomfortably Corvette-like nose and profile. We'd also like to see a more exclusive interior, as some of the Berlinetta's knobs and buttons seem rather generic by the standards of cars that cost as much as a respectable house.

But considering that the F12 is the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever (aside from the limited-production LaFerrari), you might be willing to forgive these foibles. While you're mulling it over, we recommend sampling the wares of the midengine 2013 Lamborghini Aventador, which has a stiffer ride but packs a 690-hp V12 and a dynamic, sophisticated interior. If truly exotic styling is what you're after, the Lambo will be hard to resist. But if you're looking for a civilized blend of capability and comfort, the 2013 F12 Berlinetta is as good as it gets.

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