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2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta REVIEW

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

Con: Eye-watering price tag.

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Interior: The F12 Berlinetta's interior is hardly a jet fighter-inspired affair like that of the rival Aventador. Instead, it offers a relatively conventional control layout, including generic climate control knobs that could have come from any automaker's parts bin. Adding a bit of spice is the arcing "bridge" on the center console that houses a few transmission-related buttons, and there's also an optional passenger performance readout that displays the current gear, speed and rpm on a dashboard-mounted strip. In general, though, this is a pretty tame cabin by exotic-car standards.

You can choose from a number of different seat designs when you order a Berlinetta, including fitted carbon-fiber race seats (offered in small, medium and large) that may seem like overkill for grand touring duty. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features a thickly contoured rim and a range of auxiliary controls, including turn signals, headlights, windshield washers, damper stiffness and the manettino performance selector. A large tachometer sits front and center in the gauge cluster, flanked by two high-resolution digital screens -- infotainment functions on the right, vehicle and performance information on the left. Oddly, the controls for those screens are divided between separate pods on either side of the steering column, and they're not exactly user-friendly.

The F12's hatchback trunk features a top-hinged partition that, when in place, keeps cargo from flying forward. Cargo capacity is 11.3 cubic feet by default, expanding to 17.7 cubes with the partition swung out of the way.

Body: The 2015 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.

Highlights from the extensive options menu 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 2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta has one of the quickest steering racks on the market, which initially seems out of place in a refined grand touring coupe. But remember, the F12 is a supercar, too, and that hair-trigger steering never lets you forget it. Pushed hard on twisting tarmac, the Berlinetta comes to life, shrinking itself around you as its electronic limited-slip differential ("E-Diff") puts all 731 horses to the pavement with maximal efficiency. The car's capabilities are extreme, which makes its supple ride quality all the more impressive.

Still, the main attraction here is the magical V12, which accelerates with an intoxicating urgency. Blissfully bereft of turbocharging, it responds instantly to throttle inputs. The soundtrack is exquisite, of course, and the seven-speed automated manual shifts flawlessly. Naturally aspirated V12s are an endangered species these days, but the F12 Berlinetta gives you a special opportunity to experience this legendary engine type at its finest.

What’s New: The 2015 F12 Berlinetta is unchanged.

The rear-wheel-drive 2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta comes with a 6.3-liter V12 engine that pumps out 731 hp and 508 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual with paddle shifters. According to Ferrari, the F12 gallops to 60 mph in a scant 3.1 seconds.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2015 F12 Berlinetta at 13 mpg combined (11 city/16 highway), ticking up to 12 mpg city (but keeping the same ratings otherwise) with the available auto stop-start system.

Safety: Standard safety equipment for the 2015 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: Epic naturally aspirated V12; preternatural cornering precision; richly trimmed cabin; easy ingress and egress; daily-driver comfort; free scheduled maintenance for seven years.

Edmunds Say: Polarizing looks aside, the 2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is possibly the best grand touring sports car the world has ever known.

Introduction: "You've got to own a Ferrari once in your life." It's a bit of advice you're bound to receive if you hang around with car enthusiasts long enough. But when the time comes, which one should you get? Well, you're certainly not going to go wrong with the V12-powered 2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. It's not the nimblest car in Ferrari's lineup, and it's certainly not the cheapest, but its blend of athleticism, ride comfort and sheer engineering brilliance makes it one of the finest performance cars on the planet.

Tops on that list is the F12's jewel of an engine, a 6.3-liter V12 rated at a stupefying 731 horsepower without a single turbocharger, supercharger or electric motor, thank you very much. The fuel doesn't stop flowing till 8,700 rpm, and there's eager thrust seemingly everywhere on the tach. But don't get the idea that the Berlinetta is solely about straight-line speed. Thanks to easy cabin access, great seats and adaptive magnetorheological dampers with adjustable ride settings, the F12 is an exemplary grand touring machine, gobbling up great distances with ease while cosseting anyone lucky enough to be along for the ride.

There is the issue of the F12's styling, which has been criticized by some as less beautiful than a Ferrari grand touring coupe deserves. It's true that the swoosh-like indentation on its side panels is rather unconventional, and we get a faint whiff of Corvette from certain angles. If you'd rather court less controversy, the midengine 458 Italia and its upcoming successor, the 488 GTB, turn heads for all the right reasons. But there's no denying the power of the Berlinetta's presence.

In sum, it's a sumptuous grand tourer with the engine and chassis of an exotic sports car -- a rare blend indeed. The midengine 2015 Lamborghini Aventador may be more dramatic, the Aston Martin Vanquish more attractive and the 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 more visceral, but none can match the F12's skills across the board. If you're ready to buy a Ferrari, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better all-around talent than the 2015 F12 Berlinetta.

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