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Fastest Ferrari slow to arrive Down Under

Snooze you lose: Well-heeled Ferrari fans who decide they want an F12 at one of the Australian unveiling events must now wait 18 months to receive their new car.

18 month waiting list for $691K Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, first Oz deliveries mid-2013


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24 Oct 2012

FERRARI’S F12 Berlinetta has lived up to its title of fastest Prancing Horse in terms of sales, having already racked up an 18-month waiting list despite a stratospheric $691,100 (plus on-road costs) starting price in Australia.

The F12’s 546kW/690Nm 6.3-litre V12 powerplant blows its predecessor, the 599 GTB Fiorano, into the weeds in terms of performance as justification for a $13,850 price hike – and the new car comes with seven years of free servicing thrown in.

Sydney-based Ferrari importer European Automotive Imports is in the process of unveiling the F12 to Australian customers and media in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth ahead of first deliveries scheduled to arrive mid-2013.

Ferrari’s head of the Asia Pacific region, Simon Inglefield, said timing of the F12’s Australian reveal “is a fitting culmination of events celebrating sixty years of Ferrari in Australia”.

The F12 – which made its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March – can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.1 seconds, with 200km/h coming up in 8.5 seconds and terminal velocity somewhere north of 340km/h.

It has posted the fastest lap for a road car at Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit at 1:23 – a second quicker than the lightweight, track-oriented GTO version of its 599 forebear and two seconds quicker than the legendary Enzo hypercar.

Peak power from the V12 comes in at a screaming 8500rpm before hitting the 8700rpm redline while maximum torque arrives at 6000rpm, with 80 per cent available from just 2500rpm.

For comparison, the all-wheel-drive FF uses a version of the same engine to develop 485kW and 683Nm and the 599’s smaller 6.0-litre V12 produced 456kW and 607kW, with the GTO version boosting that to 500kW and 620Nm.

The Lamborghini Aventador matches the F12 for torque but its 515kW peak power output falls some way short of the Ferrari – although the Raging Bull’s all-wheel-drive system helps it dispatch the run to triple digits three tenths quicker.

Ferrari has shrunk the F12 compared with the 599 while trimming weight by 70kg and reducing drag but increasing downforce by 76 per cent – and the company claims it has liberated more interior and luggage space despite the more compact dimensions.

Fuel consumption is also improved, by 16 per cent, with the new V12 requiring 15 litres of premium unleaded per 100 kilometres and emitting 350 grams of CO2.

The efficiency improvements are due to standard idle-stop and ‘intelligent’ management of power-draining engine ancillaries like cooling fans, air-conditioning compressors and fuel pumps plus the improved aerodynamics and tyres.

Ferrari has mounted the F12’s engine, dashboard and seats lower in the chassis to achieve a lower centre of gravity and slightly more rear weight bias than in the 599, with front/rear weight distribution at 46:54.

A new spaceframe chassis design and bodyshell using 12 types of alloy, combined with new assembly and joining techniques are said to increase the F12’s structural rigidity by 20 per cent, aiding ride, handling and safety.

The latest carbon-ceramic brakes are standard and are said to “drastically” reduce stopping distances and the F12 is claimed to deliver “maximum driving involvement” due to sharper steering and the ability to achieve higher cornering speeds.

In the cockpit is full ‘Frau’ leather trim plus carbon-fibre and aluminium highlights plus Ferrari’s now familiar ‘human machine interface’ ergonomic strategy for the switchgear and instruments.

The F12’s V12 engine is expected to form the basis of Ferrari’s first production hybrid driveline that will power the Enzo successor – dubbed F70 – due to be unveiled later this year or early next.

Ferrari unveiled the drivetrain at the Beijing motor show in April and teased the world with the F70’s carbon-fibre tub chassis at last month’s Paris show.

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