Ferrari’s eye-catching F12 berlinetta, powered by a 544kW V12 up front, has found its way into the hands of the world’s motoring media. Here’s a sample of what’s been said:
Autocar (Andrew Frankel): …as a device that can be used everyday (as 20 per cent of owners will), for taking long journeys laden with luggage and then, when you arrive, leaving the other half in the hotel and heading for the hills, I’m not sure it has an equal. A Veyron is not just four times more expensive, it’s less practical and not as fun to drive. An Aventador offers a greater sense of occasion while subjectively its engine is actually at least a match for the Ferrari’s, but it’s let down by its handling, its gearbox and relative lack of carrying capacity.
Automobile (Jason Cammisa): The F12 might be Ferrari’s fastest car ever, but more important, it’s the most fun Ferrari in years. Slap on a grin and hop on in; this is a rolling festival of perfection; a glistening red celebration of beauty, performance, and involvement that shames the all-new Porsche 991-chassis 911, the Lamborghini Aventador, and everything between. Imagine supercar performance, luxury-car accoutrements, and driver’s-car steering. It is, if you can indulge us in a made-up word that’s as silly as the car’s official name, F12brilliant.
Car (Ben Barry): It’s amazing, and a big leap over the previous 599 – GTO special edition included. Part of the key to this is the hyper-quick steering, which uses the same funny-fast ratio as the 458 – you very rarely feel the need to move your hands from the quarter-to-three position, even in hairpins. This combined with tyres that are wider and have stiffer sidewalls than the 458, and suspension that’s both very supple and incredibly controlled gives the nose an extremely responsive and darty feel.
Evo (Jethro Bovingdon): …although the engine and clever drivetrain dominate the experience, it’s supported by a seriously capable and exciting chassis. Ferrari has gone for an even quicker steering rack ratio, which take some getting used to and never feels totally natural, especially in high speed corners. However, hiding beneath that sometimes too-aggressive response is superb balance and a good degree of suppleness, too. I can’t think of a more agile front-engined, rear-drive car with big firepower.
Generally speaking, then, the F12 berlinetta is scoring rave reviews. What is interesting is the widely varying opinions on the car’s steering. Andrew Frankel reckons the speed of the rack is “a mistake”, while Jason Cammisa declares: “the F12’s superfast rack might just be the best part of the whole car.”
We know that words alone are not enough, so we’ve added a couple of F12 video reviews for after the break you as well.