The 820bhp Ferrari 12 Cilindri is named after its mighty 9,500rpm V12 engine

First look

No turbo. No hybrid. Big V12 meets active aerodynamics in Ferrari’s latest super-GT

Published: May 3, 2024

The Italian language is very good – molto bene – at translating ordinary car names into lyrical poetry. “Quatre Portes” becomes “Quattroporte”. “Tête rouge” becomes “Testarossa”. This new ultra-GT Ferrari is called the 12-cylinder. But Maranello would rather you wrap your lips around the way they speak…and call it Dodici Cilindri.

It’s an on-the-nose celebration of Ferrari’s signature dish: a big V12. A powerful 6.5 liter orchestral instrument, mounted well behind the front axle under a gigantic ‘cofango’ clamshell hood designed to highlight the engine bay more dramatically than the 812 Superfast or F12.

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It eschews turbochargers or any form of hybrid boost, but lighter titanium connecting rods and forged pistons mean it’s now even quicker. The power corresponds to the 820 hp of the wild 812 Competizione. Peak torque is 500 lb-ft at 7,250 rpm, but more than three-quarters of that passing punch is available from 2,500 rpm. The redline is 9,500 rpm – kiss the limiter a few times and you’ll find yourself doing 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0 to 125 mph in 7.8 seconds, on your way to over 217 mph .

No, these aren’t huge improvements over the 812 Superfast. It seems like Ferrari has decided enough is enough. Its ultra-GT V12 doesn’t do it need to be faster. Do you want a distortion factor? Buy an SF90 and a vomit bag. The main task here was to keep the keystone V12 alive.

Engineers admit it has been difficult to meet not only emissions legislation, but also ever-tightening noise limits that attenuate exhaust noise to the tune of 72 dB. Apparently, more attention has been paid to bringing those rich V12 sounds into the cabin, instead of deafening everyone outside. A more selfish car, perhaps – one that will appeal less to the public.

And then you have what it looks like. There’s an ambitious, ambitious design here – more radical than the 812 or F12, of course. The dark “mask” stripe at the front evokes the offset front fascia of the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona,” and no, you can’t have it in body color. It’s black only. Design boss Flavio Manzoni said he would allow owners to have it painted “over his corpse”.

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The same goes for the black sections of the roof around the “delta wing” pattern and the outer edges of the tail. These are in fact active aerodynamic devices, which rise ten degrees between 60 km/h and 300 km/h to project 50 kg of downforce onto the rear axle. If you’re wondering why the center section remains flat… so are we. It turns out that Ferrari was concerned that the full-width ducktail powerplant had eaten up too much of the 12 Cilindri’s crucial golf bag-swallowing 270-litre boot.

The wheels are forged from a single piece of aluminum and measure 21 inches in diameter. The brakes and suspension hardware are carried over largely without control from the 812 Superfast, but all their software is carefully remapped and stopping is now handled by electric braking.

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Ferrari engineers admit there was a slight weight gain over the 1,525kg 812, due to the larger wheels, bonnet and active aerodynamics, but with all the carbon boxes ticked, Claimed dry weight is 1,560kg, so pretty close to the mid 1600s, ready to go.

Meanwhile, the 812 Competizione’s rear-wheel steering is reworked to accommodate a 20mm shorter wheelbase, and the tech arsenal includes the eighth generation of Ferrari’s side-slip control wizardry. You might consider flipping that tempting little manettino switch to red. Then sending the rev counter into the red too. And let your back hang.

While waiting for the tow truck to get you out of a hedge, you will have plenty of time to admire the cabin. It’s not as radical here as it is outside – an instrument screen similar to that of a 296 or SF90, plus the horribly fiddly, touch-sensitive steering wheel interface.

The passenger has their own cabin with a smaller secondary screen, but unlike the Purosangue SUV, there is also a large central screen which, you guessed it, is where all the heating and passenger comfort controls are located. seats are hidden. Design boss Manzoni insists the tactic makes the cabin more futuristic and cleaner. Hmm. Not once did he come across a fingerprint, huh?

Prices – before you have fun with paint, leather and carbon – start at €395,000 for the coupe. For €435,000 you can have your 12 Cilindri with a folding hardtop that disappears into the trunk in 14 seconds. Yes, we’re getting the Spider model alongside the coupe from day one. What would be your choice and what is your pronunciation of this name?

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