Ferrari F12 – F is for fantastic

Ferrari F12 MR 007How much power is too much power? It’s an interesting question to ask, as it depends on a number of different factors – chassis setup, tyres, road conditions, the driver.

But in the case of the Ferrari F12, I genuinely do not even think the mighty 740 stallions its absurdly powerful 6.3-litre V12 kicks out is too much. In the Ferrari, it feels like too much is never enough.

Because it’s a masterpiece.

I won’t go into too much detail here – if you want to read the full review, you can see it in the latest issue (#222) of Auto Italia magazine – but suffice to say the F12 is like no car I’ve ever driven before.

Its duality of character dominates. One minute you can be cruising along an A-road or motorway with the big V12 seemingly snoring away under the bonnet, carrying you on a wave of low-down torque.

But the moment you point the car at a corner it comes alive. Sure, the hyper-alert steering can be a bit too fast when you want a gentle drive home, but when you don’t it’s superb. It gives the car levels of agility a full-on racer would be surprised at.

Ferrari F12 MR 005

Stoke the engine and it changes its tune – literally – as well. It’s a total nutter, making its peak power at 8,250rpm with a crazy, mid-90s F1-esque V12 wail. Remember how big the engine is and that rpm figure is staggering…

Combined with a dual-clutch gearbox that rattles up the ratios with ferocious pace and perfectly blips the down changes with scarcely believable precision and speed, the surge is relentless.

Brakes: brilliant. The third-gen carbon-ceramic stoppers shrug off massive speed – we’re talking 190mph-plus – with such ease.

But despite these crazy figures, the F12 never feels like a monster to drive. The feel and feedback through the compliant chassis and direct steering are such that in Ferrari’s CT Off ‘hero’ mode, you can confidently grab the car by the scruff of the neck and forcibly drive it like a loon. That you can do that in a 740hp V12 Ferrari is incredible.

When it slides, you just know how far and how fast it’s going. You also know the perfect amount of lock to apply to catch it. The systems certainly help, but even with them all switched off it’s so intuitive.

Ferrari F12 MR 006

At £331,672 for the car pictured above, the F12 is also extremely good value for money. Please, hear me out while I try to convince you.

Despite £15,360 for the Ferrari’s robe of special Bianco Italia pearlescent paint, £41,500 worth of additional carbonfibre extras and £6,714 worth of gorgeous forged alloy wheels, the breadth of talent at the F12’s disposal puts similarly priced cars like the Lamborghini Aventador in the shade.

Best of all, even compared to a £1 million Bugatti Veyron, you can see out of the Ferrari and it has a 320-litre boot. Good value and practical, then.

Motoring Research works with Auto Italia to create news, car reviews and features for the UK’s leading specialist Italian car magazine – to read MR’s feature on the Ferrari F12, pick up a copy of Auto Italia issue #222, on sale now

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