COMMENTARY | Anticipatory excitement yielded to euphoria today as Ferrari unveiled its new 12-cylinder supercar, the F12 Berlinetta. See the video here.
Feb. 29 comes around once every four years. Leap Day 2012 marked Ferrari’s announcement of what might be its last 12-cylinder car. For Ferrari fans, this day comes once in a lifetime.
The world has been waiting for the car known before today as the Ferrari 620 GT. Announcement anticipation put Ferraristas in a frenzy. Company officials in Italy informed their dealers with specs but the car was shown before today in wraps. Teasers of purported secret cell phone photos appeared on the Internet, but that’s all they were: fabricated photos of model clay prototypes. Ferrari knows how to stoke the excitement.
Initial information and photos reveal the exquisite Pinin Farina design. Taking the cliché of the Ferrari California grill, the F12 displays a similar “smile” with the black corners turned down instead of up. The grill says elegantly aggressive, which might be called appropriate for a 740-hp car, touted as Ferrari’s fastest and most powerful ever.
Speaking of body design, the complex creases, lines, and raised bulges of bent metal speak of automobile stylists who know what they’re doing. With all of the intricacy of line, the body might have presented as a conglomeration of pieces. But it doesn’t. Body lines flow smoothly, beautiful business as usual for a Ferrari.
Oh, and don’t miss the unexpected F1 brake light low center-stage at the rear of the car. This is the same rectangular array of rear brake lights required on Formula One racers. Now we’ll have another brake light, the first expression of racing lights on a street car.
Inside, the center console is a bridge. What an elegant surprise! It says that the styling, both inside and out, takes the risk of something unexpected. It says that design can provide safety and function in incredibly artful ways.
All of this is to speak of the aggressive yet elegant art that flows so freely from the Ferrari F12. It says much about the powerhouse under the hood. That powerhouse is located behind the front axels, making the F12 a front mid-engine car. And it delivers the power that makes the F12 the fastest Ferrari yet.
Much is yet to be said about the exciting Ferrari F12. I, for one among many, want to discover this lovely lady for all of its beauty and power inside and out. My wish is for a large allotment to local dealers to make my take on the F12 up close and personal.