The Ferrari 12 Cilindri
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri Ferrari

Ferrari 12 Cilindri retains the V12 with no turbos or hybrid assistance

Ferrari’s 812 Superfast replacement retains the naturally-aspirated V12, clothed it in spectacular Daytona-inspired bodywork

Italian is a beautiful language, lending itself tremendously to car names. Quattroporte is perhaps the best example of how something so mundane – 4 doors! – can sound so evocative. Whether Dodici Cilindri, as the Ferrari people insist you call their new GT, falls into the same category is a matter of debate. But you can’t debate just how spectacular the Ferrari 12Cilindri looks, with its 365 GTB/4 Daytona-inspired nose. And, even more so, how excited we are that in this day and age of relentless electrification the pure, naturally-aspirated, V12 is retained, revving all the way up 9500rpm.

Naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12

Will this be the last naturally-aspirated V12? Enrico Galeria, Ferrari’s chief marketing and commercial officer, says it all depends on legislation and demand from super-wealthy Ferraristi. And right now the latter is so strong – the Purosangue is sold out for years! – that it’s worth Ferrari’s time and money to upgrade the 812 Competizione’s V12 for emission norms.

Codenamed F140HD the 6.5-litre V12 in the Ferrari 12Cilindri puts out 819bhp and revs right up to a heady 9500rpm – in line with the Competizione – though torque is slightly down to 678Nm that peaks at 7250rpm. Fulgenzi points out that 80 per cent of torque comes in at 2500rpm and there’s electronic manipulation of torque delivery, Aspirated Torque Shaping, in third and fourth gears to enhance the torque usability and sensations of the motor. This is different to the varying torque profiles in lower gears on Ferrari’s turbo engines.

Ferrari only publish Fiorano lap times for special series models but say the new GT is quicker than the outgoing V12s. The 0-100kmph time remains the same at 2.9 seconds, 200kmph takes 7.9 seconds and top speed is in excess of 340kmph. No all-wheel-drive is offered, Fulgenzi saying it is only needed for special conditions like snow, presumably when you retreat to your secret Swiss lair for the winters.

The Ferrari 12 Cilindri reatins the manic 6.5-litre nat-asp V12
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri reatins the manic 6.5-litre nat-asp V12Ferrari

New set of electronics

Brake by wire with ABS evo is a first on a V12 and is said to be a “game changer” in terms of repeatability. 100kmph to 0 takes 31.4 meters and from 200kmph it takes 122 meters. The 6w-CDS sensor similar to the 296 and Purosangue determines the car’s cornering attitude and smooths out the driver’s inputs basis the grip at each tyre contact patch. Layered over that is the latest Side Slip 8.0 making the driver look like a driving god.

Specific power output is 126bhp per litre achieved via titanium con rods that are 40 per cent lighter, pistons that are 20 per cent lighter, the single-piece machined crankshaft that is 30 per cent lighter and F1-inspired tech like sliding finger followers, hydraulic tappets and DLC cylinder lining. There is also a new 8-speed twin-clutch DCT automatic that drops shift times by 30 per cent and is claimed to, “Shift like a gun.”

The 21-inch wheels, up from the 20s on 812, are machined from a single block of metal. The chassis is recycled aluminum, not carbon fibre, which Ferrari says saves 146 kilos of CO2. It’s a new chassis using hollow castings, and the number of castings itself has reduced from 30 to 22. Torsional rigidity is up 15 per cent and the wheelbase has reduced by 20mm, which sounds insignificant, but Ferrari says is hugely beneficial for agility and responsiveness. There’s rear wheel steering to increase yaw management while cornering, and unlike in the past where the rear wheels moved when the fronts turned, here the rear wheels can move independently of the front. Ferrari says when going in a straight line the front wheels could be pointed straight but small adjustments are made to the rear wheels to add to straight line stability.

The Ferrari 12 Cilindri gets a kamm-style rear end
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri gets a kamm-style rear endFerrari

Styling inspired by the Daytona

Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s chief design officer says the 12Cilindri marks a new era for the prancing horse. He cites sci-fi, space age and aeronautics as inspirations, along with beautiful products of the 60s and 70s. The wedge-shaped nose is clearly inspired by the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, with the black wrap-around effect mirrored on the rear as well. Keeping in step with the clean, timeless lines of the Roma, this new design language eschews the overtly technical honed-in-the-wind tunnel designs of the past for simpler, purer lines.

That said, this is Ferrari, and no presentation is complete without a treatise on aerodynamics. In a first for a front-engine V12 Ferrari there’s active aero on the upper body with flaps on either side of the rear spoiler – aeronautically inspired says Manzoni – deploying above 60kmph to either deliver low drag or high downforce depending on the speed. They move together, not independently of each other, and generate 50 kilos of additional rear downforce at 250kmph. And of course the underside has extensive aerodynamics with three pairs of vortex generators at the front that energise the air and then feed it to two vortex generators at the rear and then on into the diffuser. Louvers meanwhile prevent hot air mixing with the cold air in the vortex generators.

The Ferrari 12 Cilindri borrows styling cues from the 365 GTB/4 Daytona from the 70s
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri borrows styling cues from the 365 GTB/4 Daytona from the 70sFerrari

Cabin gets a third screen

While the design references the past Manzoni says the push is always to the future. He points out the top view which has a delta-wing shape, again obviously inspired by aeronautics, and motif is replicated on the centre console framing the gear selector toggles.

The cabin has a double cockpit dash, both the driver and passenger in their pods, with their own screens. And unlike the Purosangue, and perhaps addressing customer feedback, there’s now an additional central screen. Like the Purosangue and every other Ferrari the steering wheel is a forest of buttons, all touch buttons, and here they definitely are not too bothered by critical feedback.

The Ferrari 12 Cilindri gets three screens on the inside
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri gets three screens on the insideFerrari

Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider

Quality, as befitting the price, is incredible, and there are a million options you can spec. The roof, for instance, can be in black, or glass, or carbon, or not at all. At launch the 12Cilindri will also be offered with a retractable hardtop which can be folded down at speeds up to 45kmph. The Spider is 60 kilos heavier, has reduced boot space, adds 10 per cent to the price.

The Ferrari 12 Cilindri also gets the option of a glass roof
The Ferrari 12 Cilindri also gets the option of a glass roofFerrari

Pricing and India launch

Globally the base price of the Ferrari 12Cilindri goes up by 15 per cent over the 812 Superfast. Considering the 812’s India ex-showroom price was Rs 5.75 crore, and also where the dollar rate is going vis-à-vis the rupee, you’re looking at approximately Rs 7.5 crores for the 12Cilindri. Plus at least another crore or three in options. Deliveries for left hand drive cars start in Q4 of this year, and expect the first India deliveries by mid to late 2025. That’s enough time to brush up on your Italian. Do-Dichi-Chilindri. That’s how you pronounce it. And for the proper Italian effect, let your hands sway lavishly.

Evo India