V12 Ferrari 12Cilindri a blast from the past

Riley Riley

Ferrari seems to be having a little trouble letting go of the past.

It’s just released a new V12 model, the 12Cilindri coupe and convertible.

Aimed at connoisseurs of the iconic V12 engine, the 610kW Ferrari 12Cilindri is inspired by the Ferrari Gran Turismo cars of the 1950s and ‘60s — race-bred driving thrills combined with versatility.

Simple yet harmonious lines feature an integrated active aerodynamic device to guarantee peerless performance, a front-hinged bonnet that exalts the view of the engine bay and the two twin tailpipes that have become a signature of Ferrari’s 12-cylinder cars.

12Cilindri’s all-new, all-aluminium chassis features a 20mm reduction in wheelbase compared to the 812 Superfast’s, with specific attention focused on the geometry of cast components such as the shock towers and A and C pillars — to improve torsional rigidity while simultaneously reducing weight.

With the Ferrari 12Cilindri, Flavio Manzoni and the Ferrari Styling Centre design team set out to radically transform the stylistic codes of Ferrari’s previous mid-front-engined V12s.

The car in fact marks a clear departure from the sculptural language that characterised the 812 Competizione, for example, instead favouring a more sophisticated language that still retains the necessary formal design rigour to achieve a sense of stylistic unity.

The design of the Ferrari 12Cilindri’s interior sees it split into three different levels: the first, dominated by the upper part of the dash, continues around to blend into the door panel trim.

Next is the central area while the third includes the footwells and seats.

Each level is clearly defined, heightening the dual-cockpit effect through the colour and material combinations.

These are used to create either an elegant or sporty look for the seats and other features.

Ferrari’s signature luxury and performance are flanked on the Ferrari 12Cilindri by a focus on environmental sustainability: extensive use has been made of sustainable materials such as Alcantara containing 65 per cent recycled polyester.

The V12 engine is the latest development of the iconic V12 that laid the foundations for the Maranello legend, producing 610kW of power and 678Nm of torque, with drive to the rear wheels through an eight-speed twin clutch style transmission.

Redlining at 9500 rpm, the dash from 0 to 100km/h takes just 2.9 seconds, and it has a top speed of more than 340km/h.

The 8-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) has been acclaimed on other models, starting with the SF90 Stradale.

Performance under acceleration through the gears has been significantly improved and the introduction of the eighth gear improves range in motorway driving. 

Thanks in part to larger tyres on 21 inch rims, this solution delivers five per cent shorter gear ratios in the lower gears and a 12 per cent increase in torque at the wheels compared to previous V12 applications, all to the benefit of longitudinal performance under acceleration and gear shifting times (30 per cent faster than the previous V12 berlinetta applications).

The impressive power curve ensures 80 per cent of total torque is available at just 2500 rpm, resulting in instant pick-up for maximum accelerator and a feeling of never-ending power.

The engine features modified components and software, some of which were already adopted on the special series 812 Competizione, ensuring it tops its category in terms of performance.

To allow the V12 to rev so high, engineers worked to reduce the weight and inertia of the engine’s components, adopting titanium con rods, which guarantee a saving of 40 per cent in rotating mass compared to steel with the same mechanical resistance.

A different aluminium alloy was used for the pistons, making them lighter than on previous applications.

Further weight reduction was achieved with the adoption of a rebalanced crankshaft which is three per cent lighter.

The valvetrain with sliding finger followers is derived from Ferrari’s unparalleled experience in Formula 1.

It was developed specifically for the V12 with the aim of reducing mass and availing of more high-performance valve profiles.

Most of the modifications focused on optimising torque delivery in all operating conditions.

For the first time on a naturally-aspirated engine, an innovative software strategy was developed that can modify the maximum torque available as a function of the gear selected.

This gives the driver the feeling of smooth, progressive pick-up as the transmission ratio increases, another vital factor in making the driving exhilaration delivered by the Ferrari 12Cilindri truly unique.

Aspirated Torque Shaping (ATS) has allowed Maranello engineers to sculpt the torque curve in third and fourth gears using sophisticated electronic control that improves perception of the torque without impinging on acceleration.

The introduction of new gear ratios furthermore keeps acceleration levels high and allowed the engineers to define a new torque curve shape for an aspirated engine.

Optimising the engine’s mechanical efficiency and that of the lubrication circuit is critical to delivering blistering performance and low fuel consumption.

The calibration of the variable displacement oil pump allows the oil to circulate throughout the entire engine and then be recovered along with the vapour from the sump.

The gasoline direct injection system (GDI at 350 bar) comprises two petrol pumps and four rails with pressure sensors that provide feedback to the pressure control system.

The electronic injectors can also control up to three injections per engine cycle.

The ignition system is constantly monitored by the engine control unit which has a single and a multi-spark function.

The ECU also controls combustion in the chamber to ensure that the engine is always working in peak thermodynamic efficiency conditions, using a sophisticated strategy that recognises the octane rating of the fuel in the tank to avoid knocking.

The new exhaust system, developed to allow the car to comply with the latest emissions requirements (EU6E, China 6b and Bin 50), introduces a ceramic catalytic converter coupled with a particulate filter.

This is the most advanced emissions-reduction technology available and involved lengthy calibration of the software strategies.

Sound is pivotal to marrying the comfort, luxury and exhilarating driving emotions typical of a Ferrari V12.

Equal-length exhaust tracts, the 6-in-1 manifold for every cylinder bank and the innovative design of the central sections has resulted in Ferrari’s typical V12 howl that comprises all of the noble combustion orders.

The perfect integration and calibration of high and low frequencies coming from the intake and exhaust systems respectively also influence the engine’s timbre.

The shape of the ducts and the internal fluid dynamics of the silencer baffles have been designed to reduce back pressure to a minimum thereby improving power delivery.

The geometry of the forms and curves of the exhaust system was also perfected to guarantee the very purest notes of the signature Ferrari sound all the way to the limiter.

To guarantee that the soundtrack in the cabin is perfectly balanced, the intake tract was modified: modifying the position of the resonators also changed the pressure waves resulting in a richer range, particularly in terms of the middle frequencies.

The result is a cleaner, more full sound in the cabin in all driving conditions, but especially in sportier situations.


Technical specifications


Type V12 – 65° – Dry sump
Overall displacement 6.496 litres
Bore and stroke 94 mm x 78 mm
Max. power 610kW at 9250 rpm
Max. torque 678Nm @ 7250 rpm
Max. revs 9500 rpm
Compression ratio

Specific power output 95kW/l

Length 4733mm
Width 2176mm
Height 1292mm
Wheelbase 2700mm
Front track 1686mm
Rear track 1645mm
Dry weight 1560kg
Dry weight-power ratio 1.88 kg/cv
Weight distribution 48.4 per cent front / 51.6 per cent rear
Fuel tank capacity 92 litres
Boot size 270 litres

Front 275/35 R21 J10.0
Rear 315/35 R21 J11.5

Front 398 x 223 x 38mm
Rear 360 x 233 x 32mm

8-speed dual clutch F1 DCT

SSC 8.0: TC, eDiff, SCM, PCV 3.0, FDE2.0, EPS, ABS Evo in all Manettino positions, 6D sensor, performance ABS/ABD

Max. speed > 340 km/h
0–100 km/h 2.9 s
0–200 km/h <7.9 s
100-0 km/h 31.4 m
200-0 km/h 122.0 m






CHECKOUT: Ferruccio just wanted his Ferrari fixed

CHECKOUT: A tale of two fabulous Ferraris


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *