Off Track Torque

Dec 10 2012, 12:40 IST
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Ferrari’s F12 elevates the front-engine supercar to an all new level. Ferrari’s F12 elevates the front-engine supercar to an all new level.
SummaryFerrari may have narrowly missed out on becoming Formula 1 world champions this year, but the Italian company is the undisputed leader when it comes to supercars on the road.

car up and make everything work faster to help match the potential of the engine.

Going to maximum attack, as expected, is a full-on sensory overload that literally leaves you gasping for air the first couple of times. The rear-wheel drive layout means the initial hit off the blocks isn’t as strong as a Lamborghini Aventador. It doesn’t daze you like the Lambo, but as soon as the rear tyres hook up all 730bhp, you are yanked forward on an unforgettable ride as the tachometer needle flick-flick-flicks you up to 200 in seconds.

The best bit about the F12 is how it allows you to enjoy the full potential of the motor. All you need to do is brake accurately, introduce it smoothly to a bend and feed in the throttle carefully on the way out, as the balance of the car shifts around under you. The F12 has a level of feel and sensitivity that is something that is difficult to fathom in such a powerful car, and it’s all down to the F1 inspired electronic differential that puts out precisely the right amount of power to each wheel.

Flick the Mannetino dial into Race mode and loosen up the programmable ESP, and the car becomes even more alive. You can feel the weight transfer to the rear, you can feel the back tyres fighting for grip as they slip and wiggle around, juggling torque between them, and you can even feel them hook up and shove you forward. It’s not just the steering, it’s like the whole car is talking to you.

What Ferrari has achieved here is nothing short of sensational, even by its standards. Here is a front-engined, V12-powered car that is comfortable, practical and useable on one hand and devastatingly quick on the other. And it’s not just straight-line speed I’m talking about. The best bit about the F12, the thing that really blows your mind, is the handling. It’s one of the fastest, most hardcore supercars there is, but if you wanted, you could actually use it every day, even in India. This just may be the greatest Ferrari yet. n

The writer is deputy editor, Autocar India.

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