Ferrari 12Cilindri Twins Replace the 812 Superfast

by Nik Berg
3 May 2024 2 min read
Ferrari 12Cilindri Twins Replace the 812 Superfast

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Ferrari’s arrival in the US market is the latest in a long line of front-engined V12 stunners.

It must have been tempting to revive the America (or even SuperAmerica) moniker for the occasion, but instead the new coupe, and its spider sibling, will simply be called 12Cilindri.

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The name is very fitting, as it will no doubt be the last series production Ferrari to run a naturally-aspirated V12 unencumbered by forced induction or electric motors. And what an engine it is. Based on that of the 812 Competizione the 6,496 cc, 65-degree V12, revs to 9,500 rpm, delivering 819 bhp along the way.

Ferrari focused on shedding weight on the engine internals to reach this heady rev limit, using titanium con rods, a unique alloy for the pistons and installing a lighter, rebalanced crankshaft. The valvetrain features F1-derived sliding finger followers made from steel with a special Diamond-Like Carbon coating to reduce friction. Also new is some engine software called Aspirated Torque Shaping, which can modify the maximum torque to suit the gear. It has “allowed the 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,” explains Ferrari.

The intake and exhaust systems have also been optimized to celebrate the sound of the V12, with equal-length exhaust tracts and six-in-one manifold for each cylinder bank, while “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.”

Mated to this marvelous motor is an eight-speed dual clutch transmission that made its debut on the SF90, albeit with shorter ratios that help deliver more torque at the wheels. A hard launch will see the 12Cilindri reach 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and 124 mph in 7.9 seconds. Top speed is north of 211 mph.

The 12Cillindri sits on a shorter wheelbase than the 812 Superfast, gets the rear-wheel steering system from the Competizione and a brake-by-wire system called ABS Evo. Driver aids include Virtual Short Wheelbase and Side Slip Control. Active aerodynamics allow for a low drag or high downforce configuration, depending on the positioning of the car’s rear flaps, plus there are three vortex generators in the front underbody and the whole underside has been sculpted to channel air to the rear diffuser.

Most of that you won’t see, of course, because you’ll be salivating over the styling. There’s a move away from the aggression of the 812 to a softer and more sophisticated look. It’s a design direction that began with the Roma, but is perhaps even more elegantly executed here. The 12Cilindri’s haunches are muscular, without being excessive, while the rear end has something of the breadvan about it. Its curves are much more complex, but still there’s something nostalgic in the proportions and the way metal and glass interact. Ferrari calls it “monolithic.”

Ferrari 12Cilindri 3

The spider opts for twin buttresses at the rear and a retractable vertical window between the cabin and rear deck, which opens to swallow the fold-away hardtop and is no less beautiful as a result.

Inside there’s a dual cockpit architecture that also stems from the Roma, but with a new three-screen setup, with an additional display for the co-driver. It goes without saying that it’s all lavishly trimmed and near-infinitely personalisable.

Even if it wasn’t for its last-of-the-line status the 12Cilindri is a sure-fire future classic. Invest your £350,000 now.

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