The 2016 Ferrari F12 Speciale has broken cover and the hardcore version of the V12 supercar is set to be one of the most spectacular cars on the road.
Ferrari has long had a tradition of producing supremely aggressive versions of its sportscars so the special few, that have to be invited to buy thanks to limited supply that is massively outstripped by demand, can stand out from an already rarefied crowd.
The V12 super coupe is set to house a 760bhp variant of the 6.3-litre V12, a 30bhp boost over the standard car that was hardly lacking in the first place. The Maranello company has also put it flagship supercar on a serious diet, saving 200kg and increasing the power-to-weight ratio to 531bhp-per-tonne. That will give the Ferrari the edge over its Italian rival, the Lamborghini LP750-4 Superveloce, as well as placing the Italian stallion level with the Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar.
The weight saving is arguably the most impressive element of the F12 Speciale, as the 200kg diet is more than double the weight saving that Ferrari achieved with the 458. Lightweight body panels, thinner Perspex windows and a stripped out interior will inevitably form part of the equation, but lightweight engineering must run to the car’s core to achieve the 1430kg kerbweight.
Perhaps surprisingly, the most aggressive form of the F12 will almost certainly come with a lower top speed than the 211mph offered by the standard car. A variety of aerodynamic appendages mean that the car will generate significant amounts of downforce at speed, which will give it a much faster laptime round the company’s test track at Fiorano and will help its customers leave the opposition in their dust on track. In a straight line, though, there’s a price to pay in terms of top end speed thanks to increased drag.
The car will inevitably blast through 60mph in less than 3 seconds and will boast acceleration figures that will only truly be matched by the likes of the La Ferrari, McLaren P1 or Porsche’s 918. These hybrid hypercars cost significantly more and many customers will prefer the ‘purer; experience on offer from this naturally-aspirated V12.
With Ferrari opting for turbo power in the 488 GTB and the slow acceptance of forced induction even in this highest echelon of sportscars, the F12 Speciale may yet turn out to be the ultimate expression of a V12 Ferrari. If it is the tipping point, the last and most powerful car Ferrari builds before adopting turbos across the line, then it will become an instant collector’s car and the price, which Ferrari has not yet confirmed, will rocket as soon as it goes into the owner’s hands. As the F12 costs more than £240,000, don’t expect anything less than £300,000 for a sticker price for the low volume Speciale.