Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (Photo: Ferrari)
Exotic cars and exotic materials go hand in hand. The Ferrari F40 was one of the very first production cars to use carbon fiber extensively. Years later, other exotic automakers like McLaren, Lamborghini, and Pagani followed suit. Even the BMW M3 has a fixed carbon fiber roof.
However, during the past weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa made an interesting announcement during the North American unveiling of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: Ferrari has no intentions of switching to full carbon fiber products anytime soon. According to Felisa, carbon fiber technology won't be where the automaker needs it to be until 2020.
What does that mean? Felisa believes that the current resins used to bond carbon fiber are still too heavy and lack the mechanical characteristics that Ferrari looks for in its vehicles. As for the F12 Berlinetta, a dozen different forms of aluminum have been used in the supercar's chassis and body. The result is a structure that's lighter and stiffer than its predecessor, the 599.
On the F12's Pebble Beach premiere, Ferrari North America president and CEO Marco Mattiacci said, "With many of our most valued clients and avid fans joining for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, this is the ideal moment for the North American premiere. Mattiacci also promises the car will be both, "beautiful and breathtakingly fast."
The F12 Berlinetta's engine delivers 730 hp and 730 lb.-ft. of torque from a 6.3 liter naturally aspirated V12. Revving to 8,700 rpm, FerrarI designed a dual-clutch gearbox with closer gear ratios to give the F12 the blistering acceleration it deserves. 0-to-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration takes only 3.1 seconds and you can be damn sure top speed is well over 200 mph.