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It’s all in the name: the 12Cilindri is Ferrari’s new V12 GT flagship


It’s all in the name: the 12Cilindri is Ferrari’s new V12 GT flagship

Ferrari 12Cilindri

It does exactly what it says on the tin - the new Ferrari 12Cilindri continues the V12-powered model line with a universally loved engine, but divisive styling. Siddharth Limaye has all the details.

The V12 is back! What year is it again? Ferrari has resurrected the beautiful V12 with the brand new 12Cilindri. As amusing as that name is, it is actually pronounced as ‘Dodici Cilindri’ in Italian.. The highly anticipated successor to the 812 Superfast - flagship Ferrari V12s have had a history of being named quite literally as what they are - has been unveiled at the 70th anniversary of Ferrari in the American market, conveniently coinciding with the F1 Miami GP as well. 

Ferrari 12Cilindri
Ferrari 12Cilindri

Ferrari 12Cilindri - Engine

Let’s start with the main reason everybody is excited about the new flagship from Maranello: the multiple award winning 6.5 litre Naturally Aspirated V12. People feared the 812 Competitzione would be the last hurrah for the V12, and rightly so, times are quickly changing. However, Ferrari has decided to keep the engine around for a few more years if you happen to have around £340,000 in the bank, and we are all here for it.

Speaking of the 812 Comp, power remains largely the same to the Comp, with 819 bhp and 500 lb ft (678 nm) of torque. That is not all though, the engine also revs up to an astronomical 9500rpm! There have been a few mechanical changes however, with the V12 now having lighter titanium conrods and forged pistons. All of this helps to propel the 12Cilindri from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds and relentlessly push it towards its 217+ mph top speed. 

These may not sound as revolutionary improvements when compared to the previous 812, however Ferrari may have realised that they do not need another 1000 bhp supercar in their roster, and would rather celebrate the rich history of the marque in doing what they do best: making engines. All the power is sent to the rear axle through a brand new 8-speed twin-clutch gearbox with 30% faster shift speeds. (I’m not sure how that’s possible either.) 

Ferrari 12Cilindri
Ferrari 12Cilindri
Ferrari 12Cilindri

Ferrari 12Cilindri - Design

It is time to address the elephant in the room, and I am not talking about the increase in weight when compared to the 812, now up to 1,560 kg dry; add another 100kg of fluids, and the car should weigh around 1,650 kg ready to go. The design of the 12Cilindri has caused a major stir all over the internet, dividing the automotive world with polarising opinions. For some background, the 12Cilindri takes inspiration from the 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupe, with the prominent black strip connecting both headlights.

Flavio Manzoni has adamantly said that the strip will remain black, no matter the spec, which has caused even more controversy. The headlights also look like a modern take on 365, with the daytime running lights extending further than the front bumper. If you could get past the front of the car, which I am still not sure about, the lines on the side profile of the 12C have been cleaned up and straightened out. 

The best angle from the press shots in my opinion is the top view, with a prominent tinted glass roof as standard on all coupe models. The body coloured bridge between the left and right side is also beautiful, adding some much needed unique design details. For the first time on a front-mid mounted V12 Ferrari, the 12Cilindri has active aero on the rear of the car, but not where you expect.

Instead of having a rear spoiler integrating into the bodywork, there are two independent panels on both sides of the boot. They extend out above speeds of 60 mph to add rear stability and downforce, keeping in mind this car is only rear wheel drive. The tail lights have also had a rework, now being squished into four independent bars. The prominent circular exhausts of the 812 are now square, but I think that round pipes would look better here. 

Ferrari 12Cilindri
Ferrari 12Cilindri
Ferrari 12Cilindri

Ferrari 12Cilindri - Interior

The interior has also had a rework, taking elements from the Purosangue by having two independent zones for the driver and passenger. The analogue rev counter has now been replaced by a fully digital driver’s display. The passenger gets a display of their own, for music controls and watching as the numbers on the speedo climb to stratospheric digits.

There is a new 10.25” central display below the air conditioning vents, and unfortunately all tactile ventilation controls have now been moved into a menu on this screen - another controversial change. The H-pad selector for the gearbox also returns, with a nod to the manual gearboxes of the past. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard, both wireless, a thoughtful change from the Purosangue, where it was only offered as a wired option. 

Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider
Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider

Ferrari 12Cilindri - A Spider from launch?

Just when you thought Ferrari have used up all of their ‘for the first time in a long time’ tokens, Ferrari have launched the 12Cilindri Spider alongside the coupe for the first time since the 275 GTB and GTS back in 1964. For an extra £40,000 over the coupe, Ferrari offers a folding hardtop which can stow in just 14 seconds to allow the driver to enjoy the symphonic V12 soundtrack. In spite of the modified bodywork and folding roof mechanism, dry weight only increases by 60 kg over the coupe to 1,620 kg. 

So, now that we have dissected the new V12, I am left with a sense of confusion. From the spy shots and early pictures floating around on the internet, I was sure this would have been a one-off series for a lucky customer paying homage to the 365 GTB/4. However, this is a series production vehicle without a limit to the number of cars being made.

It may also be a case of Ferrari trying something radical, which is not met with positivity at first, but becomes the industry norm a few years down the line. All we know is, the V12 is back in action for a few more years, especially with Aston Martin also announcing a twin turbo V12 in the new Vanquish, and we are as excited as ever! The only question remaining is which Italian V12 supercar would you pick? The Ferrari 12Cilindri or the Lamborghini Revuelto?


Specifications: Ferrari 12Cilindri coupe [spider]

Engine: 6.5 litre dry-sump V12

Max power: 819 bhp at 9,250 rpm

Max torque: 500 lb ft (678 nm) at 7,250 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed twin-clutch automatic

0 - 62 mph: 2.9 s [2.95 s]

0 - 124 mph: under 7.9 s [8.2 s]

Top speed: Over 217 mph

Dry weight: 1,560 kg [1,620 kg]

On sale in the UK: Early 2025

Expected starting prices: from £340,000 [from £373,000]

Ferrari 12Cilindri

Written by

Siddharth Limaye


26 January 2024

Last Updated


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