2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ask any non-car person who makes the world’s best sports car and I bet that nine times out of ten, the answer will be “Ferrari.” The Ferrari marketing department has done a great job of building up the brand to be a household name, even among people who aren’t into cars.

Yes, it’s true that Ferraris have six-figure price tags. It’s true that they look great in Rosso Corsa and their flat-plane crank engines produce an angry, high pitched sound. Ferrari does an excellent job of looking like the world’s best cars.

But you know what? They’re really not THAT fast. A new generation of hyper-expensive cars from Pagani, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Hennessey and others boast more horsepower and faster acceleration than anything in Maranello’s stables.

First, let’s take a look at some recent Ferrari vehicles in terms of power:

Vehicle Horsepower 0-60 (seconds)
Ferrari Testarossa 390 HP 5.2
Ferrari 360 400 HP 4.4
Ferrari California 454 HP 3.9
Ferrari 430 483 HP 3.7
Ferrari 458 Italia 562 HP 3.0
Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano 612 HP 3.2
Ferrari Enzo 650 HP 3.2

Now, compare that to the “new generation” of hyper-exotics:

Vehicle Horsepower 0-60 (seconds)
Pagani Huayra 700 HP 3.3
Koenigsegg Agera R 1,140 HP 2.7
Bugatti Veyron SuperSport 1,200 HP 2.4
Hennessey Venom GT 1,244 HP 2.7

For goodness sake, even a $90,000 Nissan GT-R can accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds (2012+ models), and that’s a fraction of the price of any Ferrari!

I refer to these as the new generation of supercars because they were founded fairly recently (within the last 20 years) and, with the exception of Bugatti, they do not have any racing pedigree or heritage.

Look, I’m not out to bash on Ferrari here. Of course there will be a big difference between a car that costs $300,000 and one that goes for $1 to $2 million. My point here is that in the automotive world, Ferraris are not the be-all, end-all supercars that most people think they are. The fastest thing on four wheels does not wear a prancing horse badge.

However, I recently spotted the brand new 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta at Cars and Coffee in Scottsdale. Like the 599 series it replaces, the F12berlinetta is a Grand Touring car, which means it has its 730 horsepower V12 engine at the front.

For just $330,000 you can have a car that rockets you from 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and has a top speed of 210 miles per hour. Any way you slice it, that’s pretty darn impressive. This is the first car that Ferrari has made that’s actually as fast as everyone always thinks Ferraris are.

The F12 is the most powerful production car Ferrari has ever made. I am not counting the FXX because it’s not road-legal or the LaFerrari – which hasn’t yet gone into production at the time of this writing.

As you can see from the table above, this car is a huge leap forward for Ferrari. It puts them back in the upper echelon of the world’s most high performance cars.

I think this car is much more impressive than the LaFerrari, offering 76% of the performance for just 1/4 of the price. The widemouth grille is pretty goofy looking, but overall the car is a heck of a lot more pleasing to look at than the 599. If this is the direction Ferrari is headed in the future, I think ol’ Enzo would be proud.

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