Used 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Review
Edmunds expert review
Its brash styling may not please Ferrari traditionalists, but the 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is undoubtedly one of the grandest sports cars ever built.
What's new for 2014
So you've had that extra $350,000 sitting around for a while, and you're thinking now's the time to spend it all on a car. At this point there's a good chance you'll be stopping by your local Ferrari dealership. Buying a Ferrari is something you're just supposed to do if you have the means; the car gods may frown upon you if you refrain.
Here's the dilemma, though: Why would you choose the front-engine 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta over the lighter, midengine 458 Italia when the latter is universally recognized as modern sports-car perfection? Don't forget the price gap, either. If you opt for the 458, you can buy a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class for the family with what's left over. Styling is subjective, of course, but we also find the 458 to be a more original-looking car, too. All told, it's tempting to dismiss F12 Berlinetta as an overpriced, overweight grand tourer that will never escape the exuberant 458 Italia's shadow.
But then you fire up the F12 for the first time, and you're reminded that 12 is indeed greater than eight. There's a long line of iconic Ferrari GTs with V12 engines, and the Berlinetta does the lineage proud with its 6.3-liter, 731-horsepower masterpiece. Simply hearing and feeling this motor come to life may be worth the price of admission. If that doesn't do it for you, a few trips to the stratospheric 8,700-rpm fuel cutoff likely will. The F12 is similarly spellbinding around turns thanks to a taut yet supple suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes and Ferrari's trademark manettino ("little manager") on the steering wheel that gives you fingertip control over the car's electronic driving aids.
While it's natural to pit the F12 against the midengine 2014 Lamborghini Aventador due to the Italian heritage and V12 powertrains of the two cars, this Ferrari really has more in common with the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish, a less capable but arguably more stylish foe. If you'd prefer to leave most of that cash in the suitcase, the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 comes close to the Berlinetta's performance and visceral thrills for less than half the cost. But any V12-powered Ferrari coupe has undeniable cachet, and none is quicker or more capable than the 2014 F12 Berlinetta.
Trim levels & features
The 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is a two-seat exotic sports car available solely as a coupe.
Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, adaptive magnetorheological suspension dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive automatic xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, adjustable driving and vehicle settings, keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, metallic interior accents, a multifunction flat-bottomed steering wheel with manual tilt-and-telescoping functions, partial power seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, a navigation system, a six-speaker audio system and voice controls.
Options are extensive and include many different paint colors and types plus forged alloy wheels, a height-adjustable suspension, carbon-fiber exterior trim, front and rear parking cameras, a power-adjustable steering column, full power seats, fitted carbon-fiber race seats (offered in three sizes), extended leather and synthetic suede (Alcantara) interior trim, carbon-fiber inlays, a 12-speaker JBL Professional audio system, a digital passenger-side instrument display, a fire extinguisher and Ferrari Telemetry with an available video camera.
Performance & mpg
The rear-wheel-drive 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is motivated by a 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine rated at 731 hp and 508 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual with paddle shifters is the only available transmission. Ferrari says the sprint to 60 mph takes just 3.1 seconds.
According to the EPA, the F12 Berlinetta burns fuel at a rate of 13 mpg combined (11 city/16 highway), ticking up to 12 mpg city (but keeping the same ratings otherwise) with the available auto stop-start system.
Standard safety equipment for the 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta includes antilock carbon-ceramic disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear parking sensors and side airbags. Front and rear parking cameras are optional.
Blessed with extremely quick steering, the 2014 F12 Berlinetta can take a little getting used to. You don't expect that kind of hair-trigger response in a grand touring coupe, even one with a prancing horse on its nose. Once you acclimate, however, you'll find the F12's rack to be light and direct. When the mood strikes, you can tap the suspension button on the steering wheel and transform the car into an invincible cornering machine. Contributing to this are the multistage stability control system and the "E-Diff" electronic limited-slip differential, which team up to facilitate enthusiastic driving like never before in a Ferrari V12 touring coupe.
Driven in a more reasonable manner, the F12 remains a formidable athlete, though there's no getting around its GT-class bulk. The payoff comes on long trips, where the Berlinetta provides cruise-all-day comfort with its adaptive dampers on their softest setting. The other main ingredient in the F12's formula is the 6.3-liter V12. It sounds like a racecar howling down the back straight every time you accelerate, and the seven-speed automated manual is the perfect complement, shifting instantaneously whether you're going up or down. Great Ferraris have frequently been defined by their engines, and by this measure the F12 Berlinetta's greatness is undisputed.
As expected of a modern Ferrari, the F12 Berlinetta employs generally high-quality cabin materials and some fashionable flourishes, most notably the floating "bridge" panel on the center console that houses a few transmission-related buttons. We're also amused by the somewhat gimmicky passenger performance readout, an optional pixelated strip in the middle of the dashboard that displays the current gear, speed and rpm. But if you look around, some of the F12's auxiliary controls seem a bit generic -- check out the forgettable dual temperature knobs, for example. Given that Ferrari's playing in the same price bracket here as Bentley and Rolls-Royce, a few additional bespoke touches would be welcome.
Happily, the F12 nails the important stuff. The leather seats are exquisitely stitched and contoured, whether you stick with the standard design or opt for the fitted carbon-fiber race seats (available in small, medium or large). The meaty, flat-bottomed steering wheel is an achievement in itself, setting an unofficial record for the most wheel-mounted functions in a car (turn signals, headlights, windshield washers, damper stiffness and the aforementioned manettino). The center-mounted tachometer is right where you'd want it, and it's flanked helpfully by two high-resolution digital screens: infotainment functions on the right, vehicle and performance information on the left. Alas, the controls for those screens are strangely split into separate pods on either side of the steering column, and they're not what we'd call intuitive, especially if you need to accomplish something quickly.
The F12's hatchback trunk features a partition that, when in place, keeps cargo from flying forward. Standard capacity is 11.3 cubic feet, growing to 17.7 cubes with the partition removed. At additional expense, Ferrari will be pleased to include a Ferrari-embossed leather golf bag and custom leather luggage.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.