New Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider

New Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider

The concept giving shape to the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider draws inspiration from open-topped Ferrari Gran Turismo models of the 1950s and ‘60s, which combined the unmatched performance of a road-going racing car with the unique opportunity to revel in the sound of the 12-cylinder engine with the roof down, and extraordinary long-distance driving comfort. The design of the car makes a break from the recent canons of the Ferrari two-seater berlinetta spider genre, eschewing muscularity and sensuality in favour of a more futuristic language founded on formal purity with only the barest hint of a typically automotive visual lexicon.

The Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider is intended for both connoisseurs of the marque with a clear vision of what Ferrari has stood for in the motoring world since 1947, and newer Ferraristi who dream of a car that lets them combine unmatched driving thrills with comfort and Italian design – and the possibility of enjoying the wind in their hair.

The F140HD engine equipping the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider is the new version of the iconic naturally-aspirated Ferrari V12, the purest expression of Ferrari’s soul: its peerless performance, powerful soundtrack and exclusivity make it the worthy heir to the legendary berlinetta sports cars that wrote some of the most glittering chapters in the marque’s history. The engine can unleash up to 830 cv while its max revs have been increased to 9500 rpm thanks to the adoption of innovative solutions.

The engine features modified components and software, some of which were already adopted on the open-top special series 812 Competizione A, ensuring it tops its category in terms of performance. To allow the V12 to rev so high, the engineers worked to reduce the weight and inertia of the engine’s components, adopting titanium con rods, which guarantee a saving of 40% in rotating mass compared to steel with the same mechanical resistance. A different aluminium alloy was used for the pistons, making them lighter than on previous applications. Further weight reduction was gained by the adoption of a rebalanced crankshaft which is 3% lighter.

The valvetrain with sliding finger followers is derived from Ferrari’s unparalleled experience in Formula 1 and was developed specifically for the V12 with the aim of reducing mass and availing of more high-performance valve lift profiles. The sliding finger follower, which is steel with a Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) coating, transmits the action of the cam to the valve using a hydraulic tappet as the pivot for its movement. The use of DLC reduces the coefficient of friction at critical points, significantly improving the mechanical efficiency of the engine.

Most of the modifications focused on optimising torque delivery in all operating conditions. The result is an engine with exhilaratingly smooth, seamless response, that delivers peak power at the red line.

The layout of the manifold and plenum is now more compact: shortening the length of the tracts and optimising the cam profiles allows power to be unleashed at high revs. The torque curve is optimised at all engine speeds by a system of variable geometry inlet tracts which enables the length of the intake tract to be continuously varied in relation to the firing intervals of the engine to maximise the dynamic charge in the cylinder.

For the very first time on a naturally-aspirated engine, an innovative software strategy was developed that can modify the maximum torque available as a function of the gear selected. This gives the driver the feeling of smooth, progressive pick-up as the transmission ratio increases, another vital factor in making the driving exhilaration delivered by the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider truly unique.

A crescendo of never-ending acceleration and power delivery has been a signature of all Ferrari V12s. Now innovative Aspirated Torque Shaping (ATS) has allowed Maranello engineers to sculpt the torque curve in third and fourth gears using sophisticated electronic control that improves perception of the torque without impinging on acceleration, all to the benefit of driving pleasure. The introduction of new gear ratios furthermore keeps acceleration levels high and allowed the engineers to define a new torque curve shape for an aspirated engine.

With the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider, Flavio Manzoni and the Ferrari Styling Centre design team set out to radically transform the stylistic codes of Ferrari’s previous mid-front-engined V12s. The car in fact marks a clear departure from the sculptural language that characterised the 812 Competizione A, for example, instead favouring a more sophisticated language that still retains the necessary formal design rigour to achieve a sense of stylistic unity.

Clean lines dominate the car’s geometry, underscoring the volumes that make up a seamlessly interconnected whole. The ultra-clean flanks sweep back along the entire car from a dihedral section. Although retaining a signature Ferrari sensuality, the wings have been sculpted with extreme geometric precision: all the lines are the result of intersections between the volumes and a more functional approach to form has been taken that eschews nostalgia. The muscular rear wing is imposing, yet also perfectly controlled geometrically. On the front wing, that muscular tension extends slightly, coming to rest along the flank and further accentuating the car’s monolithic aesthetic.

The sculpted bonnet is extremely sleek and incorporates the front wings. Removing the cut lines from the wings gives a smooth, uninterrupted surface to the muscularity of the design, lending the entire bonnet a sense of ultra-clean fluidity, interrupted only by two vents to cool the engine bay. One of the objectives of the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider was to explore design languages only tangentially related to the car world. The front has lost certain signature elements, such as the elongated form of the headlights and the traditional grille shape, in favour of geometries and intersections innate to the car’s design. The headlights are integrated into a single wraparound band from which the DRLs emerge like blades.

This car differs from the Ferrari 12Cilindri in the boldly expressive character created by the two buttresses at the rear, behind which an element with a black-screen effect is set. The crease lines evident on the buttresses clearly echo the motif of the flank, accentuating the expressiveness of the design of these elements. Set into the flank is a ‘quarterlight’ in back-painted polycarbonate.

A similar approach has been taken with the rear architecture: once again, rigour is the order of the day with the shape obtained by the subtraction of volume. Consistent with the front of the car the taillights are set into a blade that traverses the entire, concave rear section and also provides what is possibly the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider’s real signature theme, demonstrating once again how cleverly the Ferrari Styling Centre’s designers are able to meld technical and functional demands with beauty.

Instead of adopting a rear spoiler, the designers have used two active flaps integrated with the rear screen, creating a signature delta theme. The overall perception is of a seamless whole, creating the idea of a very high-tech form. The development of this concept allowed the designers to treat the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider’s cabin in a new way, tracing the frame of the surface in body colour to echo the rear screen theme and integrate organically with the rest of the cabin which itself is characterised by a black screen effect.

The tail section ends in a very clean, monolithic volume in body colour as well. The lower section of the tail – in black or in carbon fibre – features the prominent diffuser keels. The body of the car appears to be suspended over this element, creating a floating effect. This zone also hosts the sensors and two twin tailpipes. The four tailpipes themselves also feature an all-new shape, with a metal surround to reduce the perception of their size and create a more compact look.

The design of the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider’s interior sees it split into three different levels: the first, dominated by the upper part of the dash, continues around to blend into the door panel trim. Next is the central area while the third includes the footwells and seats. Each level is clearly defined, heightening the dual-cockpit effect through the colour and material combinations. These are used to create either an elegant or sporty look for the seats and other features. Ferrari’s signature luxury and performance are flanked on the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider by a focus on environmental sustainability: extensive use has been made of sustainable materials such as Alcantara© containing 65% recycled polyester.

The interior style takes its inspiration from the Prancing Horse’s dual-cockpit architecture. In recent years, that layout was used for the Ferrari Roma and Roma Spider as well as the Ferrari Purosangue. The Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider’s cabin has an almost symmetrical structure comprising two modules for driver and passenger and offering an astonishing standard of comfort and involvement in the driving experience.

The dashboard extends horizontally, a fact underscored by a clear separation between the trimmed volumes in the upper section and the technical functions in the lower section. The upper section features two distinct binnacles dedicated to the driver and passenger instrumentation and to the climate control vents. A deftly elegant colour and material change draws the eye to the two volumes separated by the body of the dash, which seem almost to float, further enhancing the feeling of lightness in this area.

The panels of the central tunnel extend outward from the dashboard geometries as if they were almost an extension of the latter. The trimmed area features a large sculptural gash emphasised by contrasting materials. The armrest is in the trimmed area of the tunnel and extends into the medallion area, revealing contrasting metallic edging that creates an elegant intersection between the volumes. The side section of the tunnel itself has been scooped out, again recreating that floating feeling. The structure of the tunnel is trimmed with exclusive upholstery, and features a Y-shaped metal element into which the iconic shift gate is set.

Unlike the Ferrari 12Cilindri, there is no rear bench as the rear zone of the cabin of the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider is used to stow the retractable hard top. However, the solution chosen for the roof system still leaves plenty of space in the cabin, and the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider is a versatile car suitable even for long journeys.

The Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider introduces a new Human Machine Interface (HMI) comprising three displays that raise the Ferrari V12 berlinetta onboard experience to new heights. All of the main functions can be controlled from the central 10.25” touchscreen capacitive display within reach of both driver and passenger. This is flanked by a 15.6” driver display showing all of the driving and vehicle dynamics information. Lastly, the passenger is always completely involved in the driving experience thanks to an 8.8” display that ensures they feel like a genuine co-driver.

The car sports the capacitive steering wheel seen on all of the latest models in the range featuring the indented buttons for ease of use. This means that command activations are more precise, instant and intuitive even in sporty driving conditions. The Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider comes with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®-based mobile connectivity systems as standard, both easily controlled from the new central display. A wireless charging mat on the central tunnel (as standard) makes phone charging simple too.

Available as an optional on the Ferrari 12Cilindri Spider is the high-end audio system developed in collaboration with Burmester®, comprising 15 loudspeakers and unleashing a massive 1600 W for a genuinely unprecedented in-car experience at any volume and any speed. The high frequencies are crystal clear and sparkling, thanks to Ring Tweeter technology which minimises distortion. The powerful dual coil subwoofer guarantees a wonderfully full, rich sound which, thanks to Ultraflat Headliners, is all part of a 360-degree listening experience. 

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