I recently had the chance to drive a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, which is an incredible sports car manufactured by Ferrari that was recently followed up by an even more incredible sports car manufactured by Ferrari, so a lot of people have forgotten about it. This has also caused its values to fall from “crazy insanely expensive” to just “very, very expensive,” making the F12 a bit of a bargain.
I drove the F12 Berlinetta at O’Gara La Jolla, which is the Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls-Royce dealership in the San Diego area, where they have this used 2015 model on sale for around $240,000. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but it’s a far cry from the original price, which was probably closer to $400,000. Think about that: $160,000 in depreciation in three years. It must be nice.
And, indeed, it is nice for anyone in the market now because you’ve allowed someone else to take that hit, and now you can just focus on buying the car and enjoying yourself. Yes, sure, it still has a lot of value left to lose — but with the 599 GTB, the F12’s predecessor, still easily pulling $150,000 or more, it’s unlikely the F12 will lose more than about $100,000 in value over the next decade — a far cry from the initial huge depreciation hit.
But enough about the money — let’s talk about the name. The F12 Berlinetta is officially called the F12berlinetta, all one word, with “Berlinetta” inexplicably in lower case. Nobody in the car media world has ever respected this ridiculous naming convention, and we all just call it the F12 Berlinetta or, more simply, just the F12.
Call it whatever you want, though, the reality of this car is simple: It’s absolutely amazing. The Ferrari 812 Superfast, the successor to the F12, has an amazing 790 horsepower — but the F12 is no slouch, with 730 hp of its own, a top speed of 211 miles per hour and a 0-to-60 time of 3.1 seconds. This is one of the fastest cars on the road, period, and I suspect most people couldn’t tell the difference between the 812’s speed and the F12’s speed — assuming they can even find a road that allows them to make the comparison.
The F12 is also impressive on the inside, where it boasts all the modern features and concoctions you’d expect from a new-ish Ferrari. This isn’t the Ferrari of the old days where stuff feels like it’s about to break off; this is a sports car manufacturer that also happens to be a high-quality luxury goods manufacturer, and it shows. Everything is of the highest quality, with no rattles or shakes, everything looks as you’d expect it to given this car’s original price tag, and all the modern tech is present. Compared to the 812, it’s barely different — and it’s surely a bargain.
The same can be said of the performance. Like I mentioned, straight-line acceleration is barely different between the 812 and the F12 — but it’s not just that. In the F12, the steering feel is excellent, body roll is minimal and the car feels unendingly athletic. It is, quite honestly, one of the best sports cars I’ve ever driven — just like the 812 was.
But the F12’s comparative “bargain” pricing makes it the better buy — and the pricing also makes it one of the best modern Ferrari models, combining modern performance, technology and luxury with heavy depreciation. It’s hard to imagine a Ferrari being a sensible purchase, but this one is exactly that — and yet, it’s also thrilling enough to leave you feeling like you rode a roller coaster every single time you park it after a nice drive.
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