Here’s the most talked about aspect of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Ferrari call it the ‘aero bridge’ and it’s supposed to be a device that integrates the best of Ferrari’s learning in the windtunnel while working on F1 cars. A lot of designers we’ve talked to have questioned how this system actually works, suggesting that they (and their engineers) can’t work out how this won’t generate lift. Yet earlier, when we spoke with Flavio Manzoni, he seemed more than confident about the device’s value, calmly quoting facts and figures about it, that made us suspect that it really could work. Here’s a picture from above, below and the side. What do you think?
Although we’ll be doing a full design review after the show, we can’t let a new Ferrari launch go without a mention. The new F12 Berlinetta showcases the first project with Flavio Manzoni at the helm of Ferrari’s internal design studio, as well as a return to cooperation with longtime design partner Pininfarina.
The car is utterly striking in its modernity and clear deference to the aerodynamic needs of a car capable of unprecedented performance. With a familiar front-engined V12, 2-seat layout, the F12 Berlinetta nonetheless ushers in a new era of Ferrari design, characterized here by the massive sculpted doors and the and aerodynamic “aerobridge” front fenders that create a dynamic and dramatic interplay of volumes and shapes that seems to be polarizing many of the designers I’ve spoken with. Size and proportion are beautifully resolved however, looking much more agile and athletic than its predecessor, and in the rear we have a proper hatch that sits over a rear “T” graphic that is reminiscent of past Ferraris, then gracefully transitions into an F1-inspired diffuser (complete with a fog lamp that appears to have been lifted straight off the F2012).
It is a bold statement of intent from Ferrari that design will not be sacrificed for the wind tunnel, but rather integrated into the process. It’s a rejection of retro thinking and style at Ferrari and a clear planting of Manzoni’s flag in the ground.
There’s something endearing, romantic and entirely befitting of the ‘Italian way’ of crafting car design about a wooden buck. Fittingly then, Pininfarina will sell you a 10th scale one of either the Birdcage concept or a Dino for €500.
They sit alongside four of the coolest crash helmets we’ve seen recently.
Let’s just hope that when its Cambiano concept and the new Ferrari F12 are unveiled later on, they have the same ‘want one’ quality.
This might be a bit strong, but I’d say the Ferrari FF was a candidate for production car design of the show. Some don’t agree and see it as a missed opportunity, but it is undeniable that the FF is a far better proposal for a typology that sees the Panamera occupy a space in the garage.
Designed under the direction of Lowie Vermeersch, former Design Director at Pininfarina, work on the shooting brake concept initially started following the creation of the Sintesi show car of 2007. Ferrari bosses were keen on seeing the car developed from that initial premise, according to insiders, but the project eventually went to Guigiaro’s Italdesign. After Italdesign created an angular proposal, the project again landed in Pininfarina who picked up the ball took it down the pitch.
The result is quite a departure for Ferrari, but undoubtedly a better flagship than the outgoing 612. Though Ferrari purists may hate it, we feel the time is right for such a car from the Pancing Horse brand.