Ferrari F12 review | Series 20 | BBC

Ferrari F12 review | Series 20 | BBC

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Jeremy enjoys a wet weekend in England with the help of the Ferrari F12. A car so brilliant even the Stig would buy one.Subscribe for more awesome videos: YouTube channel: TopGear.com website: Facebook: Twitter:

Can't enjoy a Ferrari in Britain?
Oh, yes, you can. But can you enjoy this one? It's called the F12. It costs £240,000
and thanks to a 730 horsepower V12… it's the most powerful
road-going Ferrari ever made. It's almost as powerful, in fact,
as Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 racer. Of course, at this point,
people with mouths of meal would say: "What's the point of all that, then,
when we've got speed limits?" You don't have to use
all of it all the time. In a town, you can sit back,
turn on the radio, put the suspension in bumpy road mode
to make everything nice and comfy, set the gearbox in automatic,
the air conditioning just so… and then you can drive along
quite happily at 20 miles an hour. Easy. It's not even especially big. I'm not saying this is tiny,
but it's not preposterous. You don't go through
every gap like that… So, this car works in Letchworth
just like any other car. But when the built-up area ends,
it's not like any other car at all. Wow. Wow, this is fast. Ferrari say it will
go from nought to 60 in 3.1 seconds. And that flat-out,
it'll be doing 211 miles an hour. And it's not just the massive engine
which makes it all so savage. Unlike the old 599,
this has a double clutch gearbox, so, gear changes are immediate. You build up the speed
until the noise gets too much and your ears are bleeding
and then you change up and there's no gap. How do you do that? They've also fitted a more sophisticated
traction control system, which lets you have fun,
without allowing you to crash. But the most impressive thing
is how this car manages the air. These flaps down here,
when the brakes are hot, they open, to allow cooling air
to pass on to the discs. But the rest of the time,
they're shut for better aerodynamics. And then you have these channels
on either side of the bonnet. The air is funnelled along them into here and out of here, so it provides a boundary
layer of smooth air passing down the flanks of the car,
making it more slippery. There's real downforce as well. At 125 miles an hour, the weight of the air
pressing down on the car is 19 stone. That's like having
half of John Prescott on the roof forcing the tyres into the Tarmac,
giving better grip. They have done everything in the book,
then, to exploit the colossal firepower. And the results are mesmerising. In the past, big Ferraris felt big. The Testarossa and the 612,
they were immense. They were fat-boy cars. This isn't. This is light and nimble and sharp. It's… It is spectacular. I must confess, though,
that while the car is fine, I am struggling,
because it is a bit frantic in here. I just went airborne then. You read about those early test pilots
in Mach Two jet fighters… going to the very limits
of what was possible. That's what it feels like in this,
like you're sort of out of control. And it has incredibly fast steering,
so, the slightest movement of the wheel causes
an immediate dart one way or the other. And then there's the throttle. You put
your foot down and you think: "Whoa, yes." And then immediately you think,
"Well, no, actually. Too scary." And when life is as hectic as this,
what you really want are for all the controls to be conventional
and they're not. All the knobs and buttons
for the lights and the wipers and the indicators are all on
the steering wheel, which moves about, so, they're never where you left them. You can't even sneeze
when you're driving this car because if you did, well, they'd have
to hose you off the road. To try and explain what I'm on about,
I've come to this tennis court. This is what it's like to drive
an ordinary car… on the roads of Hertfordshire. There you go, Golf GTI… BMW M3, Ferrari 458. This is easy and manageable and I could do it all day. Now let me show you
what it's like to drive… a Ferrari F12. Oh, in the face! The Stig says,
this is the only car in the world that can hold a candle to the Lexus LFA. He also says it's the first Ferrari he's
ever driven that he would actually buy, if he had any concept of money,
which of course he doesn't. Me, though… I mean, it is brilliant, but I think it would be better still
if it had slower steering… and it's hard for me to say this,
but a bit less power. Yes, you can really enjoy it in Britain… but you can't really enjoy all of it.

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