If, like your humble scribe, you’ve spent many hours browsing the various classified ads selling Ferrari 599s and building your own versions on Ferrari’s car configurator (which, in case you’ve never played with it, is incredible), then we’ve got some very bad news for you: Ferrari has reportedly ended production of their front-engined V12 sports car. Cue the sad walking away theme from The Incredible Hulk.
But when Ferrari closes down one production run, it’s usually because something even better is coming along behind it. In this case, it’s a harder-edged V12 beast known inside Maranello as “F152.” Ferrari is officially keeping mum on the car, but as usually happens in the automotive world, details are starting to leak out anyway.
From what we’re hearing, the F152 will use a version of the new 6.3 liter V12 seen in the Ferrari Four, but cranked up to more than 700 horsepower here. It’ll use lightweight materials, but the body will stick with aluminum rather than carbon fiber. A KERS-inspired hybrid system is unlikely (at least at first), and while the Four’s lightweight AWD system would certainly help lay down all that power, don’t expect to see it on the F152. A seven-speed dual-clutch box will all but certainly be the only transmission, making the 599 GTB the last V12 front-engined Ferrari with the option of a gated shifter. LED headlights that share a familial resemblance to the 458 Italia and FF will likely bloom on the front, as well.
Supposedly, Ferrari’s goal is to make the out-of-the-box F152 faster than a 599 GTO around the Fiorano test track…which would make the F152 the new record holder on the course, as the GTO’s lap time of 1:24 currently makes it top dog around Fiorano. Odds are good the car will make its public debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, but as with the Ferrari Four, private previews for Ferrari customers will likely begin later this year. (We expect to see an onslaught of spy photos in the months leading up to its debut, too.) As with the FF, we bet the F152 will sell like hotcakes, so if you’ve got the cash, we suggest placing your deposit now. We just hope Ferrari gives the F152 a slightly more inspiring name than the FF received. Ferrari, if you’re reading this, we have a suggestion: the Ferrari 630 Imperator. Thoughts? [via PistonHeads, Teamspeed]
*Not including production of the limited-to-80-copies-and-was-sold-out-before-you-heard-about-it-so-guess-you’re-not-that-cool-after-all Ferrari 599 SA Aperta. And, from what we’ve heard, at least a few 599 GTOs are still due to be built in the next month or so.
Pictured: Ferrari 599 GTO