Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Tires Detailed
March, 2012. Location - Geneva, Switzerland. Event - Geneva Motor Show. Subject - Ferrari press conference and a new product unveiling.
It was the time when Ferrari decided to bring back the spotlights on the Italian sports car manufacturing business, so a brand new model smiled again in front of the journalists.
Called F12 Berlinetta, this is the most powerful production Ferrari ever and the specification list is absolutely breathtaking. A V12 6262 cc engine that produces 740 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and a total weight of... 1525 kilos. Performance? Mindblowing: a 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 211 mph (340 km/h). Oh goodie...
For those of you who haven’t spotted the maximum power, that’s 740 hp (seven hundred and forty horsepower), which is more than the Lamborghini Aventador, only boasting 700 hp.
Now, it’s more or less obvious that in order to develop such a high level of performance, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta benefits from the latest technologies and innovations developed by the Italians, including plenty of carbon fiber and aluminium.
But, what’s more, it has a very effective way to interact with the ground. Tires, that is.
At the Geneva Motor Show last month, the F12 Berlinetta was shoed with high-performance Pirelli P-Zero tires, good enough to cope with the performance generated by the V12 engine. Only that a few days ago, the guys over at Michelin proudly stepped in front of the media and said: hey, Ferrari will equip its most powerful production car with our very own tires.
They’re called Michelin Pilot Super Sport and many of you already know them, as the tires have been around for a while in various sizes, thus becoming an important product for many drivers out there. Well, are they good enough for the Berlinetta? Michelin says they are.
Before jumping into technical details, let’s analyze the official figures. Although manufacturers tend to exaggerate a little bit when talking about their products, Michelin claims that Pilot Super Sport provides 12 percent better handling than all the other rivals, and points to the victories the company recorded at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And, to be honest, handling is vital for the new Berlinetta.
Then, Michelin claims the tires last longer than the other similar tires because they make use of the so-called Variable Contact Patch 2.0 and Twaron Belt. Needless to say, they’re also more efficient when it comes to braking, but that’s more like an obvious fact.
Getting through these nice words released by Michelin’s marketing department, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta will use tires sized 255/35 ZR 20 front and 315/35 ZR 20 rear.
The Twaron Belt Michelin was talking about is actually the key element that ensures high-speed stability to each car, including to Berlinetta. And given the fact that it could reach 340 km/h (211 mph), that’s a critical feature. Since it has to cope with such a high speed, the Twaron Belt had to be very strong, and Michelin claims it really is, providing a strength five times better than steel. Wow, is that so? Probably not, but it’s quite reassuring to know it’s there.
Since it’s supposed to be used by a high-performance car, the Pilot Super Sport uses technology from endurance racing, which again contributes to the overall stability and even reduces wear. How come that is possible? It uses different rubber compounds on each side of the tire. According to Michelin, a dedicated endurance elastomer on the outside and a high-grip version on the inside makes sure the F12 Berlinetta stays on the road all the time.
The tech specifications of a 255/35 ZR 20 front tire to be available on the F12 Berlinetta include a an “Y” speed rating, a 30.000 mile (48,280 km) mileage warranty, a 10.2" on 9" section width and a maximum load of 1609@50 psi. Both sizes will be manufactured in France.
Ferrari hasn’t yet talked about the price of the new F12 Berlinetta, but it is generally believed that it will exceed the 300,000 Euros milestone. In addition, Michelin remained tightlipped when it comes to the overall cost of the tires, but a few clicks on the official website and... voila!
The new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, inspired from the F1, tested by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Two 315/35ZR20 XL Michelin Pilot Super Sport Blackwall Ferrari tires for the rear priced at $452 each, plus two front 255/35ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport Blackwall with a cost of $315 each. Total cost - $1,534, quite affordable for such an expensive car. Still, in case Michelin decides to create a special edition tire for the vehicle, expect the price to rise by... a lot.
What’s more, since Pirelli provided tires for the show car, it could very well join the F12 Berlinetta frenzy with its very own product. And because Michelin’s could become standard equipment, Pirelli’s tires could very well be the more expensive optional product for those who do not care about the money.