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Sunny southern California is where extravagance comes to flourish. While there are plenty of millionaire YouTubers blasting around on electric scooters, one of Los Angeles’ transportation hallmarks is luxury. Despite bevies of Bentleys shuffling gaggles of the Internet’s who’s who down Sunset Boulevard, greater attention is paid to the more aggressive side of opulence. Consequently, decade-old Ferraris in LA are about as riveting as happy hour at the Alhambra Applebee’s. So, is the Ferrari F12—one of the best front-engine grand tourers ever built—useless in Tinseltown? Our very own Braden Carlson teamed up with supercar dealer Tactical Fleet to get behind the wheel of their F12 to find out.

Ferrari’s F12 looks too conservative for clout

Ferrari is most known today for its mid-engine track monsters. But founder Enzo began funding his racing pursuits with track-derived front-engine V12 grand tourers. Even today, Modena’s flagship battlecruisers are examples of trickle-down Formula One tech wrapped in Europe’s finest leather and carbon fiber accouterments. All this sounds like it would distract LA passersby, looking up from their overpriced avocado toast. Who couldn’t wait to take a peek at the F12’s brilliance? However, the LA of now is much different. The cost of clout has changed, and the Ferrari F12 is a bit conservative.

The F12 doesn’t have angry air vents, massive hips, gaping side scoops, or a double-stack rear wing. It doesn’t wear its downforce on its sleeve, giving it Balenciaga-like looks. No, it’s more understated than that. For instance, the F12 has actuating flaps in the front fascia. When the brakes need to be cooled, the flaps open. Otherwise, they’re closed for better aerodynamics. Moreover, there’s no need for any look-at-me air dams behind the cockpit; the F12’s operatic powertrain is in the front.

LA traffic stifles the F12’s top-notch performance

The Ferrari F12 is an amazing grand tourer
2016 Ferrari F12 | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit

Beyond town and out on the PCH, one can enjoy more of the F12. Big Ferraris, like the Testarossa, attempted to disguise their largesse with immense power. However, the F12, a relatively small front-engine Ferrari, is nimble and sharp. And thanks to its 730-horsepower V12, you can experience the most powerful front-engine Ferrari ever made—until its 812 Superfast successor. But can you take in all of it?

Part of daily life in LA is sitting in traffic. Even if it’s manageable, one may not have a chance to achieve its 3.1-second 0-60 time. Third gear may be unlikely during most drives around America’s second-largest city. Does that mean it’s useless? Not necessarily.

The F12 isn’t a single-clutch supercar that makes urban driving a horrendous experience. Its rear-mounted seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox will ensure the grand tourer is tamed down in town. If one putters down Rodeo Drive, it won’t shudder when switching to second like other high-dollar supercars. Parallel parking is easier than one would think with the F12’s passive rear steering. Despite its shrill at 8,500 rpm, the 6.3-liter F140 engine can run calmly around town. Therefore, you won’t disturb picture-taking tourists. And the locals won’t be looking at you anyway.

The Ferrari F12 would be a complicated daily driver in LA

The 2016 Ferrari F12 has a complicated steering wheel
2016 Ferrari F12 interior | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit

Even though the Ferrari F12 features enough cargo space to hold an afternoon’s worth of shopping, it’s a slightly complicated car to drive every day. If it starts to rain when exiting the 405, it’ll be hard to find the windshield wiper button. Ferrari loves to show off their Formula One heritage by plopping a button-laden steering wheel into a car that will likely never see the track. Given that buttons aren’t in the same place they were as the steering wheel moves, it’ll bring an unwanted challenge to an influencer’s busy day.

Moreover, in the rain, exploiting gaps in traffic will be particularly tough. It’s not that the F12 isn’t powerful enough; it actually has too much. Stomping the accelerator on a 730-horsepower car in anything but bone-dry, even prepped conditions will welcome rather terrifying wheel spin. Couple that with lightning-fast steering, driving the Ferrari F12 may require more focus than most are willing to give—especially on the twists and turns of Mulholland Drive. After all, it’s a car that costs more than a house.


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