Few things sound as magical as a 12-cylinder Prancing Horse.
If you had to describe the styling of most modern-day Ferraris, all sorts of adjectives are at your disposal. Striking? Yes. Aggressive? Most definitely. But graceful? Not really. But there's one Prancing Horse that defies that sentiment. The achingly beautiful Roma has the sophisticated good looks of a truly great grand tourer, something Ferrari hasn't been able to achieve since the 456GT.
With a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 under the sculpted hood, the 612-horsepower Ferrari is good for 62 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. That's plenty fast, but a Ferrari GT car should be motivated by a V12. After all, if Aston Martin and Bentley can offer 12-cylinder engines in their grand tourers, Italy's finest certainly should. We first caught a glimpse of the 12-pot Roma back in March but now we get to hear it sing.
In the short video above, the camouflaged example can be seen traipsing about, the baritone exhaust note reverberating off other objects. While the disguise conceals most of the detailing, it's clear to see this test mule sports an elongated hood. Around a test track, all 12 cylinders come to life as the talented driver flings the big Ferrari around the track with vigor.
The transmission gears down with ferocity, allowing the Roma to fling itself out of corners as quickly as possible. Sadly, those hoping to see a production-ready variant will be disappointed. It's not going to happen. This prototype is currently serving as a testbed for something far more dynamic and exciting. As previously speculated, we're guessing Ferrari is developing an 812 Superfast successor. Very recently, the brand closed orders on the fearsome supercar.
It would make sense. After all, the Roma makes use of a scalable FR-orientation platform, which is configurable for various drive layouts and engines. As such, the 812's replacement will likely make use of this architecture. As for when the new model will arrive, we can't say. The development process appears to be in the early stages and we can't imagine Ferrari would want to upstage the arrival of the Purosangue SUV.
Whatever may be lurking under that test mule, we're just overjoyed to see that Ferrari's iconic V12 engine will be hanging around for a little bit longer. While the Prancing Horse has done phenomenal work with the V6 and V8 configurations, the 12-pot is an integral part of the brand's heritage. It's great that Ferrari hasn't given up on it just yet.
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