Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer

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Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer
A Ferrari 512 BB in the exclusively Ferrari parking lot at the 2005 United States Grand Prix
Parent companyFiat Group
2,323 produced
AssemblyMaranello, Italy
PredecessorFerrari 365 GTB/4
SuccessorFerrari Testarossa
ClassSports car
Body style(s)Berlinetta
LayoutRMR layout
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
ManualService Manual
365 GT4 BB
First in the Boxer series. Note the six tailights, six exhaust tips, and very high profile tires
387 produced
Engine(s)4.4 L H12
BB 512
1981 Ferrari 512BB (North America)
929 produced
Engine(s)5.0 L H12
BB 512i
1,007 produced
Engine(s)5.0 L FI H12

A Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer is one of a series of cars produced by Ferrari in Italy between 1973 and 1984. They used a mid-mounted flat-12 (Boxer) engine, replacing the FR layout Daytona, and were succeeded in the Ferrari stable by the Testarossa.

Production of the BB was a major step for Enzo Ferrari. He felt that a mid-engined road car would be too difficult for his buyers to handle, and it took many years for his engineers to convince him to adopt the layout. This attitude began to change as the marque lost its racing dominance in the late 1950s to mid-engined competitors. The mid-engined 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder Dino racing cars was the result, and Ferrari later allowed for the production Dino road cars to use the layout as well. The company also moved its V12 engines to the rear with its P and LM racing cars, but the Daytona was launched with its engine in front. It was not until 1971 that a mid-engined 12-cylinder road car would appear.

365 GT4 BB

The first Boxer was the 365 GT4 BB shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. Designed to answer rival the Lamborghini Miura, it was finally released for sale in 1973 at the Paris Motor Show. Only 387 were built, including just 58 with right hand drive. This was the rarest and fastest of all Berlinetta Boxers.

Though it shared its numerical designation with the Daytona, the Boxer was as different as could be. It was a mid-engined car like the Dino, and the now flat-12 engine was mounted longitudinally rather than transversely.

The engine shared its internal dimensions with the V12 from the Daytona, but was spread out to 180° as on Ferrari's 1970 Formula One car. It produced 344 hp (257 kW) at 7200 rpm (7700 rpm redline), 302 ft·lbf (409 N·m) of torque at 3900 rpm, and was mounted above a five-speed manual transmission. One major difference in this engine was its use of timing belts rather than chains.

The Pininfarina body was an angular wedge with popup headlights and remains quite modern looking.

Test performance: Weight (kerb with 120 L (32 US gal; 26 imp gal) fuel) 3,417 lb (1,550 kg), acceleration 0-100 km/h 5.6 s, 100-200 km/h 12.8 s, top speed 181 mph (291 km/h).

A Ferrari BB 512i in the exclusively Ferrari parking lot at the 2005 United States Grand Prix.

512 BB

The 365 was updated as the BB 512 in 1976, resurrecting the name of the earlier Ferrari 512 racer. The engine was larger at 4942 cc, but peak horsepower was off slightly to 340 hp (250 kW) at 6200 rpm (redline 7000 rpm). Torque was up to 46 kg·m (450 N·m; 330 ft·lbf) from 44 kg·m (430 N·m; 320 ft·lbf) at 4600 rpm, largely as a result of larger displacement and a longer stroke. Dry sump lubrication was used for a lower center of gravity.

External differentiators included a new front spoiler, wider rear tires, added NACA side air vents ducting air to the brakes, and four tail lights (instead of six).

929 BB 512s were produced.

512i BB

The Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injected BB 512i introduced in 1981 was the last of the series. The fuel injected motor produced cleaner emissions and 340 hp (250 kW) at 6000 rpm and 333 ft·lbf (451 N·m) of torque at 4200 rpm.

External differentiators from the BB 512 besides badging include a change to metric sized wheels and the Michelin TRX metric tire system, small white running lights in the nose, and red rear fog lamps outboard of the exhaust pipes in the rear valance.

1,007 BB 512i models were produced.

Measured performance: 0-100 km/h 5.9 s, 100-200 km/h 14.8 s, max 288 km/h (179 mph).


  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 

External links