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Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer
A Ferrari 512 BB in the exclusively Ferrari parking lot at the 2005 United States Grand Prix
Manufacturer Ferrari
Parent company Fiat Group
Production 1973–1984
2,323 produced
Assembly Maranello, Italy
Predecessor Ferrari 365 GTB/4
Successor Ferrari Testarossa
Class Sports car
Body style(s) Berlinetta
Layout RMR layout
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
365 GT4 BB
First in the Boxer series. Note the six taillights, six exhaust tips, and high profile tires
Production 1973–1976
387 produced
Engine(s) 4.4 L H12
BB 512
1976 Ferrari 512BB
Production 1976–1981
929 produced
Engine(s) 5.0 L H12
BB 512i
512BBi
Production 1981–1984
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 (180° V12, not actually with a Boxer crankshaft) 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.

No BB was ever originally sold in North America, as Enzo did not believe it to be worth the cost of federalizing. However, third parties made conversions, and quite a few of them are now in the United States.

Contents

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. 387 were built, with 88 in right-hand drive (of which 58 for the UK market), making it the rarest of all Berlinetta Boxers. The Pininfarina-designed body was an angular wedge with popup headlights.

Though it shared its numerical designation with the Daytona, the Boxer was radically different. 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 and was mounted above a five-speed manual transmission. One major difference in this engine was its use of timing belts rather than chains.

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, had an increased compression ratio of 9.2:1, and a new dual plate clutch to handle the added power and ease pedal effort. Dry sump lubrication was used to prevent oil starvation in hard cornering due to revised rear suspension and wider rear tires. 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 512 models were produced.

512i BB

The Bosch K-Jetronic CIS fuel injected BB 512i introduced in 1981 was the last of the series. The fuel injected motor produced cleaner emissions and offered a better balance of performance and daily-driver temperament.

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.

Specifications and performance

Measurements are notoriously variable, inaccurate, and definitionally vague even from Ferrari-issued sources of the same period. For example, the workshop manual documents maximum speed (typically speed at redline) whereas the owner's manual documents "attainable" speed which appears to be speed at maximum HP per RPM not exceeding redline; for the 512 and 512i, this is likely not the maximum speed. Also, the workshop manual does not consistently distinguish measurements between the carbureted (512) and injected (512i) engines except with respect to the fuel delivery system, even though it is common knowledge that differences exist.

Owner's Manuals 365 512 512i
Power 344 hp (257 kW) @ 7200 rpm 360 hp (268 kW) @ 7000 rpm 340 hp (254 kW) @ 6000 rpm
Torque 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) @ 3900 rpm 333 lb·ft (451 N·m) @ 4600 rpm 333 lb·ft (451 N·m) @ 4200 rpm
Redline 7000 rpm 7000 rpm 6600 rpm
Attainable speed 188 mph (303 km/h) @ 7000 rpm 188 mph (303 km/h) @ 6200 rpm 160 mph (260 km/h) @ 6000 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 5.4 secs n/a n/a
Dry weight 1,235 kg (2,723 lb) 1,596 kg (3,519 lb) n/a
Kerb weight n/a n/a 1,580 kg (3,483 lb)
Workshop Manual 365 512 & 512i
Power 344 hp (257 kW) @7200 rpm 360 hp (268 kW) @6200 rpm
Torque 41.7 kg·m (409 N·m; 302 lb·ft) @ 3900 rpm 46 kg·m (450 N·m; 330 lb·ft) @ 4600 rpm
Redline 7000 rpm 6600 rpm
Maximum speed 302 km/h (188 mph) 303 km/h (188 mph)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 5.4 secs 5.4 secs
Dry weight 1,235 kg (2,723 lb) 1,515 kg (3,340 lb)
Kerb weight n/a n/a

References

  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 
  • Ferrari Workshop/Repair Manual 365GT4/BB - BB512 - BB512i. 
  • Ferrari 365 GT4/BB Instruction Book. 
  • Ferrari BB512 Instruction Book. 
  • Ferrari BB512i Owner's Manual. 

External links

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