A-Z Supercars: Ferrari 365/512 Berlinetta Boxer

Ferrari finally accepted its fastest should be mid-engined. The 512BB was the result

It’s a cast iron certainty that Enzo Ferrari didn’t like taking a lead from Ferruccio Lamborghini but the Miura was stealing his thunder and there had to be a response. It was called the Berlinetta Boxer.

A mid-engined senior league supercar certainly wasn’t a leap in the dark for Ferrari. It had its experience with the Dino to draw on and, of course, a wealth of know-how in F1 and sportscar racing.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Although lacking the sensual beauty of the Miura, Pininfarina designed a pretty and expertly proportioned body for the 365 Boxer, helped by the fact that although its 4.4-litre engine had 12 cylinders, they were in a flattened V with the opposing banks of cylinders set at a 180-degree angle rather than the more usual 90-degree configuration. This allowed a relatively low engine deck, despite the fact the ‘flat’-12 sat above 
the five-speed transmission.

Search through a wide selection of Boxer-engined Ferraris on evo Cars for Sale

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The motor itself was clearly derived from the 3-litre powerplants used so successfully in the 312 B and B2 Grand Prix cars raced by the Scuderia between 1970 and ’74. With four triple-choke downdraught Weber carburettors, it developed 360bhp at 7500rpm, enough to give the 1500-kilo BB a top speed of 176mph. The Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injected BB512i introduced in 1981 was slightly quicker but even more driveable with, for the day, extraordinary engine flexibility. (Confusingly, 512 referred to the 5-litre flat-12 engine, when 365 came from the swept volume of one cylinder.)

The Boxer was a lovely thing to behold – a wonderfully understated counterpoint to the stylistic braggadocio of its rival, the Lamborghini Countach. It had a classic cabin, too. And a fabulously smooth engine with a broad powerband. But as a steer it was let down by a chassis that never really felt planted and was prone to serious lift-off oversteer. Dynamically, it was no match for the Countach.

Specifications

Years made 1973-1985 Engine Flat-12, 4390cc (365)Max power 360bhp @ 7500rpmTorque 333lb ft @ 4300rpm 0-60mph 5.7sec Max speed 176mph Price c£30,000 new, c£60-£130,000 today

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mercedes-cla45-amg-hatchback/22953/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-coupe-uk-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

The more stylish version of eCoty 2019’s bronze medallist is as impressive on UK roads as it was overseas
28 Mar 2020
Visit/nissan/202389/this-nissan-juke-r-can-be-yours-for-719579
Nissan Juke R

This Nissan Juke-R can be yours for $719,579

Near-700bhp Nissan special project Juke-R goes up for sale in Germany 
30 Mar 2020
Visit/ferrari/f40/6214/ferrari-f40-review-history-prices-and-specs
Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 – review, history, prices and specs

Despite having a turbocharged V8 instead of a normally aspirated V12, the F40 is often regarded as the greatest-ever Ferrari road car
21 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019