Ferrari’s latest V12 Berlinetta comes in the shape of the 812 Superfast. After hearing about the car a few weeks ago, we can finally put a face to name after the covers were taken off on Ferrari’s Geneva stand. The name may be controversial to some and I agree with speculation that one of the engineer’s sons may be responsible. But that might not be a bad thing, after all a V12 Ferrari is supposed to be childish and theatrical. The 812 has big boots in the form of the much loved F12, but Ferrari claim they have built on the the predecessor’s legacy.
The heart of any Ferrari is the engine, and this one appears to very special. The new 6.5 V12 produces almost 800bhp and a dizzying 8,500rpm. It has been derived from recent naturally aspirated Formula 1 engines. The fact that the Superfast is naturally aspirated is in itself incredible. In an age where almost every competitor has downsized and introduced turbochargers, Ferrari have stuck their most powerful NA V12 ever into their latest creation, and you have to love them for that. The dual clutch transmission has been improved which all adds to 0-100km/h being dealt with in 2.9 seconds and on a long enough road the 812 will exceed 340km/h.
The design of the new 812 ‘redefines the formal language of front engine V12 Ferrari’s according to the Italians. While the F12 was a graceful looking machine, this appears more ‘on the edge’ and racy. At the front, full LED headlights have been worked into the sculpted air intakes. The four taillights emphasise a design centred around horizontal lines at the back and work with flared and muscular wheel arches to give a very broad and imposing stance to the rear of the car. Personally, I really like the back of the 812 but I have yet to warn to the front headlights and Peugeot shaming big grill.
As this is the latest car from Maranello, a place where some of the finest F1 machinery comes from, the 812 has seen a few bits of clever aero bolted on just make sure it’s very very fast. There are active flaps that can adjust according to conditions on the front of the underbody. The rear flank now sees an all new aerodynamic by-pass ti increase downforce, helping to put the colossal power down on the road.
The interior has been given a sportier and more radical design where the main elements around the centre consoles appear to float. The seats are new too, now sportier and more ergonomic. It also sees a new steering wheel and instrument cluster as well as Ferrari’s latest infotainment unit. Not too long ago, Ferrari cabins were one of their weakest places but after recent modernisation, this is no longer the case.
Other interesting notes are that this is the first Ferrari with electric power steering which has been used to ‘maximise performance’. Version 5.0 of Ferrari’s Side Slip Control is also on the Superfast, making it easier to get a little sideways without having a big accident. A version of the F12 TdF’s rear wheel steering is also supplied, effectively shortening the wheelbase and allowing greater turning capabilities at low speeds and more stability at higher speeds.