The Pranc­ing Horse has trans­formed the F12berlinetta into the 812 Superfast, the fastest and most pow­er­ful se­riespro­duc­tion Fer­rari ever.


FER­RARI has rolled out the 812 Superfast, suc­ces­sor to the F12berlinetta – a su­per­car which was launched five years ago and still looks fresh. The 812 Superfast does not have the most in­spired name. Its moniker pays homage to the lim­ited-edi­tion 500 Superfast from 1964.

Armed with a 5-litre 12-cylin­der mo­tor that pro­duced 400bhp, the 500 Superfast was con­sid­ered pretty po­tent back then.

To­day, the 812 Superfast has dou­ble the power of its spir­i­tual pre­de­ces­sor and 60bhp more than the F12berlinetta, mak­ing it the most pow­er­ful se­riespro­duc­tion Fer­rari to date.

Clearly evolved from the F12, the 812 re­tains the F12’s sleek de­sign, with a long bon­net and a short fast­back rump. It looks dropdead gor­geous from any an­gle.

Hint­ing at the 812’s higher per­for­mance are the more nu­mer­ous slits and vents on its sen­su­ous body com­pared to the F12. Apart from re­duc­ing aero­dy­namic drag, these el­e­ments also im­prove cool­ing of the en­gine and brakes.

Less ob­vi­ous are the ac­tive front air-in­take flaps that open when the car is driven past 200km/h, and the ac­tive rear dif­fuser that fur­ther im­proves high-speed aero­dy­nam­ics.

The 812 is a tad longer (by 39mm) and wider (by 29mm) than the F12. But its 1525kg dry weight re­mains iden­ti­cal to its pre­de­ces­sor’s, thanks to the ex­ten­sive use of light­weight ma­te­ri­als such as alu­minium and car­bon fi­bre.

The dash­board’s lay­out is typ­i­cal Fer­rari, with an ana­logue tachome­ter dom­i­nat­ing the in­stru­ment panel. There are con­fig­urable dig­i­tal screens on ei­ther side of the rev counter, and an op­tional in­fo­tain­ment screen for the pas­sen­ger.

Said screen, which is now a larger 8.8-inch full-HD unit, can also dis­play the same info as the in­stru­ment panel. Turn it on to keep your co-driver in­volved, or switch it off so as not to scare the liv­ing day­lights out of him/her.

Fine Ital­ian crafts­man­ship is ev­i­dent in the cabin, which has gen­er­ous ap­pli­ca­tions of leather,


car­bon fi­bre and alu­minium. Over­all, the re­freshed in­te­rior is even plusher than the F12’s.

Fer­rari em­pha­sised the 812’s tour­ing abil­i­ties by high­light­ing its con­fig­urable 320-500 litres of boot space. There’s also a par­cel shelf be­hind the seats for smaller items.

There are a few flaws, though. For in­stance, there is just a sin­gle cupholder on the cen­tre con­sole, the doorbins are too nar­row and shal­low to be of much use, and the pas­sen­ger­side win­dow does not have one-touch up/down func­tions.

I can over­look ev­ery­thing ex­cept for the con­trast­ing leather strips on the in­stru­ment panel, which cause a dis­tract­ing re­flec­tion on the wind­screen.

As men­tioned ear­lier, the 812 is the most pow­er­ful se­ries-

pro­duc­tion Fer­rari you can buy to­day. And its Ital­ian stal­lions are still pro­duced by a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 12-cylin­der.

Said en­gine is based on the F12’s V12, which has been up­sized from 6.3 litres to 6.5 litres. But the power gains didn’t just come from the mo­tor’s in­creased dis­place­ment. Other up­grades in­clude a new crankshaft, new con-rods and a more ro­bust crank­case to with­stand the higher loads.

There’s also a new high­pres­sure 350-bar (pre­vi­ously 200-bar) di­rect in­jec­tion sys­tem and F1-in­spired vari­able-length in­let ducts, which are adapted from the track-tuned F12tdf. These enhancements have made the 812 Superfast go, well, su­per fast. Zero to 100km/h takes just 2.9 sec­onds, or 0.2 of a sec­ond faster than the F12. Go­ing from a stand­still to 200km/h is ac­com­plished in 7.9 sec­onds, or 0.6 of a sec­ond faster than the F12.

The top speed, how­ever, is still capped at 340km/h, which is on a par with the F12.

Re­spon­si­ble for the 812’s height­ened han­dling are the elec­tric power steer­ing (the 812 is the first Fer­rari to have this) and rear-wheel-steer­ing sys­tem (of­fi­cially known as Vir­tual Short Wheel­base 2.0), which is bor­rowed from the F12tdf.

With so many sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments, you might think that the 812 is Fer­rari’s fi­nal 12-cylin­der sports car.

Well, for­tu­nately for Fer­rari fans and gen­eral petrol­heads alike, it isn’t. Ste­fano Lai, Fer­rari’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, con­firmed that the car­maker will con­tinue mak­ing V12 sports cars as long as it is able to push the bound­aries of ef­fi­ciency through nat­u­ral as­pi­ra­tion.

Fer­rari also re­vealed that al­most 40 per­cent of 812 Superfast clients mainly buy cars with V12 en­gines, so this is one group that it will not want to dis­ap­point.

My blast in the 812 Superfast, how­ever, be­gan with a crawl through nar­row vil­lage streets. Even as I be­came more fa­mil­iar with my thor­ough­bred steed, I was stuck in traf­fic, un­able to get up to “gal­lop speed”.

Even then, the 812 im­pressed with its abil­ity to trun­dle along at un­der 70km/h in 7th gear, with the en­gine barely tick­ing above 1000rpm. That’s how tractable the 6.5-litre V12 is.

But as traf­fic sped up, ev­ery gap that pre­sented it­self be­came a “yippee ki-yah!” over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vre. Such is the elas­tic­ity of the mo­tor’s 718Nm of torque, 80 per­cent of which is avail­able from just 3500rpm.

The 812 dis­played its cor­ner­ing fi­nesse on the ser­pen­tine moun­tain stretches along the driv­ing route. The sharpest of hair­pin bends, even up­hill ones, were dis­patched with ease.

All I had to do was down­shift a gear or two via the pad­dle shifter, give the throt­tle a light tap, and the coupe would surge for­ward with G-in­duc­ing sure­foot­ed­ness.

The 812 is wide and low, but still of­fers good for­ward and lat­eral vis­i­bil­ity. With the raised front fend­ers defin­ing the front edges of the car and the wing

mir­rors act­ing as guides for the sides, I found it easy to thread my way along nar­row Ital­ian streets. For a su­per­car, the 812 was very man­age­able.

I was able to drive it in Race mode at Fer­rari’s Fio­rano cir­cuit. Once again, I was blown away by the 812’s straight-line ac­cel­er­a­tion and cor­ner­ing agility.

With the elec­tric power steer­ing, 7-speed dual-clutch gear­box and rear-wheel-steer­ing all work­ing in sync, I felt like a race­car driver. The Lamborghini Aven­ta­dor S, which also has rear-wheel-steer­ing, is prob­a­bly a close

match to the 812 in terms of per­for­mance fig­ures. But on track, the 812’s finely tuned chas­sis made it feel more nim­ble than the Lambo.

I never got any­where near the 812’s han­dling lim­its, but Fer­rari test driver Fabrizio Toschi cer­tainly did. I took a “taxi ride” with him and watched as he in­duced over­steer and drifted out of each cor­ner with sur­gi­cal pre­ci­sion. Talk about an ex­hil­a­rat­ing “slide show”.

It may sound clichéd, but Fer­rari has man­aged to cre­ate a superlative su­per­car. As a grand tourer built for both road and track, the 812 has few ri­vals.


The body of the 812 Superfast is sen­su­ously curvy and looks, uh, su­per fast.


The 812 Superfast is so fast that most driv­ers will only see the back end of this su­per stal­lion as it gal­lops away.

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