Not just fast. Su­per­fast

Fer­rari has cho­sen an ap­pro­pri­ate name for its new 812 GT

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

Un­like some of its ri­vals, which make cars with names al­most im­pos­si­ble to pro­nounce with con­fi­dence — try say­ing Lam­borgh­ini Hu­racán Per­for­mante in a night­club and see if you don’t get a clip round the ear — the name of the new Fer­rari couldn’t be any more straight­for­ward. The 812 Su­per­fast is the most pow­er­ful “reg­u­lar” road-go­ing Fer­rari ever made (the spicier and pricier La­Fer­rari and track-ier FXXK mod­els were strictly lim­ited edi­tions): a whop­ping 800bhp from its glo­ri­ous sound­ing, nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated 6.5-litre V12 en­gine is the 812 bit and that com­bi­na­tion def­i­nitely equals Su­per­fast — 0–62mph takes 2.9secs and top speed is a life-changing (and, po­ten­tially, ending) 211mph.

What’s more sur­pris­ing is how easy it is to han­dle. This front-en­gined su­per GT is a dod­dle to drive around town (yes, even over speed bumps). That’s equally true when storm­ing up a wind­ing road on one of the hills near Fer­rari’s Maranello HQ or fly­ing around the mar­que’s Fio­rano track in “race mode”, en­gaged by hit­ting the steer­ing wheel’s bright red Manet­tino switch.

The seven-speed, dual-clutch trans­mis­sion is quicker than ever, with three down­shifts in just one sec­ond pos­si­ble from a pull and hold of the left pad­dle. The steer­ing — elec­tri­cally-pow­ered for the first time on a Fer­rari — is re­spon­sive and sur­pris­ingly light, and the brakes are sim­ply epic, al­low­ing you to hur­tle to­wards track cor­ners for way longer than you might in lesser cars.

In Emilia-Ro­magna, you have to make a pit stop for Parme­san and bal­samic vine­gar, both of which slot­ted into the large 320-litre boot un­der the 812’s rear hatch along­side two bags with no prob­lem.

Know­ing where the car’s body ac­tu­ally starts and stops is al­ways handy when ma­noeu­vring, so the 812’s raised front fen­der edges re­ally help. By com­par­i­son, vi­sion over your shoul­der is poor but in a Fer­rari you’re more likely to be spend­ing time go­ing for­ward than do­ing three-point turns; surely that’s some­one’s else’s job?

In­side, the in­te­rior mixes thrusty metal­lic air vents and mod­ern crea­ture com­forts like a smart­phone link via Ap­ple Car Play to a colour screen. Un­usu­ally, there’s also a slim pas­sen­ger side in­fo­tain­ment screen where your col­league/lover/hitch-hiker can fid­dle while you fo­cus on the road.

Yes, the sporty bucket seats weren’t the com­fi­est af­ter hours be­hind the wheel and for £250k it would be nice to have a “one­touch-up” elec­tric win­dow fit­ted as stan­dard on the pas­sen­ger side, but th­ese are just nig­gles, re­ally. The Su­per­fast is first and fore­most a car that cel­e­brates driv­ing, and its com­bi­na­tion of ex­treme V12 power and ev­ery­day us­abil­ity feels an ap­pro­pri­ate way to mark how far Fer­rari has come on its 70th an­niver­sary.

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