Ferrari 812 Superfast

Masterpiece's tribute

"Ferrari 812 Superfast is a worthy addition and a perfect execution, something that can stay up notable as a benchmark set by the experience of the brand worth seven decades"

"One of the world's greatest automakers who want to carry on making big and naturally aspirated masterpieces"

"For me the most important part was how resolutely the 812 grips" said Ershad

The 6.5-litre unit was an absolute cracker"

It was all happening. First, Ferrari celebrated their 70th anniversary and in an event in Dubai hosted along with their UAE importer- Al Tayer Motors, they unveiled the very special LaFerrari Aperta. While I call this a usual drill, what came next was not called off. I was invited to test the ultimate Ferrari of Ferrari's. Yes, you know what I am talking about. Ferrari 812 Superfast, which could possibly the last naturally aspirated Ferrari that I could relish.

You know I am not one of those, who'd say- "yea, Ferrari. I know them well- good cars". Come on; there's no shame to say it. How many of us haven't had them in our bedroom wall posters and set them on as PC wallpapers- once at least? The brand is sort of a bench mark and they keep us surprising, be it about the new engines, seductive designs or the weirdo names. All this said, and look what I get to drive- the 812 Superfast, which is the sequel of the F12 Berlinetta. The lighter and powerful F12 tdf came in 2016, which was named after the "Tour de France" motor race regularly won by Ferrari 250s in the 50s and 60s. You could only envy about the special V12 of the F12 tdf- such were the stories out in social media. Right when we all thought to bid farewell the V12s and welcome the new V8 turbos forever, the 812 Superfast showed up.

Let's get to the hardcore facts. The now uprated 6.5-litre V12 wallops a lofty 800 hp at 8,500 rpm and 718 Nm at 7,000 rpm. With all honesty, how am I supposed to differentiate this with the F12 tdf or for a matter of fact, anything which is above 600hp? But that's exactly what Ferrari has been doing all this time- push further.

We had a good 30 minutes briefing by the Italian crew going over the key technical figures and evolution of this model. Tells you, it has come a long way. Next up, time for business. We got a custom made route done for us at the Dubai Autodrome and with me was a much needed instructor (Italian again) to guide through. He got me couple of hot laps, and later switched positions turning co-driver. You can imagine the excitement. Driving fast in a car that shoots out 800 horsepower and which red-lines at a stunning 8,900rpm, is not normal.

The 6.5-litre unit was an absolute cracker. The torque would you believe, almost 80% kicks in from as low as 3,500 rpm and the initial launch was quite suggestive. 0-100kph in just a mere 2.9 seconds, despite the fact that it's a RWD set up, is just staggering. Ferrari here has applied a highly evolved transaxle architecture that couples a front-mounted engine with a rear-mounted transmission in the most efficient way to get the best out of its engine. The warble trilling out of those four tailpipes is no short of a rock concert. The exhaust system geometry has advanced- they say.

However, for me the most important part was how resolutely the 812 grips. With so much power and torque, in a front engine, rear-wheel drive setup and on a not so heavy car, the obvious concern would be, is it really handy? You instantly get the confidence to tame the beast. 812 Superfast is the first Ferrari to sport EPS (Electric Power Steering). Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system (PCV) combines electric front-wheel steering assistance with the mechanical concept built around tyre dimensions and the rear-wheel steering. Straight line shots were flawless and the rear-mounted Ferrari's F1 seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox got the ratios shortened by about 6% to fully abuse the engine's exceptional rev ranges. The transition time has been reduced by 30%- they say; and it felt so. It's the same case, whether you run it on auto mode or use the sporty paddles. The suspension as expected were a set of stiffer springs for less body roll, and limiting understeer. The 812 Superfast gets the same PZero Corsa tires used in the F12tdf, developed especially for Ferrari by Pirelli. The ultimate aim being, offering the best of performances in the dry and in track use. To keep things on check, Ferrari has deployed the best Brembo Extreme Design brakes that were used in the LaFerrari. Combined with the Hi-Performance ABS and 9.0 Premium ESP, they deliver absolutely unmatched stopping distances. Stats suggest they've improved over F12berlinetta's performance to 100 metres by 11%. There were few instances where I thought I was poised and trying too many tweaks around corners with some immature manoeuvres, but then the whole control system kicks in, avoiding the unacceptable. Mind you, they didn't interfere often, so no joy took away. At this point, our tester won the confidence.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the aim seemed to be to work out an aero package that looks chic and compliments the handling part. To better the old V12, they had to optimize the intake system and combustion efficiency to uprate the displacement from 6.2 to 6.5liters. To channel the air flow, there were things like a turning blade on the front bumper to the side of the air intakes- good for engine and brake cooling. Ultimately the objective is to reduce the overall drag and boost the down force- further. We had a range of equipment in disposal, starting with diffusers with a mobile aero system and the spoiler on the car's tail. The rear diffuser is given a system of three active flaps which rotate to a 14° angle in the minimal drag configuration to completely stall the diffuser, thereby reducing overall drag.

Sharply skewed pleat lines and remarkably muscular wheel arches gets the fastback sleekness on a two-box design imposing the ever present V12's aggression visually too. Full-LED headlights in the front, four round tail-lights, vents behind the front wheels, rear diffuser with a suspended splitter were the key highlights that stood out.

Ferrari wants to get that GT element in here, meaning it must be a comfortable long distance tourer. While there's not much softening expected, there's enough cuddling offered by the lavish leather interior and an evolved infotainment system that we've seen in the Lusso. By the way, the access inside was much easier than any other super cars around.

The Ferrari 812 Superfast is a worthy addition and a perfect execution, something that can stay up notable as a benchmark set by the experience of the brand worth seven decades. There's hardly any fault that I can pick, be it about the super V12, transmission, the suspension or as a matter of fact, the design which felt so imposing. Here we have at least one of the world's greatest automakers who wants to carry on making big and naturally aspirated masterpieces. The model is a school of aerodynamics best done for a road legal car and to know, it's one of the best the Italians have done so far is itself a tribute to the anniversary occasion.

Pros: 6.5-litre V12 is a work of art, F1 type exhaust notes, throttle and gear shifts are a new level, Exotic and aero design, Steering control and traction, Easy access to the door
Cons: You kidding me!
Rivals: None that I know
One word: Real Gem
4.5 stars

6.5 liter V12, RWD, 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm, 718 Nm @ 7,000 rpm, Seven-speed auto
0-100 km/h: 2.9 sec, top speed: 355 km/h, fuel consumption: NA
Weight: 1,630 kg

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