When you first walk up to Ferrari’s New Car, the 812 Superfast, it looks like a comfortable and relatively relaxed front-engine GT. But don’t let this lure you into a false sense of security - this is no mild-mannered car, it’s a real beast.
Under the hood
The car is powered by one of the most reactive and powerful naturally aspirated engines ever. This 280-odd kilo engine sits in the nose and sends power to the rear wheels - an absolutely crazy 400hp is sent to the left rear wheel and 400hp to the rear right one. The 812’s engine is 75 percent new, rear-wheel steering is used for the first time. The Italian carmaker has also thrown F1 aero tech into the shape of the car and even the twin-clutch gearbox is now 30-40 percent faster. The car also comes with an all-new electronic suite of driver aids that work with the car’s electric steering unit.
From behind the wheel
Ride isn’t as comfortable as the F12’s, the 812 thumps and thuds over even medium-size bumps, and it moves around a bit more over bumps too. This car’s cabin isn’t as well insulated as the previous car – there’s more road noise, more tyre slap, more wind noise and the whine and resonance from that huge V12, is greater too.
Agility has taken a huge leap ahead – the 812 changes direction willingly and feels positively light on its feet. The new electric steering makes flicking this car around an absolute delight – you never feel like you’re piloting a car that weighs 1,600kg. The electric steering however, feels a bit disconnected. It’s super accurate and reacts quickly but despite it weighing up well, you feel like it’s quite inert and you can’t feel the road filter through so well.
Power from this car is explosive – even when you barely tap the throttle. Ferrari’s twin-clutch gearbox is a thousand times smoother than the Aventador’s AMT. Go past 5,000rpm, and the baritone disappears and is replaced by a blare that rises in anger and pitch as you watch the large tachometer needle flick up the powerband. By 6,000rpm, the beast feels unleashed.
The 12-cylinder motor sounds like the naturally aspirated engine of a Formula 1 motor. The tacho needle reaches 8,900rpm redline in no time at all and you feel your face melt with the sheer acceleration - 200kph takes a mere 7.9sec! The car hits 100kph in under 3sec and 200 in another 5.
The 812 is also feels well-balanced in corners- the wider front tyres are what allow this - there’s now much more bite in the front end. This car corners flat and the huge brakes allow you to shave speed without too much trouble. Ferrari’s greatest accomplishment with this car is making this resolutely digital driving experience feel completely natural and analogue. This car is decently practical too, with a spacious cabin, a big boot, and loads and loads of creature comforts.
Is it worth the money?
The 6.5-litre, V12-powered 812 pushes the performance envelope to a new high. The car’s fantastic new chassis setup and its new set of Formula One-inspired electronic driver aids, allow you to confidently attack corners without the unpredictability that most cars this class are famous for. This car is 100 percent supercar and 100 percent GT at the same time.