TO BUILD THE FASTEST AND MOST POWERFUL ROAD GOING MODEL IN ITS HISTORY, THE 812 SUPERFAST, FERRARI HAD TO TAME PHYSICS AND BREAK BARRIERS, WHILE ALSO PROVIDING THE SMOOTHNESS AN EVERYDAY DRIVER REQUIRES
BY EVAN MONROE
Ferrari likely needed no further embroidery in its promotional campaign for the new 812 Superfast than simply to say that it was unveiling the fastest and most powerful road going model in its 70-year history. This would place the fastback coupe against such legends as the 288 GTO Evoluzione, the 430 Scuderia, and, of course, the incredible Enzo (named for company founder, Enzo Ferrari). At a stunning 789 horsepower, the Superfast’s mid-rear placed 12-cylinder and 6.5-liter motor—building on the legacies of those in the F12berlinetta and F12tdf—would have been ample motivator for the hordes to descend, financing in hand, but in fact, the 812’s lists of superlatives and firsts stretches much further down the road. Among other distinctions, this marks the debut of Electronic Power Steering for the Italian maker, as well as advances in power to fuel consumption that make urban driving, particularly, significantly more fuel efficient.
To bring all those ponies to the pavement, Ferrari chose an F1 dual-clutch transmission, with all gear ratios shortened by an average of 6% to exploit the motor’s maximum 8,900 revs to the fullest and improve acceleration without sacrificing pick up in higher gears. Additionally, transition time in both up and down shifts has been cut by a remarkable 30 percent. Combined with the new ratios, this means that driver and passengers feel the power surge and throttle response in captivating new ways.
Engineers recognized, however, that power and quickness, however admirable, needed to be channeled through the needs of a daily driver who might not have recently completed the Formula Cars course at Allen Berg Racing Schools. To keep the 812 Superfast poised and on the road, Ferrari Peak Performance was added—a system that senses corners and adjusts steering wheel torque to alert the driver that the car is close to grip limits, along with Ferrari Power Oversteer, which offers similar steering wheel-provided sensory input if grip might be lost when powering out of corners, for example. And the Brembro Extreme Design brakes, previously seen on the LeFerrari, are the most efficient yet produced by the maker, with overall breaking performance improved by some 5.8% over the F12berlinetta.
Still, even these impressive achievements wouldn’t be sufficient to produce the 812’s top speed of 211 miles per hour without some serious 21st century aerodynamics, so, from air intakes for engine and brake cooling to the down force creating front diffusers, from the real spoiler to the turning vane on the front bumper (designed to channel air striking the nose to force it to hug the flanks, which reduces the width of the air wake), this model is not just cool as hell looking, but improves drag coefficients in all departments over the already remarkable F12.
The interior offers stylish twists on, and odes to, the lovely LaFerrari cockpit, including a dash that loops cleverly around central air vents and a cleft in the center section that emphasizes the handsome but understated metallic elements that stretch into the upholstery. “An interplay of solids and voids,” as the design team offered in a statement the new upholstery differs from and contrasts with other interior surfaces, in part because of its perforated leather trim. And in recognition of high end consumers’ growing taste for bespoke components, Ferrari’s Personalization Programme presents such amenities as a 12-speaker, 1,280-watt amplifier with Quantum Logic surround sound, developed in conjunction with Harman Kardon.
Base price is $335,000, but sticker with options may vary.
Ferrari of Central New Jersey
816 US-1, Edison, NJ / 866.328.4926 /