Calling a 790bhp Ferrari a “Superfast” seems like a tautology, but the marque is doubling down on that claim, calling its latest model the fastest and the most powerful in its history. It’s not; that would be the LaFerrari, but that car and its forbears are “special series” cars. That is, unless you are a very special customer – very special indeed – you can’t actually buy one.
“Anyone” can buy the new 812 Superfast. It’s the people’s “fastest Ferrari yet”. Rather more than that, it’s also the last V12 Ferrari that will be delivered to market without some form of battery hybrid augmentation, just as the LaFerrari has. Even Ferrari. with its relatively tiny volumes, is not immune from rolling emissions legislation. And just as its V8 engines now all have turbochargers to save on CO2, so all future Ferrari V12s will be hybrids.
The 812 Superfast then is the last of the old breed, not that there is anything old tech about it, featuring as it does electric power steering, and modish 350-bar direct injection for the first time on a Ferrari. It also features the novel “virtual short wheelbase” four-wheel steer concept from the Superfast’s most immediate relative, the F12 tdf (Tour de France).
If only it had that car’s looks. The original F12 on which the Superfast is based was a real looker; the tdf with its “faster” back screen and rakish, evocative slashes across its rear arches is drop-dead beautiful. The Superfast less so. Ferrari always has two goes at each of its cars; the original and then, some three or four years, later the modificato. The turbocharged 488 is the modificato of the normally aspirated 458, for example.
Usually the version 2.0 cars are the ones to have, with state-of-the-art technology – much of it transferred from those special series rare beasts. The technical spec of the 812 Superfast would suggest that is indeed the case again, if you want a car with nearly 800bhp (official figure is 789bhp) and capable of 211mph. There were some who said the F12 was verging on “too fast”. The 812 is even faster.
This arms race in which Ferrari and others, notably McLaren, appear to be involved isn’t the only reason to maybe pause before laying out what’s likely to be well over £250,000 (given the F12 was listed at £241,000) for a Superfast. As I mentioned, I’m not sure it’s anything like as pretty; given the neck muscles it appears to have developed, it looks a bit like a contemporary racing driver, or someone who insists on those very taller shirt collars.
I appreciate so much of what was once design for design’s sake now plays a vital aerodynamic role (as indeed it should at these speeds). But in what seems like a very deliberate push to more closely associate its road cars with the obsessive aerodynamic detail of its Formula 1 race cars, Ferraris aren’t getting any more beautiful.
Not outside at least. Inside, the evolution from F12 to 812 Superfast is the next step in Ferrari’s bossing the whole “technical luxury” look, with precision-made alloys forcing their way through a skin of fine hides and illuminated by bright, digital instruments.
It’s a command centre alright, and one that delivers on the promise of what – outside of a racing car – must be the fastest front-engined GT yet built and, given that fast front-engined cars are hardly fashionable, may be the fastest ever. That, and its “last of the naturally aspirated V12 Ferraris” tag will ensure the Superfast’s place in history, even if its looks
Source: Telegraph UK Luxury Motoring