The 812 Superfast’s final nine letters might sound like some hyperbole from the mouth of a youngster, but they are in fact perfectly correct and would still suitably fit the GTS. Under that long bonnet you’ll find a 6.5-litre V12 engine, revving all the way out to that rev line up near the clouds of 9,000rpm and pumping out 800PS (599kW) and a neck endangering 717Nm (529lb ft) of torque. A seven-speed gearbox sends all that power in only one direction – backwards – to a pair of giant Pirelli P-Zeros. That is enough to theoretically propel the 812 GTS to 62mph in just 3.0 seconds dead and on to 211mph.
The standard 812 is a marvel (read our review here) so Ferrari faced a tricky prospect making the GTS stand up to its illustrious sibling. In come a folding metal roof (down in just 14 seconds at speeds below 30mph) and some other trickery to keep it on a level playing field. For example, there is a redesigned rear diffuser to help give the GTS the same aero power as the Superfast even with that more upright rear window that results from the folding top. With the modifications that have had to be made to keep the GTS from becoming a soggy mess the 812 is 85kg heavier than its coupe brother. Which is actually impressively low, and with this much power right there it’s really a piffling difference.
Out with it then, the 812 is absolutely blinding to drive. When you hear 800PS you instantly start to worry about its road-worthiness, and especially at 8am on a very cold October morning. But as soon as you floor it, you realise there is absolutely nothing to worry about. A lot of electronic trickery has gone into making the GTS manageable to drive, including a four-wheel-steering system, and it works very well, but underneath it all, with everything in race, and those systems shuttered, you realise this is just a phenomenally friendly chassis. It’s almost impossible to describe just how much the 812 pulls you along, signalling every single movement or upcoming trouble without alarm, but with a gentle nudge. It feels very much like going out to drive an F1 car, and having Sebastian Vettel joining you over a headset to talk you through exactly what is going on from five seconds in the future. Floor it and there’s a little slip at the rear, but it’s certainly not bucking in an attempt to throw you off the road like some (I’m looking at you Porsche 911 Turbo). The front end is eager and planted, while the rear is obedient and everything just pushes you on and on. The fear that inevitably builds every time you sign the waivers to jump in a colossally expensive and powerful Ferrari dissipates very quickly and is replaced with utter, utter joy.
It’s made all the better by that soundtrack, and you don’t even need to put the roof down (not advisable on our morning in the car when it was near enough zero degrees). Just wind down that little rear window and every single decibel is straight into your ears, every crack of an upshift, every scream and every howl just bursting through your body like some kind of highly illegal Class A narcotic. The gearbox is pin sharp, almost sensing and carrying out the changes before you have asked for them and the whole sensation of driving this car fast becomes more and more intoxicating the longer you are in it.