The front-engined V12 Ferrari berlinetta – where Enzo’s cavallino first pranced 70 years ago – moves up a gear for 2017 with the new 812 Superfast revealed today. Its power might sound better in PS – at a nice round 800 – but even with a real 789bhp it’s still Ferrari’s most powerful production car ever.
FEB 16th 2017
The 812 Superfast is Ferrari's most powerful car!
And nope, there’s not a turbo in sight. This is all pure naturally-aspirated V12, a new and almost certainly final version of the 6.3-litre unit from the F12, the car on which the new flagship Ferrari is based. In 812 Superfast form, the V12’s cubic capacity has grown to 6.5-litres. The V12 of its 1947 ancestor was just 1.5-litres!
Without forced aspiration or hybridisation, however, the 812 Superfast still keeps one foot in the past. Ferrari even evokes the 365 GTB/4 as a design influence around the kicked-up tail. A modern-day Daytona? In some ways yes, but in others the 812 Superfast is resolutely modern, introducing new electronic chassis control systems as well as Ferrari’s first electric steering.
But what about that engine, surely destined to go down in history as the ultimate of its genre? Maximum power of 789bhp is developed at 8,500rpm – and who wouldn’t just love to hear what that sounds like?
With a specific output of 121bhp per-litre Ferrari says it is ahead of any other front-engined production car ever (the 6.3-litre TdF has “only” 770bhp). Torque peaks at 530 lb-ft when the tacho needle hits an almost-as-heady 7,000rpm, although Ferrari says 80 per cent of twist is available from 3,500rpm. Maybe, but the real thrills here are surely all top-end.
Does the most powerful Ferrari engine (in full production, so excluding LaFerrari) make this the fastest Ferrari? It does. The 1,525kg car dismisses 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds on its way to a 211mph top speed.
It will be interesting to hear the road testers’ verdict on the electric power steering when the first drives get under way. Ferrari’s EPS follows an “uncompromising engineering approach” and is used to exploit the car’s performance potential by being integrated with all the electronic vehicle dynamics controls. These include the Side Slip Control (SSC) and a MkII version of the Virtual Short Wheelbase system from the F12 TdF. Ferrari says it all makes the performance easier to handle and more thrilling to exploit.
The 812 Superfast, which will have its public world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 7th, gets a new body but one that’s clearly related to the F12. The sculpting along the flanks is new, the wheel arches bulge with new-found aggression and up front, there are new LED lights, with active aero flaps in the underbody.
At the rear, the new look is characterised by that high tail and four round lamps, Daytona-style. Inside, Ferrari says it has given the cabin a sporty makeover, with new seats, steering wheel and instrument clusters, all adding to what the company calls a “thoroughbred racing eagerness and lean elegance”.
And if you are wondering what hue of red the car is shown in, then it’s called Rosso Settanta, which has been introduced for the company’s 70th anniversary.
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