IN THESE days of hybrid drivetrains and turbochargers, it’s good to know that Ferrari can still stick two fingers up at convention. Never has this been any clearer than for the release of its latest model, the 588kW/718Nm front-engined 6.5-litre V12 berlinetta known as the 812 Superfast.
How fast? Well, the literature accompanying the 812 Superfast’s reveal indicates only that top speed is greater than 340km/h, while the 0-100km/h sprint is signed off in 2.9secs … fast, but with Tesla whipping its ludicrously equipped Tesla Model S P100D down the line 0.2secs faster, is it really that super?
“This new car not only introduces a plethora of innovative features but is also particularly significant as the V12 series marked the official start of the glorious Prancing Horse story in 1947, 70 years ago this year,” Ferrari said in a release accompanying the car’s reveal.
“The 812 Superfast thus ushers in a new era in Ferrari 12-cylinder history, in doing so building on the invaluable legacies of the F12berlinetta and Ferrari F12tdf.
“It is aimed at clients demanding the most powerful and exclusive Ferrari in the range: an uncompromising sports car that will deliver exhilarating driving both on road and track yet also be comfortable enough to allow its owners to enjoy it as an all-round experience.”
Part of the all-round experience is peak power arriving at 8500rpm, making the 65-degree banked 6496cc V12 something of a watered-down Formula One engine of old. “The engine’s power is underscored by a full, rich exhaust sound that exploits the acoustic clout delivered by its increased displacement,” Ferrari says. Peak torque drops in at 7000rpm, with 80 percent of the 718Nm available from 3500rpm.
Those performance figures don’t come from turbos; instead Ferrari links them to a 350 bar direct injection system that is about 150 bar above more mainstream common rail systems.
Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission fitted with “specific gear ratios which, combined with shorter up and down-shifting times between gears, sharpen throttle response still further”.
Remember what we said before, though, about Ferrari sticking up two fingers to turbocharging and hybrid? It has bowed to other market pressures, though, with the 812 Superfast the first of the Prancing Horse models to adopt electric power steering. Ferrari talks it up: “It’s the first Ferrari to sport EPS (Electric Power Steering) which, in accordance with Ferrari’s uncompromising engineering approach, is used to fully exploit the potential of the car’s performance and, through the complete integration with all the electronic vehicle dynamics controls – including the latest 5.0 version of Ferrari’s patented Side Slip Control (SSC) - make its powerful performance easier to handle and even more thrilling to exploit.”
The “Virtual Short Wheelbase” system developed for the F12tdf – an all-wheel steering system – has had further refinements for the 812 Superfast to further improve nimbleness, Ferrari says. Active aerodynamics including active flaps on the front and rear underbody aimed at increasing downforce, help with high-speed dynamics.
Dry weight is quoted as 1525kg, while fuel use is 14.9L/100km.
Pricing? Well, the car is yet to appear at Geneva, and it will be the flagship model in Ferrari’s range when it does arrive here, hopefully later this year. Expect to hand over more than $700,000, though.