Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari has unveiled the 812 Superfast, essentially an F12berlinetta that has been given a thorough upgrade in many key areas. It arrives in time to mark the carmaker’s 70th anniversary this year, and is “the most powerful and fastest Ferrari in the marque’s history,” according to Ferrari.
Coincidentally, the first Ferrari powered by a V12 – the 125 S – premiered 70 years ago, so there is some historical significance here. As for the curious-sounding name, it is a homage to Ferraris of old, including the 500 Superfast, which also made its debut in Geneva in 1964.
In terms of power, the replacement for the F12berlinetta and F12tdf gets a new 6.5 litre naturally-aspirated V12 that provides 800 PS (789 hp) at 8,500 rpm and 718 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. That is marginally more than the F12tdf’s 6.3 litre V12 powerplant – 770 hp and 705 Nm – confirming Ferrari’s statement above.
Ferrari says it achieved these outputs by adopting a 350 bar direct injection system, a first, and the engine features variable geometry intake tracts that are derived from those found in naturally-aspirated F1 engines. Mated to the engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that is said offer shorter shifting times.
As a result, the 812 will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds, and will continue on to a top speed of about 340 km/h, making it super fast. Aside from the drivetrain, the car’s dry weight of just 1,525 kg certainly contributes to these performance figures, distributed following a 47:53 front/rear ratio.
To ensure the 812 isn’t all brawn and no finesse, Ferrari has tagged on the version 5.0 of its Side Slip Control (SSC), making powersliding an easier affair. Also featured here is version 2.0 of the Virtual Short Wheelbase (PCV), the carmaker’s four-wheel steering system that first debuted on the F12tdf. The 812 is also the first Ferrari to have electric power steering instead of a hydraulic steering box.
Turning our attention to the visual changes, the 812’s front end now features a brand new bumper, which appears to integrate the active brake duct intakes seen on the F12 near the honeycomb mesh grille. The Full LED headlights are also new items here, as are the heat extractors beside them, omitting the need for the central extractor as seen on the F12’s hood.
Viewed from the side, the 812’s more muscular wheelarches become very apparent, as is its newly sculpted body. Other noticeable items are the aero intakes on the car’s buttresses, as well as a more upright lip spoiler. These changes also warrant a reshaping of the car’s engine cover, now more angular than before.
Meanwhile, the rear takes a page out of the limited-edition J50, with new taillights that each feature two sub-units compared to just one on the F12. A new bumper is also part of the get-up here, which banishes the F12’s vertical upright element and F1-style light fitted on it.
The new look isn’t just a way for the Ferrari Styling Centre to show off its styling prowess, as it also provides aerodynamic functions. Ferrari cites two examples of this, including the multi-functional frontal section, which incorporates a cluster of aerodynamic solutions including active flaps at the front of the underbody, and the rear with aerodynamic by-pass to increase downforce.
Those with a keen eye will notice that the rosso (red) paint on the 812 is also something that’s new, and it is. Ferrari calls it Rosso Settanta, which when directly translated, means “red 70,” correlating to the company’s 70th anniversary.
Moving inside, the 812 differs from the F12 with a revised dashboard that includes new air-con vents and trim. A new multi, multi-function steering wheel (just look at it) and switchgear also form part of the updates here, along with a screen that faces the passenger, similar to that in the GTC4Lusso.