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Car Reviews | Features | Ferrari / 04-11-18

The Emperor’s new ride


By Carl S. Cunanan Images by Carl S. Cunanan and Ferrari

 

Meet the Ferrari 812 Superfast!

So, does the name really say it all? Yes and no. Yes it is, as the wording goes, Super Fast. The 12 in the number tells you how many cylinders there are, the 8 tells you where the hundreds digit of the horsepower figure likes to play. However, Ferrari isn’t really about the numbers. This isn’t a stats-only card game.

The 812  bumps up the displacement from the previous car, the F12. 6.5 liters versus 6.3. But the big differences are in the delivery. The Superfast growls along in the low revs, with power coming into play relatively smoothly. You don’t have sudden jerks or bursts, unless of course you want that. If so, power builds in multiples as you press on the throttle. You are pushed back in your seat, and that doesn’t stop until just about when you hit the redline. Which you will forget until the limiter comes in. Because screaming in your ears will be the intoxicating  sound of twelve Maranello-built cylinders, and when that happens not much else will be able to get your attention. Until that next mountain curve, at least.

Yet with the new car, that mountain curve isn’t as insanely scary at speed as it used to be. Ferrari put an electrically-assisted power steering system in the 812, which does tend to make purists and enthusiast cringe. Honestly though, this is all technology in the service of soul. You may feel there is a bit too much assistance on the wheel as you pull out (and through the historic Ferrari gates if you’re really lucky) but that may be mostly because you are remembering the historic cars and the muscle needed to get them turning at anything below joyous velocities. In the new car, in-town drives aren’t taxing in anyway. In fact, they seem to just prep you for what you can do when the open road hits.

On that open road, the steering is quick and nimble, but remember that that is relative and this is a big Italian stallion. It won’t cut and thrust like a 488 but it isn’t meant to. The 812 moves like the well-muscled Grand Tourer it is. The wheel does give you something to work against, but it may isolate you from road feel a little more than some would like. Having said that, sometimes you really don’t need that much information to take the curves the way you want to.

I don’t talk a lot about interiors, but I will in this case. Ferrari goes to great lengths to incorporate things like video screens without being too intrusive. Just like when they don’t want to make aerodynamic wings so big that they make things any less beautiful, same with the interior. It must cost bundles to make these screens and systems so perfectly fitted but the end result is that they take away nothing from the wonderfully crafted interior. We definitely appreciate that, though honestly it means that your copilot may need to lean over to help you with navigation. The passenger gets their owns screen, so discreet you don’t know its there until it comes to life.

So the 812 Superfast can deliver power and the Ferrari experience smoothly and in a (barely) controlled manner. It feels like a hugely able athlete being asked to help with odd jobs but just waiting to take things to a higher level. Once the car is given free rein, it handles predictably and smoothly but not in a way that makes you feel you are driving a lesser luxury coupe. The electronically-supported steering and the rear-wheel steering make you more able to handle the long chassis in shorter spaces.

Ferrari has worked extremely hard to make the 812, and its other cars, more accessible. That may well be so you get somewhere in one piece. Note that we said that the 812 “can” deliver power smoothly. Thats up to you. All bets are off once you punch the throttle the way you really want to. Then you just blast forward with twelve cylinders of heaven creating a sound wave that seems to reduce friction just that much more. The same thing seems to work on your heart by the way.

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast
EngineV12, 6496 cc, dohc 48V, Direct Fuel Injection, 7-speed AT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm)789 bhp @ 8500 rpm
Max Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)530 lb ft @ 7000 rpm
0-100 km/h [or 0-62 mph](sec)2.9 sec.
Top Speed (km/h)340 km/h (211 mph)
Fuel Milage (km/L)6.7 km/L Combined