by Karl Furlong
Like Lamborghini, Ferrari seems to be celebrating combustion engines with a series of unhinged V12s that represent the apex of the technology. As with the Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae, the new Ferrari 812 Competizione is blessed with a 6.5-liter V12 that laughs in the face of turbocharging, electrification, and emissions regulations of any kind. With 819 horsepower and the ability to spin to 9,500 rpm, the Competizione's V12 is a boisterous, thunderous masterpiece. It will power this GT to 62 mph in 2.85 seconds, even quicker than the 812 Superfast upon which this car is based. Unlike that Lamborghini, the Competizione has a more practical cabin and a proper trunk, positioning it as a more powerful alternative to the Aston Martin DBS. With the engine in front and the powered wheels at the back, the 812 Competizione demands the driver's full attention but will reward you for it. From its gorgeous lines to its alert chassis and monster V12, nothing about it is sanitized and that's exactly why we adore it.
The 812 Competizione is an angrier, faster, and more track-focused version of the 812 Superfast. It can also be considered a successor to the F12tdf. The Competizione's V12 boasts 819 hp, up from 789 hp in the Superfast. Torque is down, but the Competizione is the quicker car. Quicker shift times and a weight reduction of over 80 pounds are two more of the changes that make the Competizione even more formidable than the Superfast.
As a 999-unit-only model, the remaining 812 Competizione cars not produced in 2022 will carry over as is and be registered as 2023 models.
Introduced for the 2022 model year, the new Ferrari 812 Competizione will be limited to just 999 units. All these have already been sold, ensuring that the car will become a collector's item in the years ahead. Its 6.5L V12 steals the show with 819 hp, but the superbly tuned chassis and good looks add up to what is one of the most desirable cars on the planet. The Ferrari 812 Competizione's 0-60 time is way under three seconds, underlining just how quick it is.
As a thrilling GT, the 812 Competizione barely puts a foot wrong. It accelerates, handles, and sounds like something out of a video game, but with the nuances and feedback that only a real-world experience can deliver. While not exactly loaded with features, the 812 does come with a 12-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay, a suspension lifter, and adaptive full-LED headlights. The racy cockpit is set up for hard driving with swathes of carbon fiber and a prominent tachometer. There are also two digital displays showing key information.
Humans are visual creatures first and foremost, so it's no surprise that long before you fire up the V12, the 812 Competizione would've won you over with its bewitching lines. The long hood and tall tail are typical of a front mid-engine GT. With all the aerodynamic tweaks made to the Competizione, it's even more aggressive than the Superfast.
In front are the elongated LED headlights, a transverse groove in the hood with carbon-fiber blade slits, and a wide grille with side brake intakes. There is also a more prominent carbon-fiber splitter. Along the sides are the standard 20-inch alloy wheels, but forged painted rims and even full carbon-fiber ones are available. One particularly interesting change is the replacement of the 812 Superfast's rear window with an all-aluminum surface complete with vortex generators. These come with obvious aerodynamic benefits and look fantastic, but rearward visibility suffers.
At the back, there are more changes. The side of each bumper has three horizontal slots that are a reminder of the F12tdf, but they also play a part in improving downforce. Large exhaust exits on each side emit a thunderous roar from the V12.
The Ferrari 812 Competizione's dimensions are, unsurprisingly, nearly the same as those of the Superfast's. It measures 184.9 inches in length (1.6 inches longer than the Superfast), 77.6 inches in width, and 50.2 inches in height. The wheelbase stretches to 107.1 inches.
Using more carbon fiber for the exterior, as well as by paying attention to the powertrain and running gear, Ferrari was able to reduce the Competizione's weight by over 83 pounds compared to the Superfast. The result is a dry weight of 3,278 lbs.
Over 20 colors are available for the exterior. For many, one of the reds will be an obvious choice, those being Rosso Scuderia, Rosso Corsa, Rosso Ferrari F1-75, and Rosso Mugello. Other color choices include Giallo Modena (yellow) and Bianco Avus (white), both of which work well with the dark carbon fiber bits. Blu Pozzi (blue), Grigio Titanio Metall (silver), Verde British Racing (green), and Nero (black) are also available.
Four different livery options are available, with the yellow options matching the yellow of the Ferrari emblems nicely. Buyers can swap out the standard calipers for ones in aluminum, black, blue, Grigio Silverstone, gold, red, or yellow, adding even more drama to the exterior.
The rate of forward momentum in the 812 Competizione is EV-like, but it's all accompanied by a cacophony of noise from the V12. Despite not having all-wheel drive, the Ferrari 812 Competizione's performance specs make for impressive reading - it is simply brutally quick off the mark. The 0-62 mph sprint is over in 2.85 seconds, and 0-124 mph takes only 7.5. The top speed of the Ferrari 812 Competizione is over 211 mph. According to Ferrari, the Competizione will complete a hot lap of the Fiorano in one minute, 20 seconds - for some perspective, the F8 Tributo takes 2.5 seconds longer to complete the same lap.
There aren't many other production road cars that can rev to 9,500 rpm, and Ferrari's engineers claim that the V12 can rev even higher than this. Doing so would impact the engine's longevity, though. As Ferrari's most powerful V12, it feels it every step of the way. Whether from a standing start or on the highway, the Competizione is pretty much in a league of its own. Throttle response, acoustics, and power are all sensational, and the way the engine builds in intensity as the revs rise is something only achievable in a naturally-aspirated unit.
Derived from the V12 in the 812 Superfast, the 812 Competizione's engine has undergone a host of changes to produce more power and rev even higher than before. The con-rods, pistons, and crankshaft are among the engine components that have been modified. The crank is 3% lighter and the titanium con-rods are 40% lighter than steel equivalents. The intake system was also redesigned.
The results are explosive; the Ferrari 812 Competizione's horsepower output is higher than any other V12 in the brand's lineup. The 6.5-liter V12 now delivers 819 hp at 9,250 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm. Rear-wheel drive remains in place and the transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Ferrari has been able to reduce shift times by 5% compared to the 812 Superfast.
To drive, the 812 Competizione is otherworldly. The powertrain feels dialed in and alert at all times, and the accelerator elicits magical responses from the V12. The linear, progressive power delivery is sublime, too.
For a car with only two driven wheels and 819 hp, the Ferrari 812 Competizione coupe is surprisingly controllable - at least, with the electronics switched on. The F12tdf's rear end felt more twitchy and nervous than this car, which makes the most of its four-wheel steering, smart differential, and electronics to keep everything controllable. Ferrari's Slide Slip Control 7.0 system combines all the control systems and is like a central electronic brain that, in Race mode, allows you to unleash the car's full power and elicit slides without the 812 losing composure. It makes one feel like a hero behind the wheel. The electric steering is as good as it gets in terms of quickness and precision, with even smaller inputs rewarded with immediacy.
In CT Off mode, the traction control is switched off which means that the Competizione is easier to slide. Switching everything off is an exercise in bravery, but on the track, it allows you to play around more with the car's limits and unstick the rear end with a quick prod of the loud pedal. The Michelin Cup 2R tires offer phenomenal grip on the track once they're warmed up, but it's a different story in the wet or when they're cold. Body roll is not non-existent because this is still a heavy car with a fat lump of an engine ahead of you, but it's not nearly enough to spoil the fun.
Although not providing a cushioning ride, the 812 Competizione is tolerable enough considering its capabilities on the track.
As great as the chassis is, the ferocious V12 dominates the experience of driving the 812 Competizione. The brakes, too, are powerful and pedal feel is progressive. The manner in which all these elements come together is what makes the 812 so great. Dynamically, there are no obvious weak links.
One can't expect an engine like this V12 to deliver great gas mileage. According to EPA estimates, it will return 12/16/14 mpg city/highway/combined. With a 24.3-gallon gas tank, the Ferrari will be able to cover about 340 miles on a full tank if you can resist the temptation to floor it at every available opportunity.
The interior will be familiar to anyone coming from the 812 Superfast. The snug, racy cockpit is finished in lovely leather and has bits of carbon fiber for a sporty feel. As usual, the rev counter dominates the instrument cluster, the paddles are large and are a joy to use, and the steering wheel is packed with various buttons and switches to tailor the driving experience. There are some changes for the Competizione such as lighter door panels and a modern take on the iconic gear-gate theme. It's the first time this design has appeared on a V12 Ferrari. Dual digital displays and automatic climate control are equipped along with a passenger-side display, although it's by no means laden with comfort features. That simply isn't the point of this car.
There is seating for the driver and one passenger in the 812 Competizione. Like the exterior, the interior design has a unique sense of occasion. It feels like a place built for driving, and that starts with the excellent seats. The Sedilli racing quadrettato seats have a distinctive block-like pattern, and because they hold you firmly in place, Ferrari will even let you choose between four seat sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. Daytona racing seats and Corsa racing seats are also available as options.
Legroom and headroom are fine for adults that are six-foot in height, but the one downside of the cabin is that there is zero rearward visibility since the back window is gone. Fortunately, a rearview camera mirror is available to counter this.
Swathes of carbon fiber, Alcantara, and leather are found in the cabin. Buyers can choose whether they have a preference for leather or Alcantara seats, but each material appeals in its own way. The lightweight door panels have large carbon fiber inserts in a glossy finish, and there is more carbon fiber on the steering wheel and center console.
Color choices are wide, with the leather available in hues like Rosso Ferrari (red), Nero (black), Cuoio (tan), and Blu Sterling (blue). The range of colors for the Alcantara is also generous. You can further choose the carpet color, the color of the stitching, or choose one of several colors for the leather central tunnel.
As you can imagine, the rev counter in a car that can rev to 9,500 rpm is a constant source of entertainment. In the Competizione, there are five different rev counter finishes: standard (black), yellow, red, white, or aluminum. Finally, the headliner can be finished in either leather or Alcantara, once more with a large color palette for each material.
Ferrari doesn't publish cargo figures for the 812 Competizione but this is a surprisingly practical GT. The trunk is quite deep and has enough space for a large suitcase or up to three carry-ons. The load lip is high, though, so heavier items will require some effort to load and unload. Ferrari sells numerous bespoke luggage sets including a weekend suitcase, an overnight suitcase, and even a duffel bag.
In the cabin, the driver and passenger will have to share a single cupholder, and there is a reasonably long but shallow storage area in the center. A few smaller items can be stashed behind nets at the back of the seats. For two people, there is just enough space for a weekend away.
There aren't a lot of comfort features in the 812 Competizione, but it does have plenty to keep the enthusiast busy. The red stop-start button and red Manettino switch are positioned close to each other on the steering wheel, and behind them are the large paddle shifters. A dual-zone climate control system keeps the cabin temperature comfortable, and mirrors/windows are obviously power-adjustable. A suspension lifter is useful at parking speeds, and a rearview camera and rearview camera mirror are essential in a car with no rear window. A garage door opener is one of the few available options.
Ferrari's implementation of infotainment is quite different from the norm. Instead of a large central touchscreen, there are two digital displays on either side of the rev counter. It's quite a refreshing departure from tablet-style touchscreens and makes the driver feel like the center of attention. Yes, there are far more modern infotainment interfaces out there that can do more, but the Ferrari's solution feels appropriate in the Competizione. Android Auto isn't available but Apple CarPlay, a USB connection, Bluetooth, and a 12-speaker sound system are included. The passenger gets a separate, slim display screen that displays media and the like.
One recall was listed for the Ferrari 812 Superfast on which the Competizione is based for the 2020 model year specifically, for a rear window that was bonded incorrectly. Since the Competizione doesn't have a traditional rear window at all, it's unlikely to face the same issue further down the line.
Ferrari's complimentary scheduled maintenance runs for seven years regardless of miles covered, and the warranty covers the first three years. Ferrari recently introduced an option to extend the standard warranty to seven years.
No Ferrari 812 Competizione safety review has been published by either the NHTSA or IIHS. Both agencies will never be given one to test considering the car's value and rarity.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
Only the basics are covered. Along with front and side airbags, the 812 Competizione has one of the most advanced traction and stability control systems in any car. A rearview camera is required by law, and a rearview camera mirror replaces the traditional rearview camera so that the driver at least has some idea of what's happening behind the car. Tire pressure monitoring and regular cruise control are fitted, but advanced driver aids like blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist are entirely absent.
The Ferrari 812 Competizione is like a blast from the past in the best possible sense. There's no electric power, no forced induction, and not even a touchscreen. It may not have a manual gearbox, but it is an analog driving experience of the highest order. Words fail to express how good that 819-hp V12 engine is, and it is matched by a sharp chassis and a quick-shifting gearbox. The manner in which the electronics can contain all that power in an RWD car is hard to wrap one's head around. Downsides include the poor gas mileage, the high price, and the fact that all have already been sold. But if this is indeed the end of Ferrari's naturally-aspirated, non-hybrid V12, it's one heck of a way to say goodbye.
The Ferrari 812 Competizione's price is not for the faint-hearted. At €499,000 in Italy when it went on sale, that equates to about $530,000 at current rates when this piece was written. That number doesn't take into account any of the options that are available to customize the Competizione, and we would not be surprised if these added up to $100,000 or more.
Although there aren't many packages, there are a plethora of individual options. For the exterior, buyers can choose from four different liveries, seven wheel designs, and a matte finish for the carbon fiber components. The cabin can be finished in predominantly leather or Alcantara, and there are more colors available than we can mention here. One worthwhile option is the Telemetry kit that allows drivers to record and analyze performance data, especially for track days.
There is only one trim, but there are countless configurations of the 812 Competizione. We'd have ours in Grigio Competizione with the Racing livery Giallo Fly (yellow), the matt Nero forged racing rims, and the Giallo modena brake calipers. Inside, we'd go with the Blu Scuro Alcantara for a slightly more emotive look, and we'd throw in the Telemetry kit.
The Aventador is one of Lamborghini's legendary supercars that needs no introduction. The engine may not be in the same place, but it follows a similar path with a 6.5-liter V12 and rear-wheel drive. The Ferrari immediately leaps ahead in a few aspects, though. Its dual-clutch transmission is far more effective than the Lambo's single-clutch, and the Ferrari is ultimately more powerful and quicker. In reality, it's difficult to describe driving one of these cars as more immersive than the other, as both are just so good at captivating the driver. Again, though, the Ferrari's cabin is less confining and it has an actual trunk. The Aventador, especially in Ultimae guise, is perhaps the ultimate poster car, but the Ferrari is more consistently impressive and gets our vote.
At less than half the price, the Roma is comparatively docile. Its twin-turbo V8 makes over 200 hp less and, although it handles brilliantly, it simply can't match the breadth of talents of the 812 Competizione. The Roma is achingly pretty, though, and would actually suit a slightly more demure customer. There is also a more practical 2+2 cabin and a more modern infotainment system in the Roma, and you can order it with driver-assist features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. As a performance machine - and especially if money is no object - the 812 Competizione is easily the winner. But the Roma shows us that Ferrari can instill its brand DNA in a more accessible, practical package too.
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