Slice off the roof. Charge more money. Increase prestige. Sounds like a no-brainer.
Even prior to now-former Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne’s sudden passing, there were plans in place to increase production output without diluting the brand’s prestige. It's a difficult combination to pull off, but Ferrari’s board of directors had faith in Marchionne, who previously engineered the highly successful spin-off from FCA. Marchionne’s successor, Louis Camilleri, has vowed to continue with that plan, part of which includes more limited edition models.
And now there’s a rumor coming from the Ferrari Chat forum claiming an 812 convertible has been approved for production. Because Ferrari is never one for leaking details, all we have to go by at this time is the word of so-called inside sources.
In this case, however, the information sounds legitimate. How so? Supposedly, this 812 Superfast convertible (a name change would be very likely) will incorporate a slightly modified version of the folding hardtop system found on the 488 Spider. Without a permanent roof, the V12-powered, front-engined supercar would also have to undergo numerous engineering modifications. It’s also not without historical precedent for Ferrari to offer a V12 spider that wasn’t a special edition or a one-off build, but it’s been a while since one was produced.
The last time was in 2005 with the Superamerica, the convertible version of the 575M Maranello. A total of 559 examples were built, all of which featured an electric glass panel roof. Prior to that was the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, a 70th anniversary tribute to Pininfarina itself. Limited to 448 examples, there was no actual convertible top aside from a factory provided cloth top for temporary use. It was really only good for protecting the interior from rain. One forum member even claimed they attempted to place a deposit for this unconfirmed Ferrari, but the dealer wouldn’t take the money because, not surprisingly, it had yet to receive any confirmation from Ferrari HQ.
This doesn’t mean the car isn’t happening, only that Ferrari doesn't always keep its dealers up to date out of fear of leaks. Given that Ferrari just unveiled the (topless) 812 Superfast-based Monza SP1 and SP2 at Paris a couple of months ago, it wouldn’t surprise us to see a limited run of, say, around 500 units, of a more conventionally styled convertible. But for now, this remains only a rumor.