Farewell F12 Berlinetta, hello 812 Superfast. We know, it's a silly name.
It’s the end of an era. Ferrari is phasing out the naturally-aspirated V12 which has been powering its Prancing Horses since 1947 – and this is its spectacular swansong. Meet the Ferrari 812 Superfast, the successor to the feisty F12 Berlinetta and its hardcore F12tdf sibling which will be making its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Ahead of its live debut, Ferrari has given us the lowdown and on its new mid-front-engined masterpiece, as well as the first official images inside and out.
Previously thought to be called the F12 M, the naming may be questionably inconsistent with the supercar maker's line-up (seriously, it sounds like it was named by a five-year-old), but the Ferrari 812 Superfast certainly lives up to its name. This is the most powerful and fastest naturally-aspirated Ferrari yet, following the F12 Berlinetta and F12tdf before it. Under the hood lies a 6.5-liter V12 engine that’s 200 cc larger than the unit found in the F12 and LaFerrari, and produces 789 horsepower - quite a jump from the original 6.3-liter V12 introduced in 2012, which has around 60 less hp. It also beats the F12tdf by an extra 19 hp.
This heaving engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic 'box with shorter up and down-shifting times than before, designed to deliver sharper throttle response. The Ferrari 812 Superfast promises to be "the new benchmark in the mid-front-engined sports car segment," with a maximum power output of 8,500 rpm, which should be a treat for the ears thanks to increased displacement. You can’t beat the signature sound of a naturally-aspirated V12 Ferrari. A maximum torque level of 530 lb-ft is delivered at 7,000 rpm, though 80 percent of that will already be available at 3,500 rpm, improving the driveability and pick-up even at low revs.
In case you were wondering, all this means you’ll be able to rocket from 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 211 mph. It’s technically advanced, too. This is the first Ferrari with Electric Power Steering, which, in conjunction with electronic vehicle dynamics controls including the new fifth generation SSC (Side Slip Control), and a second-generation Virtual Short Wheelbase (Ferrari’s fancy talk for its four-wheel steering system), should make this powerful Prancing Horse easy to tame. The fetching styling of the F12 has been slightly compromised to make the 812 Superfast more aerodynamic.
Active flaps grace the front of the underbody, while the rear flank features an "aerodynamic by-pass" to increase downforce. Elsewhere, its design cues hark back to vintage Ferraris, with a high tail reminiscent of the 1969 365 GTB4, and four round tail-lights inspired by Ferrari tradition. Its muscular wheel arches make the 812 Superfast more menacing than previous F12s. The lights are all LED, and it’s coated in a new shade of Rosso Settanta red to mark Ferrari’s 70th anniversary specifically for this model. It makes the F12tdf look comparatively sedate, if that was ever possible.
Inside, the interior mirrors the extreme, yet elegant exterior of the 812 Superfast, with a distinctive new steering wheel, instrument clusters and sports seats, as well as a horizontal dash that loops around the central air vents, though it’s not a radical deviation from the F12. More on the Ferrari 812 Superfast will be revealed at Geneva in March, where we’ll no doubt learn more about its performance, aerodynamics, and perhaps even a price. What do you make of the Ferrari 812 Superfast? Do you like the name and the more aggressive styling? Savor it while you can before Ferrari favors hybrid powertrains in the future.