Ferrari 812 Superfast: Silly name, seriously sophisticated supercar
Ferrari is on a roll at the moment, turning out stunning cars with oodles of power, but it still struggles with names. From LaFerrari (which translates to The Ferrari) to GTC4Lusso, which gives buyers no clue it's the followup to the FF, sometimes it seems like the naming team in Maranello choose their new model badges by pulling letters and numbers from a hat. Unfortunately, things haven't changed on the 812 Superfast. Sure, it'll be unbelievably fast, and the chassis is smarter than ever, but Superfast? Really?
Alright, we're going to put the name aside for a moment and talk about what's hiding under the skin of the new Superfast, because Ferrari has gone to town on its replacement for the F12Berlinetta. The naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 under the hood now produces a scarcely believable 789 hp (588 kW) at 8,500 rpm, up from the 740 hp (552 kW) in the old car thanks (in part) to 350 bar variable direct injection and Formula 1-derived variable geometry intact tracts.
As the world moves toward a turbocharged future, it's worth noting the 718 Nm of torque on offer in the free-breathing Ferrari. Sure, peak twisting force doesn't kick in until 7,000 rpm but 80 percent of that peak is available from just 3,500 rpm. Hooked up to a retuned dual-clutch gearbox capable of faster shifts in both directions, drivers should enjoy razor-sharp throttle response and linear thrust from almost any speed.
With so much power being sent to the rear wheels, Ferrari has pulled out all the stops to make sure enthusiastic drivers don't go flying backwards when they breathe on the throttle. Gone is the old hydraulic steering rack, and in its place is the first electric power steering system to emerge from Maranello. Interestingly, the press materials don't mention (oft written about, rarely defined) steering feel, instead saying the swap will "fully exploit the potential of the car's performance."
The latest iteration of Side Slip Control should allow drivers to creep closer to the edge (and slightly beyond it) without fear of a massive accident, and an evolution of the rear-wheel steering system debuted in the F12tdf has also been fitted. By all accounts, that car was an absolute handful, so it will be interesting to see if Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 has been toned down for general consumption.
Delivering staggering performance and nimble handling is one thing, but Ferraris are expected to work as pieces of art as well. Designed in-house, the 812 Superfast certainly fits the brief. Its basic silhouette is largely unchanged from the F12 but the details, from the skinny new headlights to the quad taillights, give it a look more in line with the 488 GTB and J50.
The fresh shape is also much smarter than before, with a more refined take on the active aero flaps at the front of the car and a clever aerodynamic bypass on the rear flanks helping keep the car settled at speed. Given the 340 km/h (211 mph) top speed and 2.9 second 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint, that's probably a good thing.
The interior has been treated to a mild refresh as well, although the changes are limited to new seats and a new infotainment system. Given how good the old one looked, that's no bad thing. The new steering wheel from the GTC4Lusso also features, with a new layout designed to make the plethora of buttons and switches easier to navigate.
The new 812 Superfast will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, which kicks off on March 7. New Atlas will be on the ground covering all the action, so stay tuned.