The last time Ferrari used the Superfast name plate was in 1964 for the limited run 500 Superfast. Much like its modern day counterpart it was a V12 Berlinetta with the engine in the front and built for a very specialised market. The 500 cost as much as two Rolls Royce cars of that era and was limited to just 36 examples. Clients who bought the car included a prince and even the Shah of Iran at the time. The 500 was launched at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show. Curiously, Lamborghini had just birthed the 350GT which was also premiered at the same show. The 350GT was also a V12 offering but with a smaller engine capacity(3.5 litres to the 500’s ∼5.0 litres)and a lower power output(320 hp compared to the Ferrari’s 400 hp).
To classic car lovers the 500 is a beautiful car. This is perhaps because it was designed by longtime Ferrari collaborator Pininfarina. The design house famous for most of Ferrari’s and Maserati’s offerings. Cars they have designed include the 458 Italia and the Maserati Gran Turismo. However, from the LaFerrari Ferrari has kept the design of their vehicles in-house. The 812 Superfast was designed by the Ferrari Styling Center and from the official images we can’t say that beautiful or pretty are adjectives we would associate with the 812. Perhaps ‘intriguing’ would be better suited.
The 812 Superfast follows hot on the heels of the F12 Berlinetta. It features a new 6.5 litre V12 engine featuring 800 hp at 8,500 rpm. This gives it a specific output of 123 hp per litre. Torque output is up 28 Nm to 718 Nm at 7000 rpm compared to the F12’s 690 Nm, 80% of which is available at 3,500 rpm. The gains in engine output were as a result of F1 derived technology. The engine features variable geometry intake tracts and a 350 bar direct injection system which Ferrari claims to be a first in a high performance engine.
In a departure from the norm this will be the first Ferrari to feature fully electric power steering which Ferrari says will improve the car’s handling and make the performance more manageable. Aiding the steering is Ferrari’s virtual wheel base. Essentially rear wheel steering which it seems is being adopted en masse by the car industry.
Ferrari is using an updated 7 speed dual clutch transmission which is in use in its other road cars.*
The 812 and the F12 before it seem to have been in a class of one. There really isn’t any direct competitor in terms of body style and engine format. Lamborghini no longer makes GT cars and the Aston Martin’s DB11 is in a different price bracket. There are rumours of a McLaren front mid-engined GT car in the works but we will have to wait and see if there is any truth to them. The only car which can be compared to the 812 is thus the Lamborghini Aventador S.
The Aventador S also features a V12 albeit mid mounted and rear wheel steering. While the 812 is rear wheel drive only the Aventador S is all wheel drive. It has less power with 740 hp and 690 Nm of torque compared to the Ferrari’s 718 Nm. The Lambhorghini is 50 kg heavier(dry) than the 812 at 1,575 kg. Both have near identical top speeds with the Ferrari topping out at a claimed 340kph+ and the Lamborghini at 350kph. Both companies claim that their flagships will cross the 100 kph mark in 2.9s.
The 812 Superfast will have its world premiere next month at the Geneva Motor show.
*To be confirmed.