There are special moments when a petrolhead suddenly runs out of superlatives to describe what’s before him. For the most part, the lack of words is compensated by the appearance of goosebumps on the skin combined with a raised heart rate. So was the case when I stood before Ferrari‘s latest engineering marvel and new benchmark for front-mid-engine supercars, the 812 Superfast, as it was launched on April 11 at The Island in Bonifacio Global City by Autostrada Motore, the official distributor of the Italian automotive brand.
As I got off my ride near the entrance to the venue, I caught the uncovered red 812 getting some last-minute detailing touches for the unveiling. At that moment, the space-time continuum was ripped, as this supercar took me to another dimension—the 12th dimension, to be exact. This prancing horse houses the most powerful V12 engine in a production model to date: The ‘8’ in its name refers to 800ps (789hp) and the ‘12’ means 12 cylinders within a 6.5-liter engine block of pure, naturally aspirated mind-blowing propulsion. That alone was enough to give me a spine-tingling sensation as I stood up close the car’s front end and randomly imagined myself saddled within, gripping its tiller around the Fiorano Circuit.
The successor to the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast is not just about raw power. It boasts a plethora of technological features that make this bonkers rocket-on-wheels very drivable, even for the average Joe. Ferrari equipped this performance car with its most efficient aerodynamic system to lessen drag and increase downforce, as well as drift-assisting and stability gadgetry combined with the first-ever electric-power steering mechanism in the line. It also introduces the so-called Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system, aka rear-axle steering. This seemingly makes the 812 a very composed and safe car to drive. Given the engine placement, there’s also a lot of comfy room for two and some luggage in the plush cabin. From the looks of it, this rear-wheel-drive supercar will make your grandmother snatch the keys from you to go grocery-shopping.
Autostrada Motore executive director Marc Soong talked about some remarkable figures churned out by the 812: 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, 0-200km/h in 7.9 seconds, and 0-300km/h (the new yardstick for gauging performance) in a blistering 20.9 seconds. Oh, and a top speed of 340km/h. Whew! If that doesn’t stimulate your appetite for speed, you must be an alien who pilots a hyperdrive spacecraft.
Marc was later joined by his father, Autostrada Motore chairman and president Wellington Soong, who led the toast to honor the occasion along with the Italian Embassy’s Fabio Schina. The event continued into the evening as more VIPs (read: those who could actually afford a Ferrari) arrived. To top it all off, Marc gave the audience an audible taste of the V12’s roar. Bellisima!
Folks, as great as the 812 Superfast is, purists wonder if this will be the last of the naturally aspirated V12s Ferrari is known for, as the future of performance is fast transitioning to hybrid and electric powertrains. If that’s the case, this car should turn into a highly collectible machine. Most probably Ferrari’s ultimate model from this dying age of the internal-combustion engine. Some will argue that the F40 holds the throne as the greatest Ferrari ever, but the 812 may well change that in time.
Now, if you’re wondering how much the price tag is, we’ll leave that answer to the Autostrada Motore sales team headed by Ferrari brand manager Natalia Trompeta. Come to think of it, inquiring about the price is a perfect excuse to drive to Ferrari’s BGC showroom and see the 812 Superfast in the metal.