2019 Ferrari 812 Superfast: First Drive Review
- by Ameya Dandekar
- Jul 16, 2019
- Views : 2708
Successor to the mighty F12 the Ferrari 812 Superfast, is engineered to tear down every horizon in sight
In the world of turbocharging, hybridisation and downsizing, the prancing horse you see on your screen comes as a breath of fresh air. Bow down to the Ferrari 812 Superfast, a car, thanks to its mighty 6.5-litre V12 naturally aspirated motor, feels as analogue and as unadulterated as they come. The successor to the mighty F12, the Superfast, as the name suggests, is engineered to tear down towards every horizon in sight. It can do it too, thanks to a V12 developing a mighty 800PS of power hauling around just 1.5 tonnes of weight. I got to drive this beast in and around Dubai and my motoring life has changed forever.
The 812 Superfast is a head-turner when looked at from any angle. You can’t exactly call it beautiful like you would a Lamborghini Aventador. It is more form following function and every line, cut and crease is there for a scientific reason. Aerodynamics was of top priority while designing the 812 Superfast and as a result, you get a car that seems like it’s in motion even while standing still. The front looks menacing thanks to the gaping grille and the slim headlamps flanked by the sharp air intakes. Even the rear is sharply cut and the twin circular tail lamps remind you of afterburners on a jet fighter about to do a vertical climb. But its in profile that this car stands out. The long bonnet, stubby boot section, the stunning 20-inch forged alloy wheels and the XXL size crease that runs across the door makes the car look stunning.
Definition of minimalism
The cabin of the 812 Superfast is as minimalistic and as driver focused as they come. Like in other Ferrari’s, dual TFT screens replace the speedo and other analogue dials with a large old school tachometer taking centre stage. The twin high-res screens show a plethora of information, including the navigation map and other important car related information. If this wasn’t enough, then the complex Formula1 car-like steering wheel will surely make the driver feel even more special. Although some might argue there are way too many buttons on the steering, but they all make sense and are actually quite logically placed since the driver doesn’t have to take his eyes off the road to change important settings. A large red button brings the monstrous V12 to life, another lets you switch the damper setting from cozy to rock hard and with Manettino switch, you can toggle through driving modes.
The rest of the dashboard is uncluttered and Ferrari have also given the central display a skip in the process. The ultra-clean interior looks futuristic and purposeful without any distractions. Co-drivers may complain about the lack of a central screen, but when you have the V12 concerto and loads of G-forces to entertain you, then you shouldn’t really be cribbing.
The cabin though isn’t the most practical. Apart from the slim door pockets, little space around the gear selector buttons, decent-sized cup holders and a shallow glovebox, there are not many storage areas in the 812’s cabin. The boot too isn’t very big but is good enough for a few soft bags. The powered seats though are spot-on. You sit low and though the seat contour is aggressive, even large framed adults will find them to be comfortable.
The 812 Superfast is powered by a 6496cc V12 engine that is derived from the now-defunct F12. Ferrari has made quite a few internal changes which result in a rear-wheel-drive car that produces a massive 800PS of power. Trembling with excitement, I press the starter button, pull the huge right paddle to select first gear and growl out on to the Dubai roads. The first thing that hits you as soon as you floor the throttle pedal is the way this motor spins. It is as if Ferrari have forgotten to put a flywheel in this 800PS monster as the analogue tacho needle scampers up to the scarcely believable 8900rpm redline. Such is the vicious acceleration that through the first few gears, your neck feels more like an overcooked piece of meat struggling to retain its shape. The sheer thrust the 812 can generate will scare most people and it just never lets up. The thrust and the V12 symphony, the violence, it all just keeps hitting you with every extra rotation of the crankshaft until you bang against the limiter at an ear-drum exploding 8900rpm. Rotate the Manettino switch to Race and things get even more insane. Performance is now in hypercar territory as the 812 can give even cars like the LaFerrari a run for their money.
The 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox is lightning-quick with its shifts and you can use it in manual mode, gears shifting up only when you pull the right paddle. Then you can also switch off all the nannies and activate the launch control. First, make sure the steering is facing straight, push the brake with your left foot and the accelerator with your right, and the revs climb to 3000rpm. Release the brake and the 812 slams forward, with just a hint of wheelspin. As a result, flat-out performance figures are rapid, with 0-100kmph taking somewhere around three seconds and if you have space, the 812 will hit a superfast top speed of 340kmph!
The intimacy of its engine is well complemented by its dynamic abilities. Everything the 812 Superfast does – from the way it feels hunkered down while turning into a corner to the way the powerful carbon-ceramic brakes work and even the way it somehow finds the grip to cleanly put down all the 800 horses through the rear wheels - truly baffles you. You always know where you are with this car. And considering just how insanely fast it is, that is arguably its greatest achievement.
Once you tone it all down, you can have a relaxing time in the 812 too. While driving around the congested streets of Dubai, with the 812 in Sport mode (the 812 doesn’t get a Comfort setting!), it feels as civilised as any sports car. Thanks to the adjustable dampers, it feels surprisingly supple and the 812 can actually be quite soothing to drive. Obviously, it isn’t as forgiving as your everyday car.
The 812 Superfast also comes with standard carbon-ceramic brakes. These massive discs provide immediate and reassuring stopping power. The pedal feel, which is usually the nemesis in carbon ceramics, is actually quite linear.
I want one
Absolutely, if you have the money, then there are very few cars that feel as evocative and as well established as the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Good things don’t come cheap and this applies to the 812 Superfast too. Priced at Rs 5.2 crore (ex-showroom), if your name doesn’t end with Ambani, Birla or Singhania, buying this car for most people is a thing of dreams. But hey, you can always work towards it, never know Dandekar might be listed next to Ambani one day! Clearly, I have lost my mind because I want this car so bad!
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