In Depth

Ferrari 812 Superfast: Critics hail 'outrageous' new GT

F12 Berlinetta replacement lives up to its name, reaching 62mph in 2.9secs before hitting 211mph

Ferrari has released a new entry into the front-engined super GT market to replace 2012's critically acclaimed F12 Berlinetta. 

The 812 Superfast houses a 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine with a power output of 789bhp and 530lb-ft of torque - 49bhp and 20lb-ft more than the F12. That's enough to send the aptly-named car from 0-62mph in 2.9secs and on to a top speed of 211mph.

The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox which channels power to the rear axle, while the rear wheels are fitted with the second generation of the company's virtual short wheelbase steering system, helping the car navigate corners more easily than its predecessor.

Ferrari says the 812 Superfast's design has been inspired the carmaker's 1969 365 GTB4, incorporating cues such as the high tail and sloping roofline. 

It's the most powerful front-engined road car Ferrari has ever made, but how does it compared to the F12 it replaces? Here's what the critics think.

Design

Ferrari has completely overhauled the underpinnings and aerodynamics of its super GT, meaning it should be considered an all-new car rather than a replacement for 2012's F12, says AutoExpress.

It retains its predecessor's front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout and also gets "a new rear-wheel-steering system" together with "Ferrari's Side Slip Control", which lets drivers slide the car without spinning it. 

In addition, there is an "active and passive" aerodynamic system, adds the mag, allowing the 812 Superfast to generate more grip at higher speeds without the negative side-effects of drag. 

The design has clearly been derived from the F12, says the Daily Telegraph, although the new car is now "festooned in aerodynamic aids that are effective yet discreet". 

"You have to study it carefully to comprehend the extent of the airflow management", the newspaper adds. Onlookers will be able to see small ducts and "passive aerodynamics" that have been incorporated "to produce downforce while reducing lift and turbulence around the high tail". 

Buyers can also choose from a new colour called "Rosso Settanta" celebrating the company's 70-year anniversary. 

Interior 

Inside, the super GT gets a pair of new sports seats that are firm but "clamp you in place" for a perfect view of the car's dashboard, Evo says.

It is packed with leather and carbon fibre and gets Ferrari's multifunctional steering wheel, featuring the Manettino switch used for cycling through different driving modes.

"It's certainly the most liveable car with this kind of performance at any price", says Car.  

The 812 Superfast "inherits some of the new dash layout from the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso", with its "twin-screen layout" located either side of the rev-counter giving drivers "the most important info right in front of [them]".

It's also "pleasingly practical", says the mag, with a boot space of around 320-500-litres, "depending on how you configure it".

On the road 

Although the 812 Superfast is "groaning in electronic aids" to help drivers cope with its 789bhp, it "remains a chiefly analogue experience" on the road, Car says.

Refinements to its aerodynamic and classic set-up, as well as the abundance of driver aids, means it feels "less nervous than the F12 it replaces". It also "turns in eagerly" and will impress drivers with the speed it carries through corners. 

"There is much witchcraft occurring within this chassis," says Top Gear, as the rear-wheel steering helps the car get around bends quickly without the driver feeling the onboard electronics working.

Switching to the softer suspension settings irons out bumps in the road nicely, adds the site, although it is a little firmer than the F12.

It's "simply mighty" on the road, says the Telegraph, praising the front-engined supercar's composure on even the most challenge of road surfaces.

The engine note is equally as impressive, as the newspaper says the V12 motor provides a "perfectly executed blip during downchanges." 

Some buyers may want a manual gearbox for a more engaging experience, but the paper says the car's dual-clutch system is so good that most won't need a manual transmission to get their driving kicks.

Verdict

The Superfast's "straight-line performance alone has gone from outrageous to thoroughly ridiculous", says AutoExpress.

Indeed, adds the mag, it's such a drastic improvement that it's difficult to see how the 812 Superfast will ever be superseded.

Evo says it "feels approximately twice as fast" on the road as it does on a race track, but the array of onboard computers will "help you keep your quarter million pound 812 Superfast out of the undergrowth". 

It also says the sheer performance of the car means it's difficult to pinpoint a rival offering a similar driving experience "at any price point" in the market. 

Autocar agrees, saying there are no rivals in this price range that come close to the Superfast's level of performance and "few feel this comfortable to push hard in".

While it's "less natural" than the front-engined Aston Martin Vanquish, continues the mag, the 812 Superfast offers buyers a better driving experience in almost every area over the British-made GT.

Price and release

The Ferrari 812 Superfast is available to order now, says AutoExpress, with prices starting at £253,004. However, expect that number to rise substantially after a few optional extras are added on. 

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