Ferrari’s last naturally aspirated V-12 marks the end of an era…
When a company like Ferrari, with seven decades of sports-car-industry dominance, announces its most powerful naturally aspirated production vehicle ever — one with no turbocharger, supercharger, or hybrid system — you know it’s an event. And the brand-new 812 Superfast, the successor to the previous Ferrari V-12 grand tourers, the F12berlinetta and the F12tdf, is a high-water mark in the company’s history. From the 1956 410 Superfast Pininfarina Speciale to the 1964 500 Superfast, the name has been synonymous with some of Ferrari’s most remarkable creations.
The 812 Superfast will likely be Ferrari’s last nonhybrid, naturally aspirated Ferrari. The company says cars built from 2019 onward will all feature some battery assist. The “8” in the car’s name stands for 800 PS (789 horsepower), and the “12” for the number of cylinders. The term Superfast carries a lot of weight: Some of the most beautiful, bold, and dramatic Ferrari designs have been honored with the name. To earn the Superfast moniker, you need power. This comes via a refined V-12 that is slightly larger than the motor from the F12berlinetta (6.5 liters versus 6.3), features upgrades on 75 percent of engine parts, and produces more horsepower (789 hp at 8,500 rpm) and torque (530 lb/ft at 7,000 rpm) than its predecessors. The 812 is also lean, with a dry weight of just over 1,500 kg, meaning it can reach 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 340 km/h. The Maranello-based automaker’s latest grand tourer, rumored to cost north of US$335,000, has Ferrari’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and power steering, updated Side Slip Control for easier drifting, and a groundbreaking fuel injection system. A 6-into-1 exhaust manifold amplifies the V-12, and the entire car is outfitted with aerodynamic improvements such as a passive front aero design and a rear diffuser that provides stability at low speeds and reduces drag at high speeds.
While Ferrari’s special creations, such as LaFerrari, will draw the most attention, and its base models, like the 488 GTB and new Portofino replacing the California T, will record the most sales, it’s the V-12 Grand Tourer that has always served as the brand’s flagship. And with the 812 Superfast, this era of Ferrari is closing out in style.
by KEITh GORDON
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