2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast: A 789-hp Rock Opera in Italy
Watch as we drive history's fastest production Ferrari in and around Maranello.
Per favore, could we please just adopt the metric system? That way, I could say that the Ferrari 812 Superfast has a nice, round 800 metric horsepower, instead of the 789 horses by American measures.
Whatever system you use, the Ferrari is fast. Superfast, even, in the name adopted from Ferrari’s last-ever bespoke V12 model, the 1964 Superfast that saw just 37 copies built. The new one shrieks to 211 mpg, clocks 0-62 mph (100 kph) in 2.9 seconds, and 124 mph in 8.5 seconds. For more-recent historical context, the Ferrari 550 Maranello, produced from 1997 to 2002, took 14 seconds to reach 124 mph.
Check out our video, and I won’t need to waste adjectives describing what’s nearly indescribable, the burble and shriek of the Ferrari’s 6.5-liter, 8,900-rpm, naturally aspirated V12. I drove history’s most powerful series production Ferrari at the storied Fiorano track near the company factory in Maranello. Yes, it was a blast, But honestly, I had more fun on an extended road test through Emilia-Romagna. Rocking the mountain switchbacks, relaxing through charming Italian villages, the Superfast flexed its epic performance muscles, yet remained all-day comfortable and roomy. It’s beautiful, of course, with a hood out-to-here, a scalloped waist and a slew of tasteful aerodynamic aids. Yet it’s a confident beauty that doesn’t need to scream for your attention and admiration – it already has it.
Ferrari’s first-ever sports car with electric steering also adds rear-axle steering and a raft of Formula One-based technologies, including the latest version of its driver-adjustable Side Slip Control, which helps skilled pilots push the performance envelope while keeping amateurs out of the ditch.
As I wrote in my full review, the $310,000 Ferrari 812 Superfast becomes the rare sports car with no direct, like-priced competitor. The Aston Martin Vanquish V12 is also beautiful, but its power (with 580 horses), performance and technology are simply no match for the Ferrari. Ditto the Bentley Continental Supersports, which brings a more-competitive 700 horsepower from its own W-12 engine, but weighs 5,300 pounds, about 1,700 more than the Superfast.
Some people have poked fun at that Superfast name, and it may be a bit on-the-nose. But consider it truth in advertising. And something tells me that owners will wear the name proudly.
Lawrence Ulrich, The Drive’s chief auto critic, is an award-winning auto journalist and former chief auto critic for The New York Times and Detroit Free Press. The Detroit native and Brooklyn gentrifier owns a troubled ’93 Mazda RX-7 R1, but may want to give it a good home. Email him at Lawrence@thedrive.com.