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 V-12 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 V-12. 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 V-12 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.