The first and most difficult challenge Ferrari always faces when it decides to develop a new model is to push the boundaries of its own achievements yet again. This challenge is made all the tougher when the task at hand involves designing a new 12-cylinder engine, the power unit that hailed the start of the glorious Prancing Horse story 70 years ago in 1947.
With its output boosted to 800 cv, 60 more than the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast is the most powerful and fastest road-going Ferrari ever built (with the exception, of course, of the rear-engined special limited-series 12-cylinders). The 812 Superfast thus ushers in a new era in Ferrari 12-cylinder history, and, in doing so, builds on the invaluable legacies of the F12berlinetta and F12tdf.
To make full use of that huge power and to guarantee perfect weight distribution, the car exploits a highly evolved transaxle architecture that couples a front-mounted engine with a rear-mounted transmission.
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the new 812 Superfast redefines the formal language of front-engined V12 Ferrari proportions without altering either its exterior dimensions or interior space and comfort. Seen in silhouette, the 812 Superfast has a fastback sleekness: a two-box design with a high tail reminiscent of the glorious 365 GTB4 (Daytona) of 1969, visually lowering an aggressive rear spoiler designed to guarantee downforce.
The draped design of the flanks visually shortens the tail and is characterised by sharply slanted crease lines and impressively muscular wheelarches that imbue the 812 Superfast with the power and aggression.
The cabin has been radically redesigned to imbue it with an even sportier character. Light, compact volumes hug the contours of the interior structures to the extent that the latter are visible in certain areas. These ultra-taut surfaces are deliberately layered and broken up to create voids with the result that the main elements seem to float. The overall effect is both thoroughbred racing eagerness and lean elegance that never feels overstated.
The seats follow a diapason design language and exploit that expansiveness to create an interplay of solids and voids that lend character to the seat and backrest.
The seats differ from and contrast with the rest of the interior surfaces, thanks to their perforated leather trim which adds a sporty touch to the new styling.
In short, taught forms and cleverly structured volumes combine with superb ergonomics and a light sporty language to yield a top-of-the-range seat.
The 812 Superfast is equipped with leading-edge vehicle dynamics control systems and components. It is striking for both its highly innovative design and aero package, as well as its unparalleled handling. It is also the first Ferrari to sport EPS (Electric Power Steering).
The development process resulted in a maximum power output of 800 cv at 8,500 rpm, a new benchmark for the Ferrari range, in addition to a specific power output of 123 cv/l, a completely unprecedented figure for an engine front-mounted in a production car. The new 812 Superfast is fitted with Ferrari’s F1 dual-clutch transmission which has been further evolved to meet the car’s track driving performance targets and cope with the boost in maximum revs to 8,900 rpm. The gear ratios on all of the gears have been shortened by an average of 6% to exploit the extra performance and higher revs to the fullest as well as to improve the car’s acceleration without compromising pick-up in higher gears.