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Geneva: ‘most powerful’ Ferrari 812 Superfast

V12 engined 812 'designed to be flexible'.

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The Ferrari 812 Superfast, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, is the most powerful and fastest front-engined road-going car the iconic Italian brand has ever produced.

Reason for this lies in the new 12-cylinder engine developed for the car, which its creators describe as ‘of unprecedented efficiency and might.’

It is based on the 6.2-litre unit of the previous record-holding F12 Berlinetta, but with its capacity enlarged to 6.5 litres and modifications made to the intake system and combustion rate. The first 350 bar direction injection system used on a spark-ignition engine is fitted, while the variable geometry inlet tracts are evolved from those on the limited-edition F12tdf, and originally developed by Ferrari’s F1 team.

Power goes up 60hp over the F12 Berlinetta, the Superfast pumping out some 800hp at 8500rpm. Torque is 718Nm at 7000rpm, with 80 per cent on tap from only 3500rpm.

Fast but flexible

Ferrari says these figures make the engine a very flexible unit, essential to attract the 812’s very specific customer base; “(They) demand the most powerful and exclusive Ferrari in the range – they want a blisteringly high-performance car, but refuse to compromise on the kind of versatility that will allow them to thoroughly appreciate driving it as a 360-degree experience.”

The engine is combined with a developed version of Ferrari’s F1 dual-clutch transmission – the modifications are to meet the car’s track driving performance targets and cope with a rev counter red line extended to 8,900rpm. Shift times have also been reduced by 30 per cent.

Ferrari 812 Superfast 2
Many Geneva visitors struggled to get a proper look at the Ferrari 812 Superfast, such was the interest. Photo: Andrew Charman

All of this translates to a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds, the 812 Superfast taking only another five seconds to double its speed and being capable of 211mph. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 19mpg with CO2 emissions of 340g/km.

Also debuting on the car is Ferrari’s first electric power-steering system, and the ‘Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0’ that combines the electric assistance to the front steering with rear-wheel steering to make the car more agile in corners. The driver can dial in functions including peak performance and power oversteer.

Brembo brakes originally fitted to the LaFerrari hypercar are used again on the 812 Superfast, which with the performance ABS system cuts braking times from 62mph by almost six per cent when compared to the F12 Berlinetta.

Aero excellence

A major aerodynamics programme sees the Ferrari 812 Superfast significantly more aero-efficient than the F12 Berlinetta, both active aero elements and improvements to the car’s drag values helping to generate 30 per cent more downforce.

Notable elements include a vane on the front bumper to shift air hitting the front of the car out to the flanks, reducing the aero wake and therefore the drag. The underbody diffusers ahead of the front wheels boast mobile elements to cancel out air pressure generated at high speeds.

The car’s styling is said to recall the classic 365 GTB/4 Daytona of 1969, the fastback two-box design including a high but short tail. Creases are distinctive and the wheelarches muscular to add to the car’s presence.

No price has yet been announced for the 812 Superfast.

Ferrari 812 Superfast at the 2017 Geneva motor show

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.