Meet the Ferrari 812 Superfast

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By Kap Maceda Aguila

THERE’S no need to navigate or wade through metaphors and analogies to get a grip on what Ferrari’s new release in the Philippines is. The Prancing Horse is not horsing around and names the car as it sees it.

Meet the 812 Superfast.

For sure, there’s more than a smidge of cockiness in appropriating the term, but there’s nothing superfluous about its use. You see, the Superfast goes, well, superfast — up to 340 kph, says the Maranello-headquartered car maker. Ferrari Philippines executive director Marc Louis O. Soong revealed at the car’s official local launch last week that the vehicle can zoom from a standstill to 100 kph in 2.9 seconds, zero to 200 kph in 7.9 seconds, and zero to 300 kph in 20.4 seconds. “This is one of the most exciting cars that [we’re bringing here]… Simply put, the 812 Superfast is the new benchmark for front mid-engine sports cars,” he declared.

Launched globally at last year’s Geneva International Motor Show, the “812” in 812 Superfast stands for the 800 metric horsepower (789 hp) generated by the car’s 12 cylinders. It reaches this maximum figure at 8,500rpm, while peak torque of 718 Nm happens at 7,000rpm. Of note is that 80% of the torque can be accessed at a reasonable 3,500rpm — “improving both drivability and pickup even at low revs.” A US automotive publication observed combined (city and highway) fuel economy at 5.5 kilometers per liter.

Marking its 70th year last year, Ferrari “remains to this day the only manufacturer to have continuously produced sports cars with 12-cylinder engines throughout that time,” according to a Ferrari statement.

During the 812 Superfast’s launch event in the Philippines, two units — one in Rossa Corsa with a classic Ferrari tan interior, and another in Bianco Avus with Bordeaux interior — were displayed. It should be noted that both were already spoken for, according to Mr. Soong. The supercar is described as ”an all-round sports car that will deliver overwhelming driving pleasure both on road and track, and not compromise on comfort whatever condition it may face.” The executive also explained the 812 Superfast is best enjoyed on long road trips. It is undoubtedly a purist’s car endowed with natural aspiration and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode.

Still, it must be mentioned that the 812 Superfast benefits from technological accoutrements — “with leading-edge control systems and components, resulting in unparalleled handling and road-holding.” This Ferrari distinguishes itself as the first in the brand to adopt electric power steering, and is a showpiece of the company’s Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system, “which combines electric front-wheel steering assistance with the mechanical concept built around tire dimensions and the rear-wheel steering.” Ferrari added “these systems are integrated with the vehicle dynamics control system based on the latest 5.0 version of Side Slip Control intended to improve the nimbleness of handling and reduce the vehicle response times.”

Undoubtedly sinewy but still sufficiently understated, the 812 Superfast boasts a “multi-functional frontal section, which incorporates a cluster of aerodynamic solutions including active flaps at the front of the underbody, and the rear flank, which features an unprecedented aerodynamic bypass to increase down force.” Compared to its direct predecessor, the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast has 10% better down force, plus 8% more over its rear fender ducts.

The car’s cabin is a taut, engaging spectacle — underpinned by a deep-set analog tachometer ensconced in the middle of a hybrid digital/analog instrument cluster. The interiors strike a sculptural, muscular tone imbued with a definitive luxury. The seats are sporty yet ergonomic, and pressing the red start/stop button is unbelievably rewarding as a rare high-pitched roar soon emanates from the 12-piece orchestra under the hood.

The sporty, exhaust pipe-like air vents call to mind the Superfast’s own two pairs on its rear, with a contrapuntal set of brake lights at either end of its meaty rear.

All told, the 812 Superfast is a rare gem of a car which only the one-percenters can enjoy. Autostrada Motore, the official Ferrari dealer in the Philippines, doesn’t give out a figure. But in the US the quixotic exotic carries a base sticker price of $345,000.

Super exclusive, that’s for sure.