The Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) 812 Superfast literally is a Supercar
In November 1971 C/D Mag organized the very first Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.
The entrants were a crazy mix of cars, many of them modified. But the winning car, a Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona piloted by and old friends Brock Yates and professional racer Dan Gurney, was stock.
And now the Spirit of that Ferrari lives on in the 812 SuperfastW
This Ferrari’s name is 100% literal.
The “8” stands for 800 cavalli vapore, Italian hp, that equates to 789 horsepower in the US.
The “12” denotes 12 cylinders, arranged in 2 banks that are positioned in a perfectly balanced 60-degree V.
“Superfast,” exemplifies the numbers
The engine is one in a long line of V-12s from Ferrari.
This 1 is 6.5-liter V-12 is a stroked version of the f12’s engine. And according to Ferrari, it consists of 75% new parts, including a system that continuously varies the intake-runner length.
Indicated “Redline” is 9000 rpm but 8900 is really max. The sound is nor as loud as a 911 GT3’s or a McLaren 720’s-at wide-open, the 812 emits 91 decibels to the Porsche’s 100 and the McLaren’s 95-but it’s a sound that penetrates mind, body and soul reminding us that engineers, when pushed and challenged the way Ferrari’s are, can be just as artistic as the car designers.
Rear-wheel-drive cars typically lack the grip required for a sub-3.0-sec Zero-to-60-mph time, and yet this 812 manages it in 2.8 secs. It also reaches 100 mph in 5.8 secs and completes the Quarter-mile in 10.5 secs at a blistering 138 mph. Just 7.1 secs later, the 812 hits 170 mph.
Still, the McLaren 720S is quicker, as it weighs nearly 700 lbs less than the 812. That does not lessen the fact that the Ferrari is so quick accelerating from 70 mph that it takes not more than a half-mile of open Interstate and 9.3 secs to show the driver and up to one passenger what 150 mph feels like.
Running at that speed are 4 wide Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires and carbon-ceramic brake rotors that would not look undersized on a Jet plane. Stops from 70 mph require just 142 ft, this is a Supercar that weighs 3851 lbs.
Cabin ergonomics are excellent.
All the normal steering-wheel stalk controls are moved to various buttons on the wheel. The idea is that this allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Shuffle steering is not necessary since the 812 incorporates rear-axle steering.
Ferrari’s longstanding use of magnetorheological dampers pay off, as the 812’s around-town ride rivals that of a family sedan, particularly in the “bumpy road” mode.
Crank the steering-wheel-mounted mode switch to Race, and the 812 will stick with an even 1.00 g of lateral grip.
If the 812 has 1 dynamic weakness, it’s the dual-clutch trans-axle.
When this Supercar is sitting still it looks as if it running. The design does the trick of packing in lots of details without looking too busy.
There is a lot going on and the details make the Supercar picture. This is, after all, Ferrari’s flagship
This Ferrari properly fitted out costs more than $450,000, about $125-K of which is in more than 30 options, including a titanium exhaust and seemingly every carbon-fiber item imaginable.
The carbon-fiber racing seats are not the most comfortable design for a long haul, and if 1 were to attempt a coast-to-coast run in an 812, well do not even think about it.
Still, there is probably no better car in which one could attempt a record-breaking dash from Sea to Shining Sea.