Review: Ferrari 812 Superfast, there’s just nothing quite like it

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There’s no substitute to proper coffee. The amount of work that goes into growing the plant, harvesting the seeds from the fruit and subsequently roasting and grounding them, are all reflected in the first sip of that liquid energy.

For the better stuff, farmers even go to the extent of gathering Civet excrement, when they’ve “discarded” the seeds from the fruit they’ve eaten, to be made into really expensive “Kopi Luwak”- there’s just no cutting corners and two ways about it.

There’s no resisting a closer look at the 812 Superfast.

The people who tirelessly immerse themselves into the process of farming to roasting to brewing are all, in a way, artists who ensure that the combination of their meticulous craft translates into a distinguished end product.

The same can be said about the artisans at Maranello, the headquarters of Ferrari, where perfection is never really enough when it comes to innovation and engineering. Every turn of the torque wrench, every fit of every component, especially in the engine room, is done with diligence in the mind and passion at heart.

Because at the core of this Ferrari 812 Superfast is a 6.5-litre engine, the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever built for a production car, with 800 hp, 718 Nm of torque and a life-changing 8,500 rpm redline that just makes me, sad.

Not because it’s bad, no. But because I know many will get never get to experience the visceral euphoria of reaching and experiencing the very limits of Ferrari’s engineering, stemmed from the royalties of motorsports, Formula 1.

Although based on the preceding Ferrari F12, nearly 75% of the V12 engine is new along with the adopted “continuously variable inlet ducts” straight out of Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine.

As a result, 0 to 100 km/h is accomplished in just 2.9 seconds and is sure to make you proud of yourself – simply by getting to the other side safely. I know I was, even took one hand off the super quick-reacting steering to give myself a pat on the back.

In case the sensations aren’t overwhelming enough, Ferrari’s got other ways to scare your passengers.

I’ve never felt such a slow creeping, yet intense head rush before on my way to 200 km/h, which was over in just 7.9 seconds. If you thought I was smitten, imagine how frightening it was to be the Ferrari chaperon, looking at the digital display ahead for the front passenger as I pleasured myself with my right foot.

That clearly did not sound right.

No matter, because nothing about this car seems right, logical or sensible, in a good way. I mean, how is this all possible? It’s hard to fathom how the average consumer (albeit the top 1% we’re talking about) is allowed to possess a piece of weapon such as this, for road use no less.

Like firearms, those looking to purchase this car should be put through a series of training sessions and tests before acquiring the license to roam free in it.

The speeds you can reach, given the minimal amount of time and space, is just staggering. And when you’re looking for a not-so-instant rush where you can get the car ready and in gear, take a deep breath before being rocketing ahead, the 812 Superfast has a couple of cool tricks up its 7-speed F1 DCT’s sleeves.

While on the move, simply hold on to the downshift lever for a few seconds longer and the 7-speed F1 DCT just kicks down to the lowest possible gear for the car to be on standby, for when you’re ready to experience being on a catapult.

That, or as GC Mah shared from his experience in testing the 812 Superfast on the Fiorano test track in Ferrari’s backyard, simply tap on the throttle and the transmission will automatically drop two gears (at least) down and you’re off.

Just remember to keep two both hands on the steering. As forgiving and docile as the car is, you really need full concentration in this – it reacts faster than a human brain can think.

If you excel in that, your reaction times will still be slower than the steering’s response. It’s so beyond telepathic, it’s almost scary.

Unlike all the cars we get to test, things are quite different with the Ferrari. With the 812 Superfast, the car judges you instead of the other way round. The car questions your ability to drive it, drive it well and leaves you no room to question its ability in return.

It leaves you no room for distraction either. As much as it’s positioned as a Grand Tourer, there are no fancy gizmos or colourful displays to fiddle with, like in the GTC4 Lusso.

Instead, all you get is a steering that’s furnished with all the necessary controls you’ll ever need to operate the vehicle and some controls below that’s perpendicular to each other – all neatly positioned for a convenient reach.

There are still “grand touring traits’ to it, in more ways than one. For all the hell it can raise, the 812 Superfast balances it out with the comfort levels of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class in Sports Mode.

At no point did I feel like I needed a break from it, whether from fatigue or dizziness. It’s also very well insulated from the inside this thing.

We only got to spend a brief few hours in it en route to Kuala Kubu Bharu – the motoring industry’s most overused photo shoot location – but the 812 Superfast needed far less than that to leave an impression.

After closely examining its aerodynamically-accomplished body upon arrival, I realised that it’s beyond us to question not just its ability, but its looks as well.

You can’t look at the Mona Lisa and say that she should’ve been painted with a wider smile, nor can you say Tyra Banks should be white instead – some things you just don’t question but accept them for all they’re intended to be.

It may be high praise for the Prancing Horse but it’s a regard the Italians fully deserve; if only you were as fortunate as I was to realise it.

The last time Ferrari anointed the Superfast name on one of its horses, it was in the form of a very rare 410 Superfast Pinin Farina Speciale where only 35 or so units were ever built, with around 350 hp to its name.

It was also twice as expensive as its closest rival, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”, which offered 100 hp less.

What a time to return that tradition-steeped name, on such a car. What a car.


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Pan Eu Jin

Pan Eu Jin

Regularly spend countless hours online looking at cars and parts I can't afford to buy. How a car makes you feel behind the wheel should be more important than the brand it represents - unless resale value is your thing.
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