The 812 Superfast’s super competition

THE SATISFYING brrrraap of naturally aspirated V12 flatulence was the perfect soundtrack to the speeding supercar on the screen. Hugging the turns and sprinting through the straights of Pista di Fiorano, the Ferrari looked right at home.

Well, technically it was. The Fiorano Circuit is owned and maintained by Ferrari for its R&D and testing purposes. The figure-eight course is also near Maranello, home of the Prancing Horse, so, it made perfect sense for Ferrari to hold its virtual unveiling there last Thursday. The revelation of the 812 Competizione (Italian for “competition”) and its targa version, the Competizione A, was also a chance for the brand to show off its new GT Sporting Activities Department, which is open to clients who want to enjoy the singular pleasure of tracking their Ferraris.

In case you’re wondering, according to a later virtual presser, the Competizione mustered a best time of 1:20 around the track. That would be 1.5 seconds, well, faster, than the Superfast. From standstill, the car can reach 100kph in 2.85 seconds and 200kph in 7.5 ticks on its way to a 340kph top speed.

Only 999 examples of the limited-edition 812 Competizione will roll out; the targa version 812 Competizione A (for “aperta” or “open”) will be even rarer with 599 units. The coupe will be available in Q1 next year; the targa by Q4.

The Competizione builds on the bones of the Superfast and improves on it vastly — starting with a more powerful iteration of its naturally breathing 6.5-liter V12. The power plant now redlines at a frenetic 9,500rpm, and outputs 830cv (around 819hp) compared to the 800cv (789hp) of power served up by the Superfast. The record redline has been realized through some strategic reengineering work, “while optimizing the fluid dynamics of the intake system and combustion, and reducing internal friction,” said Ferrari in a release.

The result, said Ferrari Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Enrico Galliera, who officially presented the cars, is “never-ending acceleration.” The exhaust has also been reworked to better express the growl of the engine; extensive modifications have also been made on the vehicle’s aerodynamics and such to improve on “vehicle dynamics.”

The brief of the Competizione, he continued, “is to develop the Superfast into a sportier design (embodying) all the technological learnings in our racing activities in endurance racing and F1.”

Simply put, averred Mr. Galliera, the 812 Competizione is designed to “put a smile on the face of the driver” through improved performance in a vehicle that is a pleasure to drive.

Replying to a question from “Velocity” sent during the Q&A portion of the program, an official said the Competizione is 38 kilos lighter than Superfast, with engineers “working on all elements” to shave off weight. Primary areas include the powertrain, running gear, and bodyshell.

“Carbon fiber was used extensively on the exterior, especially on the front bumpers, rear bumpers, rear spoiler, and air intakes,” continued the Ferrari release. “The powertrain contributions to weight reduction came from the use of titanium con-rods coupled with a lighter crankshaft and a 12V lithium-ion battery. Great attention was also paid to the design of the cockpit with the extensive use of carbon-fiber trim, lightweight technical fabrics and a reduction in sound-proofing. There are also dedicated sporty, lightweight forged aluminum rims and titanium studs.” And for the first time, carbon fiber wheels will be made available to a Ferrari V12 — promising a 3.7-kg. weight loss over the forged rims of the 812 Superfast.

The Competizione also features four-wheel steering, with the rear tires independently changing angles depending on the need. The level of control and dynamism, commented Mr. Galliera, will “make you feel like a real pilot… this brings performance to a different level.”

The targa version is essentially the same Competizione, except for the fact that people can more readily see you as you zoom past them in a EUR578,000 sports car. The coupe version is priced at EUR500,000. Seriously, though, the open-air effect should get the heart beating faster. Of course, Ferrari engineers are cognizant of the fact that wind might interfere with comfort, so foils have been made to cut down on wind turbulence reaching the cockpit. There’s a blade on the bonnet, and a small wing on the windscreen to calm things down.

Speaking of thoughtful touches, Mr. Galliera added, “The targa has a lightweight carbon fiber roof, which can be stored in the boot and you’ll still have space for luggage.”

Are we seeing the sunset for the mighty NA (naturally aspirated) V12 amid the burgeoning electric era? “The NA V12 is part of the history of the company,” said the executive. “And is certainly the heart of Ferrari… (We are) trying to identify ways to keep it alive, while working on other technologies.” Part of the lifeline for the V12 and other internal combustion engines is transitioning to greener or more sustainable fuels. Ferrari’s partnership with energy company Shell is well-known, of course, and the two are “working on advanced projects and innovative solutions to try to understand the potentials for synthetic fuels and biofuels.”

That augurs well for anyone aspiring to experience that fabulous Ferrari flatulence. Brraaaap.

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