Unleashing the Beast: The Ferrari 812 GTS V12 Convertible

Hey, remember that convertible Ferrari released yesterday? The one that was the bee’s knees and the hottest thing on the block? Forget about it, you don’t want that rubbish. A four-liter V8? Pfft. Such things are for peasants, they’re so hopelessly September 8. What you really want is this new one, it’s totally September 9. It’s the new hotness, get with the times.

What you’re looking at here is the spanky new Ferrari 812 GTS. It’s derived from the woefully named 812 Superfast that’s been around for a couple of years now. Superfast? That’s really the best Maranello could manage? Even just saying it in Italian could’ve made it a bit cool: “Superveloce.” A guy could look himself in the eye if he owned a Superveloce. Superfast, on the other hand, is almost as bad as calling it the 812 Reallycool. I feel like they could’ve asked six teenagers and found out that was a bad idea. But this is the problem with heritage naming schemes; Superfast might’ve sounded quite peachy back in the sixties, particularly compared with the Superamerica line they split off from, but some things need to be allowed to die.

But 812 GTS owners will have no such issues with nomenclature. Letters and numbers are usually a safe choice, unless you’re Yamaha making motorbikes and coming up with shockers like the TDM900 and MT-01, also known as the Tedium and Empty One. But we digress.

This grey color makes me actively sad
This grey color makes me actively sad


The 812 GTS has slightly weird-looking proportions as compared to yesterday’s more delectable F8 Spider. That’s because it’s got a mid-front-mounted engine instead of the mid-rear-mounted V8. And it’s quite an engine under that long hood; the F140 GA is a 6.5-liter, naturally aspirated, 65-degree V12 producing a blinding 789 horses (588 kW) at a screaming 8,500 rpm, with a peak torque of 718 Nm (530 lb-ft) arriving at 7,000 rpm and a redline that doesn’t stop the party until 8,900 rpm. Spine-chilling.

Ferrari is calling it “the most powerful production convertible on the market.” Well … sure, it beats the McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ convertibles, but Hennessey brought out a Venom GT Spyder back in 2016 that made nearly twice this much power. And as far back as 2012, Bugatti was making a 1,200-horse Veyron drop-top. Perhaps those aren’t technically in production any more, but heck, Pagani even pipped the 812 GTS by two horsepower with a Huayra BC Roadster released just last month. Now, those are all a lot more exotic, but they all qualify for production car status and I’d be interested to hear why Ferrari thinks they don’t count.

Whatever the case, it’ll be plenty quick. With a dry weight 165 lb (75 kg) heavier than the Superfast at 3,527 lb (1,600 kg), you can expect less than three seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill. Yes, the Silicon Valley type leering out the window of his Model S will smoke you at the lights. Let him have his moment, he received more than his share of wedgies in middle school. Enjoy the knowledge that your Ferrari is just waking up when it hits freeway speeds – the cold digital figure on your speedo will blitz past 124 mph (200 km/h) in just 8.3 seconds if you hold your foot down. Top speed is limited to 211 mph (340 km/h), a speed Teslas only reach when they’re being shot into space – although to be fair, it’s not that often you get a chance to go 211 mph.

Twin taillights, twin exhausts
Twin taillights, twin exhausts


Any aerodynamic downforce lost in the roof job has been re-found with the addition of a triplane wing in the rear diffuser, which sucks downward harder than the diffuser on the Superfast. Likewise, where the drop-top design added some drag, Ferrari managed to pull some pressure out of the rear wheel arches using vents that exit above the twin tail-lights. But the main thing you’ll notice is the huge, meaty buttresses on the back – if those got any bigger, your hair wouldn’t get messed up at all.

The roof is a 14-second folding hardtop job that works anywhere up to 28 mph (45 km/h). The cabin is very similar to yesterday’s V8, with all the buttons and switches you need right there on the steering wheel.

In terms of handling and performance tech to help you get the most out of the 812 GTS, it’s got electric power steering, which integrates with all the other vehicle dynamics systems. It’s got easy-drift Side Slip Control that lets you hang the car’s backside out just so, without spinning out. It’s got Ferrari Peak Performance giving torque feedback through the steering wheel when the car’s getting close to the edge of its grip envelope. It’s got Ferrari Power Oversteer, which literally helps turn the steering wheel to get you back in line when you get the back end out, and it can be relied upon to make you look like a far better driver than you are, or it can be turned off if you really are that good.

Smart interior puts everything you'll need right there on the steering wheel
Smart interior puts everything you’ll need right there on the steering wheel


And of course, being a naturally aspirated V12, its howling soundtrack makes the hairs on your arms and neck stand on end. There’s some evolutionary mechanism at work here, your ancestors might have felt the same sense of awe hearing the roar of a big and angry wild animal far too close by. The physical response to this kind of sound is baked into your DNA. Probably every mammal’s DNA. If every car sounded like this, we’d all be nervous wrecks.

And may god help you if you turn that Manettino switch on the steering wheel from Sport to Race. Doing that unleashes a treble overlay that adds a shrieking fury over top of the GTS’s roaring baritone growl. It’s a spectacular surround-sound experience to add even more adrenaline and theater to the sensation of open-top speed.

Mind you, if adrenaline and theater are high on your list, you’ll want to go a different color from the car in this promo video. This color is called “Grigio Scuro,” which doesn’t, but should, translate to “middle-management grey.” Make mine a red one, cheers lads.

Enjoy a video below, and enjoy it loud if you can.

Ferrari 812 GTS Spider

Source: Ferrari

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