Ferrari 812 GTS: The Superfast loses its top
We all knew a convertible version of the F8 Tributo was on its way — Ferrari has made a habit out of chopping the roofs of their mid-mounted V8-engined car. However the Ferrari 812 GTS was a surprise. The world hasn’t seen a series-production front-engined V12 convertible from Maranello since 1969 — save for a few limited edition runs! The 812 GTS is rather similar to the Superfast, inheriting the same engine and chassis spec, with the only major difference being the retractable hard-top and the drop-dead gorgeous looks that come with it.
A glorious V12 and no roof — cars don’t get more ideal than that. The 812 gets the same engine as the Superfast, down to the peak outputs. It makes 789bhp and 718Nm from the 6-5-litre naturally aspirated engine, and these outputs make it the most powerful production convertible on sale in the world. A lot of this was possible courtesy the 350 bar injection system and the control system for the variable geometry inlet tracks, both F1 derived technologies. Power is peaky, but not at the expense of torque — 80 percent of it is available from just 3500rpm, while the revs rise to an 8900rpm redline. The DCT shift times are quick, and with shorter gearing, the car seats great acceleration. A ton comes up in under 3 seconds (but marginally slower than the Superfast) and it has a top whack of over 340kmph.
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Visually, the tail of the 812 GTS draws inspiration from the 365 GTB4, fondly called the Daytona, which was incidentally the last series-production front-engined V12 droptop from Ferrari. The entire rear of the car — the roof, the tonneau cover and the luggage compartment has been redesigned. The rear wheel arch has meanwhile lost the aerodynamic bypass over the rear wheel arch, which has been made up for with an additional flap in the diffuser. Meanwhile, drag was reduced by using air vents on the rear flanks. The pressure behind the occupant’s heads was negated by two L-shaped flaps on the windscreen derived from the LaFerrari Aperta. The roof itself can be retracted in 14 seconds and at speeds up to 45kmph. The rear screen acts as a windstorm for better insulation in the cabin, but it can be lowered for a more wind-in-your-hair experience.
The GTS gets all the electronic wizardry that the Superfast gets — Slip Slide Control, rear-wheel steering, Ferrari Power oversteer that assists in counter steering the car correctly. The GTS gets a weight penalty of 75kg over the berlinetta Superfast, as the chassis was strengthened to deal with the lack of the roof. The retracting mechanism would have added to that too. Despite this, the magnetoheological dampers have not been changed as they remain optimised courtesy their elastic set-up.
The 812 GTS revives a thoroughly desirable format of Ferrari. Front engined, naturally aspirated V12, with no roof. With the onslaught of downsizing and forced induction, is this the last hurrah, paying homage to the likes of the Daytona Spider and the 166 MM that started it all.
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