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Ferrari 812 Superfast review – big but brilliant, with an astonishing engine and gearbox

James Disdale
9 Jul 2018
Verdict:

The pinnacle of front-engined Ferrari engineering, the 812 melds mind-warping performance with a chassis that draws you into the action

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£253,004
For 
Astonishing engine and performance, approachable handling, incredible noise
Against 
It’s not as refined as you’d expect, size on UK roads, lack of steering feel
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Performance and 0-60 time

As ever with a Ferrari it’s the sound that hooks you first, and the higher you rev the 812, the more magnificent it gets. But the pure performance of the Superfast in a straight line, and the traction it somehow manages to generate, even on quite bumpy roads, is what leaves you with the deepest impression of all. It feels nothing short of rabid in a straight line, with the kind of throttle response that only ever comes from a big, atmospheric engine that revs high and hits hard, everywhere. Even at 4000rpm in third gear it feels pretty much ready to take off. And at 8500rpm in second gear it’s actually hard to describe how fast it feels, how loud it sounds, how utterly fantastic it just is. And the way the gearbox slices through the ratios, up or down, is very much integral to the experience. I think this is surely the best dual-clutch gearbox there has ever been in a road car.

> McLaren 720S review

In many respects the raw statistics don’t really do it justice. Like many superheated two-wheel drive machines the Ferrari can’t defy the laws of physics, so it’s 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds is almost identical to the likes of the McLaren 720S. Yet once the 812 is rolling it gathers speed with a ferocity that borders on the manic. Keep your foot in and, where conditions allow, you can keep going all the way to 211mph.

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