Another new Ferrari brought in by Naza Italia, the official importer and distributor of the Italian marque in Malaysia, for private viewing is the long-awaited Ferrari 812 GTS, which is also making its Southeast Asia debut.
The front-engined 812 GTS represents a triumphant return for a model type that has played a pivotal role in the marque’s history since its foundation. Ferrari’s most powerful production convertible makes its introduction a whole 50 years after the debut of the last spider to sport a front-mounted V12.
The Ferrari V12 spider story features many iconic models, beginning in 1948 with the 166 MM, an authentic thoroughbred competition GT that won the two most prestigious endurance races in the world in 1949 i.e. the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The last in that long lineage was the 1969 365 GTS4, also known as the Daytona Spider because of Ferrari’s legendary victory in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona when two works 330 P4s and the NART-entered 412 P took the chequered flag side-by-side to occupy the top three places.
The front-mounted V12 architecture has not been used in a Ferrari series-production spider since the 365 GTS4, aside from the four special series limited editions that were launched i.e. 550 Barchetta Pininfarina in 2000, the Superamerica in 2005, the SA Aperta in 2010 and, most recently, the F60 America of which just 10 were built to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year in the American market in 2014.
“The 812 GTS breathes new life into the range, as the first of its kind in five decades. An impressive open-top version of the flagship 812 Superfast, it is a purebred performer that certainly upholds the shining legacy of its predecessors. We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present this highly-anticipated roaring beauty to our discerning clientele,” said Dato’ Nik Hamdam Nik Hassan, Group CEO, Automotive Group, Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd.
The 812 GTS is the spider version of the 812 Superfast, from which it takes both its specifications and performance. The power unit is capable of pushing out a massive 800 cv (789 hp) @ 8500 rpm, and is the most powerful engine in its class. The peak torque of 718 Nm ensures impressive acceleration that is practically on par with the 812 Superfast, while the high 8,900 rpm rev limit means that sporty driving is undiminished. The official 0 – 200 km/h time is 8.3 seconds, while 0 – 100 km/h can be done in less than 3 seconds.
Like the 812 Superfast, the 812 GTS performance levels are achieved by optimising the engine design and innovations. Some examples include the use of a 350 bar direct injection system, and the control system for the variable geometry inlet tracts, developed on naturally-aspirated F1 engines. These systems allow for the increase in displacement from 6.2 to 6.5 litres to be exploited to maximise power output while retaining excellent pick-up even at low revs.
Particular attention was also paid to calibrating the Manettino (the red dial on the steering wheel) settings to enhance the engine’s potential and the sensation of extreme power delivered by the car. Despite all the power on tap, the car is able to deliver it in a smooth and progressive manner so that the driver will always be able to easily and confidently handle the massive torque available with the accelerator pedal.
About 80% of maximum torque is available at just 3500 rpm, improving both flexibility and pick-up at lower revs. The shape of the power curve, which rises constantly all the way to the maximum of 8,500 rpm, and the rapidity with which engine speed increases, thanks to low inertia, give the feeling of boundless power and acceleration. The latter sensation comes courtesy of the overall increase in maximum power output and the optimisation of the aforementioned power curve between 6,500 and 8,900 rpm, which maximises the average horsepower exploitable for press-on track driving when engine revs are kept consistently high.
The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission’s gear shift strategies enhance the car’s sportiness. When the Manettino is in sportier settings, both up- and down-shift times have been significantly cut and the transition time has been optimised to enhance the driver experience. Combined with the shortened gear ratios, these modifications, mean that occupants will instantly feel the car’s response to the throttle.
Further, the geometry of the exhaust system was tweaked to increase and balance the sound from the engine and tailpipes, with the aim of accentuating the car’s extremely sporty character with the roof down. Exhaust-wise, prevalence was given to combustion order harmonics by modifying the geometry of the centre extension pipes. All the pipes in the 6-in-1 exhaust manifold to the monolithic catalytic converter are of equal length which optimises the sound by giving predominance to the first-order combustion harmonics. The result is a full-bodied V12 sound in the cabin in all kinds of driving but which is particularly appreciable when the roof is open.
Design-wise, the 812 GTS continues the formal language and proportions of Ferrari’s front-engined V12 812 Superfast without altering either its exterior dimensions or interior space and comfort, so it represents the perfect marriage of sportiness and elegance. From the side view the 812 GTS has a fastback sleekness: a two-box design with a high tail reminiscent of the glorious 365 GTB4 (Daytona) of 1968.
On the spider version of the 812 Superfast, the entire rear of the car i.e. roof, tonneau cover and luggage compartment, has been redesigned. This was done to give the car a blend of sleekness and balance, thanks to two buttresses under which the roof movement mechanism is stowed. The buttresses are designed to visually embody a sense of forward thrust and lend the side windows a signature look that would set the spider apart from the berlinetta. When the top is dropped, the roof panels disappear beneath the tonneau cover.
The retractable hard top (RHT) opens in just 14 seconds at speeds of up to 45 km/h and does not impinge upon the interior dimensions, thus maintaining a roomy cockpit. The electric rear screen acts as a wind-stop but can be left open to allow occupants to savour the naturally-aspirated V12’s unique soundtrack.
From a stylistic perspective, the rear wheel arch has lost the 812 Superfast’s characteristic aerodynamic by-pass. The absence of this duct has been compensated for by reconfiguring the rear diffuser which now has an additional flap.
The new 812 GTS also features a new, highly sculptural and model-specific multi-spoke forged wheel. A choice of three versions will be offered i.e. diamond-finish, liquid silver and Grigio Scuro.
Aerodynamically, the 812 GTS posed two main challenges for the Ferrari designers i.e. how to guarantee the same performance as the coupé version with the top up and, at the same time, ensure maximum passenger comfort with the roof down.
In terms of pure aerodynamic performance, the retractable hard top and its stowage compartment required that the rear of the car be modified. The resculpting of the tonneau cover surfaces as well as the integration of a tri-plane wing into the rear diffuser to create efficient suction (and thus downforce) from the underbody allowed for the compensation of downforce lost by the removal of the 812 Superfast’s rear wheel arch by-pass duct.
Drag was further reduced by using the air vents on top of the rear flank to efficiently channel excess pressure build-up out of the wheel well. Meticulously detailed work went into guaranteeing an excellent standard of comfort on-board with the top down. There was huge focus on minimising both turbulence inside the cabin and aerodynamic noise to ensure occupants could converse undisturbed even at high speeds.
As with the LaFerrari Aperta, two small L-shaped flaps on the upper corners of the windscreen generate a coherent concentrated vortex that creates outwash in the velocity field immediately above the rear screen, thereby avoiding excess pressure behind the occupants’ heads.
In this area, the aerodynamicists created an aerodynamic passage in the front trim of the two buttresses that fair in the seats, and topped it with an aerofoil which channels the airflow striking the trim into the tonneau zone at the rear, thus facilitating both venting of pressure in the cabin and recompression of the separation bubble downstream from the wind stop which in turn benefits aerodynamic efficiency and stabilises the flow.
With its aerodynamics sorted, the 812 GTS is able to retain the exhilarating feeling of speed and power delivered by the berlinetta version in terms of accelerating, response times and agility.
The 812 GTS is equipped with all of the 812 Superfast’s new generation components and control systems and delivers similarly impressive handling. It sports Electric Power Steering (EPS) which is used to fully exploit the car’s potential in terms of performance by integrating it with all of the electronic vehicle dynamics controls, including Version 5.0 of Ferrari’s patented SSC (Side Slip Angle Control). Another of the integrated systems is the Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system (PCV), which has been further evolved based on experience gained since its debut on the F12tdf.
The following high performance driver assistance features are also featured:
Ferrari Peak Performance (FPP): when cornering, the steering wheel torque will provide the driver with an indication that the car is getting closer to its limit of grip, helping the control of that dynamic state:
- Ferrari Power Oversteer (FPO) – in the case of oversteer, most frequently induced while powering out of corners, the steering wheel torque will give the driver feedback to give steering wheel inputs that are coherent with realigning the car correctly
- Optimised calibration of the car’s magnetorheological dampers mean its elastic set-up is the same as the berlinetta version’s despite the 75 kg increase in weight caused by strengthening work on the chassis.
The 812 GTS is available from the base price of RM1,538,000 (before duties, customization options, taxes and insurance).
To make an appointment for private viewing between now and 31 May or for further details, contact the Ferrari Malaysia Showroom.
7 Years Maintenance
Ferrari’s unparalleled quality standards and increasing focus on client service underpin the extended seven-year maintenance programme offered with the 812 GTS. Available across the entire Ferrari range, the programme covers all regular maintenance for the first seven years of the car’s life. This scheduled maintenance is an exclusive service that allows clients the certainty that their car is being kept at peak performance and safety over the years. This very special service is also available to owners buying pre-owned Ferraris.
Regular maintenance (at intervals of either 20,000 km or once a year with no mileage restrictions), original spares and meticulous checks by staff trained directly at the Ferrari Training Centre in Maranello using the most modern diagnostic tools are just some of the advantages of the Genuine Maintenance Programme. The service is available on all markets worldwide and from all Dealerships on the Official Dealership Network.
The Genuine Maintenance programme further extends the range of after-sales services offered by Ferrari to satisfy clients wishing to preserve the performance and excellence that are the signatures of all cars built at the factory in Maranello which has always been synonymous with leading-edge technology and sportiness.