Decades from now when the humble motor car is reduced to a simple autonomous mode of transportation, the Ferrari naturally aspirated V12 engine will likely be displayed in a museum to remind people how cars once had soul. The Ferrari 812 GTS is the brand at its zenith. And no doubt its successor will be having some kind of electrical assistance with its internal combustion engine.
The 812 GTS then is the last hurrah for the uncorrupted Ferrari V12. And folks, what a send off this is. (Head here for the Toronto-area dealership.)
A beautiful beast
The GTS represents a rare breed of prancing horse. It has been no less than 50 years since the last V12 Spider was made. The V8 mid-engine Ferrari spider has been a staple of the range. And the roofless V12 has been a fiercely guarded entity with only a few limited edition specials being made from time to time.
These were the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina in 2000, the Superamerica in 2005, the SA Aperta in 2010 and recently, and the F60 America. Only 10 of those were made to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year on the American market in 2014.
The 812 GTS is different since it is a series production model. But with its significance and potential classic status, don’t be surprised if all cars are lapped up by the Tifosi in an instant. The GTS is also a better 812 by embracing concept of a Grand Tourer Ferrari a bit more than its Berlinetta sibling.
The 812 Superfast is a heady rush of horsepower and the typical Maranello witchcraft. The way it deploys all that power is surreal. It is more of a supercar than a long distance cruiser with its razor sharp steering and penchant for devouring empty roads at a rapid pace.
The V12 roar
However with the roof taken off, the 812 GTS becomes a touch softer. It becomes less obsessed at covering distance like an F1 car and starts being the classic V12 Italian GT that we have always wanted. Of course with a convertible, you are more immersed in the sensation of driving. And you can never get tired of listening to that orchestral V12 roar.
With 789 horses, the 812 GTS is the fastest production spider. And its performance figures are scarcely believable with a below 3-second 0-100 km/h acceleration and a top-speed of 340 km/h. The engine sings to its heart’s content by reaching 9,000 revs while the dual-clutch automatic keeps up with fast reaction times and shorter gear-ratios.
Foldable hardtop for this summer
However a more pedantic question is what happens when on a leisurely cruise to the South of France the heavens open up and you need to put the roof up. Unlike its predecessors, where that required manual labor, the new GTS is a foldable hard-top. It opens in just 14 seconds at speeds of up to 45 km/h. Pretty cool.
However it is best to drive it top-down all the time. That’s because it looks simply stunning with the roof taken off. The 812 proportions act as a sensuous canvas. And those distinctive flying buttresses add to the drama while the sculpted lines just flow together beautifully.
Best-looking Ferrari currently on sale? Without a doubt!
Hence with its dual-clutch automatic, retractable hard top and all the usual modern gadgetry, the 812 GTS is surprisingly useable. It’s less of a temperamental diva, unlike its predecessors.
At $380,000, the 812 GTS is the most charismatic convertible that you can get today. It blows away other roof-less supercars with ease thanks to its design. And that V12 which completely dominates the driving experience. The 812 GTS represents the end of an era. Quite simply, it deserves its place in the Ferrari hierarchy as one of the all-time greats.