Only a handful of cars in the world come from a long line of thoroughbreds; even less when it is powered by a V12. The Ferrari V12 spider is a member of that very elite club that brings with it echoes of winners of Le Mans and Mille Miglia in 1949. And the only other time when Ferrari made a series-production front-engine V12 was the 365 GTS4 in 1969.
This time, the 6.5-litre Ferrari V12 finds itself in a Ferrari 812 GTS, which is really the spider version of the 812 Superfast. Producing 800 cavallo vapore, or 789hp, at 8,500rpm, the 812 GTS is the most powerful convertible in the world. The potent engine also delivers 718Nm at an atmospheric 8,900rpm, although 80% of the torque is available from 3,500rpm.
The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch that shifts quick and even quicker when the Manettino is on the sportier settings. The gear ratios have also been shortened to let driver and passenger feel the rush of power and speed.
The 812 GTS clocks the century sprint in under 3.0 seconds, but the real show of power comes from the 0-200kph, which is completed in 8.3 seconds. And 812 GTS is capable of speeds of over 340kph.
Part of what makes the GTS a super fast convertible are innovations such as the 350 bar direct injection system and the control system for variably geometry inlet tracts, which were developed on naturally-aspirated Formula 1 engines.
Sound is part of what makes a V12-powered car special. In this Ferrari, the exhaust system was created to increase and balance the sound from the engine and tailpipes. This means that all pipes in the 6-in-1 exhaust manifold to the monolithic catalytic converter needed to be of equal length. The sound that comes out from the engine and exhaust, as a result, would be glorious; better with the roof down.
Getting the roof to fold required the 812 Superfast’s entire roof and rear to be completely redesigned. The 812 GTS hides the roof movement mechanism under the two buttresses, which are shaped to inspire forward thrust. It also gave the side windows a unique look that sets it apart from the Superfast.
In case you’re wondering if you can drive the 812 GTS super fast with the top down and still be comfortable; you can. The aerodynamics have been recalculated, and panels reshaped to minimise turbulence in the cabin and expelling air pressure in the cabin.
Let’s not forget handling. The Ferrari 812 GTS has also adopted the Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system, which debuted in the Ferrari F12tdf. Also making its way into the super is the Electric Power Steering that changes its character to be in sync with all of the electronic vehicle dynamic controls, including Version 5.0 of the SSC.
So far, Ferrari has only released limited-run supercars with the same layout, namely the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, the Superamerica, the SA Apart and the F60 America. It has been 50 years since the last series-production front-mounted V12, making the Ferrari 812 GTS spider much more special.