Cars

Last month the new jewel in the Maranello V12 lineup, the Ferrari 812 Competizione, was let loose on the roads of Crete Senesi in Tuscany. We were fortunate enough to be there to capture the experience
Words: Chris Rees
Photographs: Benjamin Pichelmann / Video: Max Morelli / Video editor: Oliver McIntyre

Competition improves the breed, so the saying goes.

This has always been intimately known at Maranello; you could even say it lies at the heart of the Ferrari philosophy.

So when you name a Ferrari ‘Competizione’, it has to be something very special indeed. The new 812 Competizione is absolutely that. As the name clearly indicates, inspiration is drawn directly from Maranello’s racing experience, perfectly melding technical advances won in the heat of battle with pure design artistry.

Imagine the sound from the newly designed vertical exhaust tailpipe, which Ferrari has engineered to deliver a unique tonal range 



“Our execution started from a whole new concept, not just an evolution,” explains Enrico Galliera, Ferrari Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer. “In this case, our aim was to push the performance side, to create a car of uncompromised capability. We chose to use the Competizione name because it’s a strong part of our DNA, and also because it perfectly represents the concept of taking inspiration from our racing programme, not only Formula One but also our endurance racing. It’s aggressive but also elegant, combining the highest level of performance with a certain degree of comfort.” 

It starts with the V12 engine which now unleashes 830cv. That’s 30cv more than the 812 Superfast and the all-time highest output of any Ferrari road car engine. Of course, the result is even stronger performance: 2.85 seconds to reach 100kmh from standstill, 0-200kmh in 7.5 seconds and a lightning-fast lap time around Fiorano in one minute and 20 seconds. The V12 also revs to 9,500 rpm, the highest of any Ferrari road car and to assist with all that new power the 812 Competizione debuts independent four-wheel steering, where each rear wheel can move individually. 

Form always follows function at Ferrari and the 812 Competizione’s dramatic new design represents a perfect synergy of race-honed aerodynamics and ambitious styling, as Galliera comments: “We have pushed the aggressiveness of this car more than previous Special Series, with a stronger contrast to the donor car.” 

The aluminium rear screen with its array of vortex generators; New door architecture and widespread use of carbon fibre reduce weight; Reflecting the sunshine at the Mazzei Winery in Fonterutoli; The front end's carbon-fibre blade that incorporates the air vent

The rear diffuser now extends the full width of the car, optimising underbody airflow, whilst the 812 Superfast’s twin circular exhaust tailpipes are replaced by a single vertical rectangular outlet. This not only enhances the sound but also allows exhaust gas and diffuser flows to interact, just like on F1 cars from the 2010’s. Yet more aerodynamic changes include a taller rear spoiler and three horizontal ‘flicks’ behind each rear wheel, recalling the Ferrari F12tdf. The result of all the changes? A 35 per cent boost in downforce. 

The beautiful lines of the 812 Competizione pair splendidly with the stunning landscape of the Tuscan hills


The front end is every bit as innovative. The dramatic carbon-fibre blade that traverses the bonnet incorporates larger air vents and draws inspiration from such classic 1960’s liveries as Stirling Moss’ 250 GT and the Tour de France-winning 250 GTO. The blade has the effect of making the bonnet seem shorter and the tail more aggressive, and is part of a package of changes that boost cooling efficiency by 10 per cent. Brake cooling is also enhanced by unique ‘aero’ callipers. 

Weight reduction is another crucial aspect: every single gramme has been looked at, shaving 38 kilos off the weight of the regular 812 Superfast. Examples include extensive use of carbon fibre inside and out, significantly lightened doors and the debut of a carbon wheel option on a Ferrari V12 car. Is the 812 Competizione the ultimate expression of the Ferrari DNA? With its racing soul, innovative design, emotional connection, and sheer exclusivity, it’s very hard to argue otherwise.