Driving a Ferrari is a special occasion, and you can toast it with Dom Perignon from a crystal glass. It is especially uplifting when you get the car in Maranello, at the gates of the factory – where Enzo Ferrari always presented the new models. This alone makes my heart rate higher, even when I start the engine.
After pressing the button, the auto-starter grinds, squeals, roars, and then the V12 explodes. But a moment later it is elegance itself: perfectly refined with a quiet, smooth gait. As I leave the factory and slide through the small town traffic, I have no idea what awaits me, but it is immediately apparent that the 812 is very handy.
In this case, it is not a beast, but rather a friendly pony. It’s surprisingly easy to drive, no problems with the police or a tighter turn. With the top open, it’s the Dolce Vita itself, as the purr of the V12 and the soft breeze pamper my senses.
You can see the traffic from about waist height, I’m sitting low on the ground, but it doesn’t bother me at all, the seat position and the steering wheel can be adjusted perfectly for me. Its seat is shell-like, much sportier than that of an ordinary car, but rather comfortable – it turns out later that more is needed for this dynamic.
As I leave the city and head into the mountains, I rev the engine higher and higher. It can be used conventionally up to 3,000 revolutions: it is noticeably strong, but we can go to the store or pick up the child at school, it can be handled in a quite ordinary way, except, of course, that they turn around after us, point and take pictures.
Above 3000, however, the number 812 changes: from here you can’t really follow the numbers, because things happen so fast. At 4,000 rpm, we already feel that we are overtaking the other drivers, at 5,000 it explodes and the space-time jump comes. The tachometer just sweeps through, 6-7-8 thousand. It’s a good thing that the LED line on the steering wheel indicates when it’s time to shift.
Even if I didn’t use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, the GTS wouldn’t lose its sportiness. Provided that if you press the gas all the way, it tries to remain unnoticed at lower revs, but at high revs its switching is more definite. Especially the redemptions, which are colored by the electronics with a gas injection. The V12 trumpets wonderfully as the gears shift in the narrow gear. A musical masterpiece is born, all straight.
Wonderful little Italian villages break the mountain serpentine, as I get higher and higher, I drive harder and harder, but the 812 GTS is my partner all the way. It’s surprisingly handy, doesn’t inspire fear, just goes and goes, wherever it turns, while being amazingly fast. The seat should be narrower, because the lateral acceleration is so great that I slide away. At one corner, I felt for a moment, well, this is now a late braking distance, but no. As if I had dropped an anchor, it slows down. Amazing.
This is not what I expected about his governance: he is not manly hard, instead he is characterized by looseness and lightness. It feels lighter than a conventional car, while still being in perfect harmony with the wheels. Your feedback is excellent, I know exactly where to put the wheel.
Its steering is incredibly exciting, which is also very direct due to the turning of the rear wheel. Even the narrowest sections can be traversed with a small turn of the steering wheel, it feels as if the whole car is responding to my request. Whoever came up with the name of rear-wheel steering knew what he was talking about: the “virtual short wheelbase” shows the 812 GTS as a smaller, lighter car than the real thing.
At the same time, it turns so fast, its grip is so amazing, that we feel much more that we are dealing with a racing car than a touring car with license plates. The surprising thing about the whole thing is that I didn’t feel the chassis sputtering for a moment. It’s tight, but it doesn’t hit. But if you want even more softness, you can soften the shock absorbers with the button on the steering wheel.
The excellent technical solutions and the coordination of various electronic systems make the Ferrari 812 a guarantee. But he can go wild if we want him to. By switching the Manettino to Race mode designed for the race track, the car becomes sharper. Faster, more decisive shifts and, in principle, even faster throttle response. In such cases, we can also use the automatic launch, with which we can enjoy a rocket-launching experience. However, this mode is really for the racetrack – it’s not very suitable for a stylish GT like the 812.