Ferrari 812 Superfast review

Taking the 800bhp Ferrari up Jebel Jais in ferocious fashion. Then finding something even better!

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below now to watch my Ferrari 812 Superfast Review.

I punched it hard out of the last corner and pretty much laughed out loud. Then as I started to decelerate for the hole in the sidewall within which was a temporary base camp of sorts, the walkie talkie sitting in the door pocket suddenly crackled and came into life.

Ferrari 488 Spider & 812 Superfast

‘Shahzad, er… could you please stop in front of the police car there and er… well just wait for me there… I will come out to you.’

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

It was the PR guy from the agency. But I barely recognised him. He had his serious voice on. I hadn’t heard that tone from his normally jolly mouth before. The cop was leaning next to his Nissan Patrol, watching me approach.

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

Oh shit, Oh Shit! OH SHIT!!!

What had I done? Oh I know so very well what I had done. And had continue to do over the duration of the last few deliciously drawn-out minutes, ascending about 1500 metre whilst vigorously dispatching straightaway after straightaway and corner after corner with devastating intent, accompanied by a shrill on-the-limiter avalanche of sound that would have echoed from this Jebel Jais mountain road all the way to Jebel Ali!

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

Bugger, Bollocks and Beetroot! (Okay I couldn’t think of another simile starting with B). Visions of chains and porridge, visions of open showers and bars of soap on the floor… shudder… tremble… dry mouth, pounding heartbeat!!

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

The PR dude was approaching. I sat still in the car, projecting a pretence of composure about as calmly and innocently as I could muster – my utterly best ever ‘Not me guv’ expression burned onto my face. But hang on, this is a big press event. The cops are here with us. The road is being controlled for our use. So surely we… but weren’t we… I was pretty certain we…

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

Hey, who the heck knows right? Life is full of twists and surprises, and I was about to be dealt a big one. Still, what a way to go. Blatting a Ferrari – a 488  Spider in this case, but I’ll come back to that – up the now legendary Jebel Jais road. Roof down, gear shifts bouncing back off the rock faces and the theme to Magnum in my head.

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

The PR guy came up to the door, knelt down and finally grinned. ‘Yeah, I just wanted to tell you that you can just leave the car here, no need to take it inside, we’re going to use it for some passenger runs now.’

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso

I could have kissed him and punched him in the face at the same time. I’d just been punked by Ferrari. Welcome to my world!

Anyway… Back to the review. You probably want me to tell you what the 800bhp Ferrari 812 Superfast is like. Are you guys crazy? Are you punking me too? There is a magnificent normally aspirated V12 – quite possibly the last of its kind – sitting in the front of a swoopy, scalloped, sleek and sexy supercar of the highest order, developed and engineered to the finest standards, by arguably the current standard-bearers of the genre. It can do 0-100 in 2.9 seconds and reach 340kph.

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

Once in the sweet spot the acceleration is physics-defying, and on this tight mountain road the corners come up quicker than your brain can prepare for them, particularly when you’re reaching over 200kph between them!

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

And yet tone it down and you realise that it’s a comfortable car, with reasonable visibility, a good ride and light steering – too light actually for my tastes, I’d rather they firm it up in the angrier modes. The brakes are phenomenal, and the 1500kg projectile remains remarkably composed even under duress. Which makes it so damn easy to drive too damn fast.

Ferrari 812 Supefast Jebel Jais

I’ve learned to love the looks too. You could argue it is a victim of over-design, taking the base 599 (from which this series evolved, though the 812 is really a restyling of the F12 Berlinetta) to outlandish extremes. View it through less cynical eyes and frankly it works – I mean this is bedroom poster-worthy. Supercars are supposed to be over-the-top! And by the way, I definitely like this better than the F12 which was a bit of an all or nothing car. The 812 works ALL the time.

Ferrari 488 Spider

But as overwhelmingly impressive as this car is on this road, certainly on an intellectual level, the best fun of the day was had not in this, but my still-favourite current Ferrari, the 488 Spider. There was one on the event, and whilst I’ve already reviewed that last year – hit this link – it simply would have been rude not to take advantage of this mid-engine delight sitting pretty and ready to ravage this road.

Slower than the 812 for sure, and the brakes are nowhere near as solid and strong, it is nonetheless a better dance partner. Light on its feet, agile on the move, perfect posture, beautifully balanced and sensitive to the touch. The helm is satisfying, and round corners there’s just enough movement to keep you entertained and assured. It involves you in the driving process, but finesses your performance for a flawless progress.

Ferrari 488 Spider & 812 Superfast

It’s an absolute joy and with the roof down, you wish the mountain road was twice as long. And yet it was at the end of this blissful run that I had that anti-climax of a cruel prank played on me.

Ferrari press event at Jebel Jais

I guess that’s brought us full circle, so this would be a good place to go out, but I’ll leave you with the conclusion that if you can buy an 812 Superfast then you should because it’s stupendously stupendous. But if you can buy one of those, you could probably afford to have a 488 Spider in your stable too. And you absolutely must. Don’t forget to pick up some Hawaiian shirts. Admit it, you’ve got that theme tune in your head too now, right?

Magnum Ferrari

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