The new Ferrari F8 Spider is all well and good, but it’s hardly surprising, is it? Impressive though it is, the roofless Tributo is merely the latest in a long line of drop-top, mid-engined V8-powered supercars from Maranello. However, the 488 Spider-replacing beast has been closely followed by a much more significant Ferrari cabriolet: the 812 GTS.
The Italian brand hasn’t built a series-production convertible powered by a front-mounted V12 since the 1969 365 GTS4, more famously known as the Daytona Spider. Yes, there were open versions of the 550, 575, 599 and F12, but they were all limited edition specials going under different names to their coupe brethren. In the case of the F12-based drop-top, it was called the F60 America and limited to just 60 units priced at $2.5 million a pop.
Not so the 812 GTS. Production numbers won’t be capped, and you’ll be able to buy it for a sensible price. Yes, we’re using the term ‘sensible’ relatively here - with the 812 Superfast coupe starting at £260,908, we’re expecting the GTS to sit perilously close to the £300,000 mark. Potentially beyond.
You will be getting plenty of go for that dough, at least. The 6.5-litre N/A V12 is just as potent as it is in the Superfast, with an outrageous 780bhp arriving at 8500rpm, and 530lb ft of torque making itself known from 7000rpm. What you’re looking at here is the world’s most powerful convertible.
0-62mph takes less than three seconds, so initial acceleration should be as brisk as it is in the Superfast, which takes 2.9sec to do the same. 0-124mph drops by four-tenths, but with that benchmark only taking 8.3 seconds, you can’t really complain. The top speed of 211mph is unchanged.
It’ll be cleaner than its tin-top relative too, thanks to the fitting of a gasoline particulate filter. This will almost certainly make its way onto the Superfast at some point, in preparation for the new WLTP regime.
The roof can be raised or retracted in 14 seconds at speeds of up to 28mph. Once stowed, it doesn’t eat into cabin space, Ferrari says. Worried about your hair being destroyed? There’s a glass wind deflector that can be left extended, should you wish.
To compensate for the lack of roof and the loss of the Superfast’s ‘bypass duct’ on the rear wheel arch, Ferrari had to extensively modify the rear of the 812. The tonneau cover surfaces were treated to a “meticulous resculpting,” and the triplane wing has been blended into the rear diffuser.
New vents on the rear three-quarter help lower the air pressure in the wheel arches, while two flaps near the top corners of the windscreen drop the pressure behind the driver and passenger’s heads. You can thank the LaFerrari Aperta for that last innovation.