The 6.5 liter V12 of the Ferrari 812 Competizione roars up to 9,500 rpm. At least for everyone who got hold of one of the 999 Coupés and 599 Targas. At least we were allowed to drive the 830 hp machine. Of course in Fiorano, home of the Cavallini on the slopes.
They have experience with special models at Ferrari, just think of hot stuff like F488 Pista or 812 tdf. Sharpened, lighter, stronger, even more glaring to the point. And: more expensive, more sought after. What also applies to the Competizione siblings: only one each. Even the very tough, very loyal Ferraristi only get one. Either coupe or targa. Oooohhhh…. If they get on the Competizione customer list at all. Well, you could understand it, after all Ferrari didn't skimp on anything at the Competizione. Just grab a few stickers with a snappy name and finito? None of that. The part is technically serious. And we too on the nearly three-kilometer-long Pista di Fiorano.
800 hp? Not enough
Before we go out on the track, a short briefing. The Competizione is a sporty version of the 812 Superfast. Even its 800 hp 6.5-liter V12 has power. Much. Overall. From underneath. Through the middle. Up to beyond 8,500 rpm. Maximum torque only at 7,000, but always more subtle, always directly responsive and, above all, linear use of power. But Ferrari wasn't enough. So now: 830 hp, red area at 9,500 rpm. This makes the "140 HB" the most powerful homologated series engine from Maranello. To ask? Yes? So: In order to achieve higher speeds and the 30 extra hp, they plucked the big red air plenum from the head and designed a more compact one.
This, which now has a central flow through the front opening, shortens the intake paths and prevents a disruptive loss of torque by means of variable intake ports. In order to reduce the moving masses including the resistance and to increase the strength, the Competizione V12 also has new pistons, titanium connecting rods (40 percent lighter than steel), piston pins coated with DLC and steel rocker arms coated with the same material, which are used for larger ones hub. In addition, Ferrari rebalances the crankshaft (minus 3 percent weight).
Cup2R and carbon diet
But now, we'll discuss the rest while driving, dark clouds are coming over there. Cup2R and standing water are not friends. Ergo, up on the track, lashed down in multiple straps and super comfortable carbon shells with a non-slip cover. Except for a significant increase in carbon, for example on the door panels and the center console, as well as technical surface materials plus the new, classic-looking speed controller like in the SF90, everything remains the same. Only better, which even applies to your conscience, because a particle filter and other measures reduce pollutant emissions (particles minus 30 percent) without controlling emissions of pollutants.
Ion current sensors and optional multiple ignition strategy guarantee maximum combustion efficiency and thus engine power, the new exhaust including an extra pair of resonators in the intake tract maximum sound. In any case, with the exhaust flaps open, the trouser legs vibrate when standing behind them, while the resting heart rate is in three figures. When driving, it stays down, although you don't know what you're more happy about: the combination of bass, midrange and overtones, always melodic, never shrill or this great front axle, which with warmed up Michelin Pilot Cup2R when turning into the asphalt and not lets go more.
Not even when braking. The "Aero" brake calipers are extensively cooled, including internal channels, which reduces the fluid temperature by up to 30 degrees. Nevertheless, the pedal feel tends to be a bit clumsy with hard, late anchoring in the direction of the stop. The braking performance itself is top, the modulation at the end of the pedal travel is a bit numb. It remains the only deafness today, the rest of the Über-812 listens to you very carefully. Ferrari has started in the right places. 38 kilos of weight savings plus grippy tires, newly calibrated, skilfully networked electronics for traction control, E-Diff, steering and magnetorheological dampers - phew. Sounds complicated, but feels absolutely natural when driving. Of course, the Competizione remains an incredibly powerful front-engine, rear-wheel-drive contraption. Despite the transaxle and all-wheel steering.
Rear wheels steer separately. Each one individually!
Good keyword: Just steer around so bluntly, preferably as an articulated parking aid like with a shopping cart? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. With the Competizione, Ferrari controls the rear wheels separately. Independently via actuators, up to 1.5 degrees in each direction, depending on the driving situation and steering angle input. For example, the outer wheel can steer more in order to place each tire with the correct radius, further improving traction and maneuverability. Even on the straight, depending on the situation (accelerating, braking), increased toe-in or toe-out can affect stability or manoeuvrability. It also works here, the coordination via the central computer (SSC), which ensures a natural feeling behind the wheel. Brake late, choose a narrow angle, step on the gas early. It works, depending on the degree of electronic assistance. When traction control is deactivated, they are there, almost 700 Newton meters, of which 80 percent are already turning on the rear 315s at 2,500 rpm. If you don't want to turn pronto now, you should be quick at the steering wheel, rear-axle steering or not.
At higher speeds, the more sophisticated aero comes into play, which replaces spoilers (sometimes proliferating elsewhere) with efficient work on the underbody, ducts and body shape.Optimized cooling air ducts, for example over the bonnet, improve the aero under the car by dispensing with the relevant openings. The rear diffuser takes up the entire width of the body and is supplemented on the Competizione by the angular exhaust openings positioned at the edges. Their hot exhaust gases seal the airflow to the sides, which increases the diffuser effect. A movable flap in the floor closes at around 250 km/h (where the Competizione generates around 80 kilos of downforce) to allow the top speed of 340 km/h. The vortex generators on the aluminum rear part, which replaces the rear window (including the camera image instead of the interior mirror), already help far below. Three angles on each side manipulate the air flow so that it can flow off optimally.
Precise handling, fast shifting
You don't notice any of this when you guide the completely dry 812, which weighs less than 1500 kilograms, through the alternating curves. Precise implementation? No problem. Take counter impulse with you? Neither. In medium-speed corners (150-180 km/h) circle exactly to the curbs? Clear. Switch manually? Yes, but: Can, not a must. After all, the automatic application of the seven-speed double clutch from Getrag always knows exactly what phase is. Nevertheless, manual gearshifts are faster, according to the engineers. On the other hand, not-so-savvy people are much better able to focus on the rest. For example the insane power, or the unrivaled willingness to turn combined with tremendous power or the steering, which always puts the right moment in your hand and lets the relatively long front aim where you want it. Impressive for a front-engine coupé with a six and a half liter V12 (!).
With the 812 Competizione, too, it is the free-breathing V12 that takes center stage. More than ever, thanks to increased revving power, powerful voice and 830 hp. Never chubby, never rowdy, always melodic, mechanical in the best sense. Equally impressive: how the engineering team managed to adapt the rest of it so neatly. Unobtrusive, efficient and, depending on the Manettino position, from calming (Wet) to frightening (ESC Off). It would be a real shame if all Competizione eke out their lives in the air-conditioned detention of special series collectors' garages, the 20 inch wheels would have to stand square.