Described as ‘the ultimate expression of Ferrari’s concept of an extreme front-engined berlinetta’, the limited-edition special series 812 Competizione takes the 812 Superfast to a higher level than ever before. Unveiled to the world from the recently-opened GT Sporting Activities Department located alongside the Fiorano track at the factory, the 812 Competizione was accompanied by the targa-top 812 Competizione A which is also produced in a limited series.
Re-engineered V12 engine
Both Competizione cars have similar 6.5-litre V12 engines which can produce up to 818 bhp at 9250 rpm, with 692 Nm generated at 7000 rpm. Though derived from the Superfast, several areas have been significantly re-engineered while optimising the fluid dynamics of the intake system and combustion, and reducing internal friction.
Ferrari engineers revealed that there has been meticulous redesign of key engine components such as the con-rods, pistons, crankshaft and distribution. The titanium con-rods are 40% lighter than steel versions whilst delivering the same mechanical resistance; the piston pins, on the other hand, have been given a diamond-like carbon coating (DLC) to reduce the coefficient of friction to the benefit of performance, fuel consumption and wear. These modifications are combined with a rebalanced crankshaft, which is also 3% lighter than the previous version.
The most significant improvements, however, are to the distribution and the cylinder heads, which have both been completely redesigned. The cams (which now also have the DLC coating) now action the valve stems via DLC-coated steel sliding finger followers, which are derived from Ferrari’s F1 experience and were developed specifically for this engine to provide a higher lift profile.
To maintain the traditional V12 engine sound, whilst simultaneously introducing a GPF (Gasoline Particulate Filter) to the exhaust system that ensures compliance with the very latest emissions regulations, the engineers added a new exhaust tailpipe. This unusual and innovative design solution reinstates the medium-high frequency sound muffled by the use of the GPF. Work was also carried out on the intake tract to which a second pair of resonators was added to enhance specific frequencies, creating the perfect melding of the sound from the exhaust and from the intake system.
Both the 812 Competizione and 812 Competizione A use a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox with calibration of the control strategies reducing shift times by a further 5%. Although it retains the same gear ratios as the 812 Superfast, the shifts are even more sporty, thanks to the extra 500 rpm in maximum revs.
0 – 100 km/h in 2.85 seconds
Together with the significantly improved aerodynamics, the claimed top speed is over 340 km/h with 0 to 100 km/h said to be bridged within 2.85 seconds. Like on the 812 Superfast, the front diffuser is equipped with a passive mobile aero system which opens when running over 250 km/h, allowing the car to reach its maximum speed.
The rear screen, for the first time on a production model, is completely closed and allowed the engineers to explore some unprecedented aerodynamic solutions. It has been equipped with three pairs of profiled elements which protrude from its surface and act as vortex generators. From the LaFerrari onwards, vortex generators of this type have been used on production cars to maximise downforce generated by the flat underbody. However, this solution was applied to the rear screen on the 812 Competizione to distort the flow and thus redistribute the rear axle’s pressure field.
Focus on boosting overall performance levels
The guidelines in the development of the 812 Competizione’s performance strategy were to boost overall performance levels, improve driving pleasure in lateral dynamics and a specific focus on the handling characteristics of a special version. This called for the development and use of many innovative components and contents. Specifically, these include the first use of independent 4-wheel steering, the evolution of the Side Slip Control (SSC) system to version 7.0, and the development of the dedicated new Michelin Cup2R tyres.
The fact that the car is faster into corners demanded an improvement in braking power. Compared to the 812 Superfast, the brake cooling concept was completely redesigned around the new front Aero caliper which debuted on the SF90 Stradale and which has an air intake integrated into its casting.
Particular attention was also paid to making the car as light as possible, which resulted in 38 kgs being slashed off its overall weight compared to the 812 Superfast. The areas primarily involved were the powertrain, running gear and bodyshell. Carbon-fibre was used extensively on the exterior, especially on the front bumpers, rear bumpers, rear spoiler and air intakes.
Much attention was also given to the design of the cockpit with the extensive use of carbonfibre trim, lightweight technical fabrics and a reduction in soundproofing. There are also dedicated sporty, lightweight forged aluminium rims and titanium studs. All-carbonfibre rims are also being made available for the very first time on a Ferrari V12 and can offer a total weight reduction of 3.7 kgs.
In terms of its interior architecture, the 812 Competizione has remained faithful to the 812 Superfast, retaining the same general parameters and main dash and door panel interfaces. The door panel itself has been lightened overall both formally and in terms of actual weight to underscore the sportiness of the cockpit.
Occupant comfort in targa top version
Occupant comfort in the targa-top configuration is ensured by the introduction of a flap integrated into the windscreen header rail which deflects the energised, incident flow upwards so it won’t cause turbulence for the occupants. This extends the bubble that covers the entire length of the cockpit, thereby also avoiding excess pressure in the area behind the occupants’ heads.
The targa top is made from carbonfibre to create a sense of aesthetic continuity with the roll-bars. It is stowed in a compartment with the same design shape as the targa itself. With the top stowed, the roll bars partly jut out above the rest of the bodywork but because they are carbonfibre, they become secondary visual elements and so do not compromise the broader, more squat stance buy instead amplify the visual lowering of the side view.
Pricing and production schedules have not been announced although it’s a sure bet that potential customers have already been informed and would have placed their orders. In fact, given their limited-edition status, these two cars are unlikely to be in showrooms except when an owner is kind enough to allow the dealer to display it for a while before it is taken away.