If you want a flagship V12 Ferrari and the endless blue sky above your head while going 300km/h, be prepared to pay R8,178,000.
This is the price that Ferrari asks for their 812 GTS.
A Bloomberg review praised the car for its daily usability and practicality – when compared to something like a Bugatti – and its “low-key” personality.
While a review about the 812 gives you a good idea of what it’s like to drive, it rarely tells you what you actually get when spending all that money.
Driver comes first
The interior of the 812 GTS is as driver focused as can be.
There are no large infotainment displays, there is no second row of seats or large storage cubbies, and there is an eerie absence of stalks behind the steering wheel – as buttons on the spokes replaces the need for these unsightly protrusions.
What there is, though, is the sun in your face thanks to a hard-top folding roof that will close in 14 seconds.
Beautiful leather seats that adjust electrically, have meticulously stitched patterns, and feature sculpted buttresses above the headrests round off the cabin comforts.
Two L-shaped flaps on top of the windscreen then assist with wind reduction while driving, as a huge focus was placed on “minimising both turbulence inside the cabin and aerodynamic noise”.
A selection of three exhaust pipe styles are also offered – along with five colours for the brake calipers, five colours for the gauge cluster, eight styles for the wheels, nine colours for the carpeting, and 27 colours for the exterior.
These options can be chosen in addition to a carbon fibre pack for the inside and outside.
Looking past the customisation options, there is a healthy dose of metal inserts and, if the option is selected, the passenger will receive a small screen displaying performance readouts fitted above the glove compartment.
Connectivity is covered by an integrated navigation system with voice control and Bluetooth pairing, and Apple CarPlay can be selected as an optional extra.
Android Auto, however, is not available in this drop-top rocket – and neither are features like a heads-up-display, heated cabin areas, or ambient lighting.
“Who needs it?” is what I say.
When you have a steering wheel draped in carbon and leather, fitted with a rev-counter at 12 o’clock, a drive mode selector at four, a suspension button at eight; and you’re sitting 11cm off the ground on an open road, the last thing you’ll be thinking of is why the colour of the lighting inside your R8.1-million Ferrari is crimson and not amber.
Just like the sparse feature-set, the 812 GTS does not get much in terms of assistance systems, either.
There are no official crash test ratings, and a standard backup camera with front and rear parking sensors fills the list of driver aids.
ABS, airbags, brake force distribution, traction control, and all these various safety systems are present, of course.
This is where things get serious.
Nestled at the front of the 812 GTS lies a 6.5-litre, V12, naturally-aspirated engine that generates an astounding 588kW of power and 718Nm of torque – maxing out at 8,900rpm.
Ferrari provides a 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission to manage the output, and only the rear wheels put it down on the ground.
Acceleration from 0-100km/h is done in 2.8 seconds, 0-200km/h in 8.3 seconds, and the speedometer will top out at 340km/h.
The sporty suspension setup makes sure that the car stays level, too, a 47%/53% front/back weight distribution provides excellent handling characteristics, and a wheelbase of 2,720mm makes it quite difficult to get across the average speed bump.
Luckily, however, Ferrari will sell you a hydraulic nose lift system that can easily solve this problem.
They also provide the original owner of the vehicle with a 3-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a 7-year/unlimited kilometre service plan.