The Ferrari 812 GTS is the world’s most powerful cabriolet. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Ferrari 812 GTS is the world’s most powerful cabriolet. Picture: SUPPLIED

Ferrari has launched a duo of open-topped cars: the V8-powered F8 Spider and the V12-engined 812 GTS.

Based on the 812 Superfast berlinetta (coupe), the new 812 GTS becomes the world’s most powerful cabriolet by virtue of its normally-aspirated 6.5l engine pushing out a spectacular 588kW of power a high-revving 8,500rpm, along with 718Nm of torque.

That outpunches even the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster’s 566kW, though the Lambo has slightly more torque at 720Nm.

This topless grand tourer makes its appearance exactly 50 years after the debut of the last spider in the Ferrari range to sport a front-mounted V12, the 365 GTS4 Daytona. The 812 GTS hails a triumphant return for a model type that has played a pivotal role in the marque’s history.

The Ferrari’s retractable hard top takes 14 seconds to open at driving speeds of up to 45km/h. An electric rear screen acts as a wind stop, and can be left open even when the roof is up to allow occupants to listen to the V12’s stirring soundtrack.

The award-winning turbo V8 engine is now installed in a summer-loving F8 Spider body. Picture: SUPPLIED
The award-winning turbo V8 engine is now installed in a summer-loving F8 Spider body. Picture: SUPPLIED

Despite the 75kg increase in weight due to strengthening work on the chassis, the rear-wheel drive 812 GTS has performance very close to those of its hard-top brother, with the ability to hit the 100km/h mark in less than three seconds and 0-200 km/h in just 8.3 seconds. The 340km/h top speed is the same as the berlinetta’s.

The 812 GTS is due to reach SA only in the first quarter of 2021, at an expected price of R8,175,000.

In the V8 side of the prancing horse stable, the new F8 Spider is due to arrive here at the end of next year. The car, which replaces the 488 Spider, is the drop-top version of the mid-engined F8 Tributo berlinetta and traces its heritage back to the Ferrari 308 GTS of 1977 made famous in the 1980s television series Magnum PI.

It also features a retractable hard roof that takes 14 seconds to open or close.

Providing the power is the turbocharged 3.9l V8 that has won the International Engine of the Year award for the past four years, sending 530kW and 770Nm to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Ferrari claims a 0-100km/h sprint in 2.9 seconds, 0-200 in 8.2 secs, and a hair-ruffling 340km/h top speed.

A sports exhaust system maximises the vocal emotion of the mid-mounted V8, which revs to a heady 8,000rpm.

The Ferrari F8 Spider is expected to be priced at R6,103,000.