This week has been very busy for automotive news. Bugatti broke the speed record for a road car (see report here), Porsche revealed its first all electric car (see report here), Lamborghini launched its new 63 units limited series Sian hypercar, Land Rover finally reintroduced its long awaited Defender, and Ferrari just dropped two new cars in the industry. After a few days of digesting all these news, we noticed that no-one was really surprised about the two latest prancing horses, probably due to the low media attention, with all the press focused at the IAA – Frankfurt Motorshow. This year, Ferrari decided not to come at the Frankfurt Motorshow, the biggest motorshow in Germany, and one of the Top 5 worldwide (with Geneva, Paris, Tokyo and Detroit), the first year in a very long time. Why? It is the end of the era of big car motorshows, as started a few years ago, with many more major car manufacturers skipping on these events to organize more private events for a very selected press and customers (check out our reports from the North American International Autoshow or Geneva Motorshow from this year). The italian manufacturer did exactly this by presenting not one, but two brand new cars as part of Universo Ferrari, a new exhibition in the heart of Maranello dedicated to the prancing horse’s history. One of them we were not expecting it. In fact, both of them are just like their coupe siblings, just without a roof, like every convertible model in the car industry, but the 812 GTS is very special.  Text: Mickael B., Luca W. © Photos: Ferrari ©

Ferrari 812 GTS
Ferrari 812 GTS

Ferrari’s new commercial strategy, increasing the number of new cars every year in their portfolio, makes it very interesting for us car passionates. The prancing horse brand has always had a special place in my heart and a certain number of Tifosis. Now that the italian manufacturer is again winning in its master racing disciplin, Formula One, it almost threw me back of the atmosphere in Grand Prix where Michael Schumacher used to race and win for Ferrari. It is in this context that they showcased a special exhibition in their home town, Maranello, in Northern Italy, called Universo Ferrari. They held as well a huge private party where they presented to a select few customers their brand new two convertible, the first one being the F8 Spider.

Ferrari F8 Spider
Ferrari F8 Spider

The F8 Spider is the convertible version of the F8 Tributo Coupe that Ferrari unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow back in March this year. The F8 Spider hence inherits all the upgrades from the F8 Tributo, including its new, revised 3.9 litre twin turbocharged V8, developping over 700 horsepower, a power level which was only available on the flagship F12 only a few years back. Did someone mention a race to power? The electrically removable roof is still a hard element and folds over in the back to reveal the Spider’s interior, still fully inherited from the 812 Superfast and its very elegant steering wheel. I never considered the F8 as a fully new car but rather a facelift from its predecessor. The 488 GTB was Ferrari’s first twin turbocharged V8 berlinetta since the 208 Turbo – as I would not consider the 288 GTO or F40 simple berlinettas, but rather supercars – and inaugurated the end of the naturally aspirated for the brand.

Ferrari F8 Spider
Ferrari F8 Spider

Although it had almost the same interior than the 458, it was truly a step change for Ferrari, the brand following the footsteps of McLaren in downsizing their masterpiece naturally aspirated 4.7 litre engine for more low regime torque on the 3.9 litre engine thanks to variable geometry turbos. I regretted that choice a lot, for two main reasons. First, variable geometry turbos tend to linearize everything, providing a very smooth, but character-less car. Second, the 4.7 litre engine used to scream all it had up to its 9000 rpm redline, where as the new 3.9 litre motor, although having a good sound and Ferrari engineers managed to hiding well the turbo vacuum sound, is still no match as it can only rev up to 7000 rpm. This is still one of major complains I have with the F8, whether in Tributo (Coupe) and Spider (Convertible), they are still no match to the 458 in terms of sheer driving experience. For sure, both cars would scalp the 458 and most certainly the 488 too in terms of performance. Though, not everything is about being fast, and given how well the 458s are holding up their values right now, I think Ferrari is starting to understand this.

Ferrari F8 Spider
Ferrari F8 Spider

Hence the second car they presented, which was, as I mentioned, was a big surprise for us. Ferrari hadn’t produced a non-limited series front engined V12 GT convertible for over 50 years, since the glorious 1969 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, of which they only produced 125 units. Yes, there had been convertible front engined V12 since the reintroduction of the front V12 within the brand with the 550 Maranello, but all of them were limited series, only offered to select customers, and virtually impossible to get, due to their high price and selection conditions for normal humans like you or me. Excluding special projects, the 550 had the Barchetta, the 575 was the Superamerica, the 599 had the SA Aperta, and the F12 had the F60 America. Now though, if you want a front engined V12 convertible italian GT, well guess what?

Ferrari 812 GTS
Ferrari 812 GTS

“Il Purosangue” (no reference to the hypothetical SUV) returns to its propre DNA: a V12 Spider. In 1948, one year after starting its company, Enzo Ferrari made the legendary 166 MM (standing for Mille Miglia) that won the 1949 24h of Le Mans (as there were no races between 1940 and 1947 due to World War II) and the 1949 Mille Miglia. The 166 MM started a legend of barchettas, and open air front engined V12 road cars. Regardless of all the prancing horse’s victories with its V12 engines, each Ferrari convertible has an undeniable DNA of champion. In 1957, the 250 Pininfarina Cabriolet introduced an elegant shape, followed later on in 1959 with the timeless 250 GT SWB California. Then, the very exclusive 1967 275 GTS/4 Nart Spyder, one of ten which belonged to legend actor and car enthusiast Steve McQueen, the 275 GTS, 330 GTS, 365 California, and 365 GTS Spider which were all powered by different versions of the Colombo V12, named after Ferrari’s miracle motorist and engineer Gioacchino Colombo. Finally, after launching its 365 GTB/4 Daytona in 1968, Ferrari decided to offer it a few years later, in 1971 as a convertible with the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider.

Ferrari 812 GTS
Ferrari 812 GTS
Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona
Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona

The 812 GTS is heavily inspired from the Daytona Spider and yes, you can just head out to your local Ferrari dealership, and provided you have the finances to afford it, you can get yourself the brand’s latest 812 GTS. Reviving the GTS name is probably the best decision from Ferrari’s marketing team, remembering everyone of the glorious and priceless Daytona GTS Spyder. Even better was the decision not to sell it as a limited series. The price tag will be sensibly more expensive than a 812 Superfast, but there is little doubts that the 812 GTS will be just as – or probably more – amazing than its Coupe sibling thanks to the possibility to enjoy one of the last naturally aspirated V12s on the market in the open air. And given how good the Ferrari 812 is, both as a Grand Tourer and as a track machine, thanks to its ultimate 800 horsepower 6.5 litre twelve cylinder engine, its latest generation dual clutch gearbox, carbon ceramic brakes, and rear wheel steering, the GTS will be, without a doubt, the benchmark for convertibles, and I cannot wait until we get the opportunity to drive it.

Ferrari 812 GTS
Ferrari 812 GTS

Check out our gallery below of the F8 Spider and 812 GTS: