Ferrari has taken the covers off the world’s most powerful convertible, its first front-mounted V12 open top in 50 years.
- shares

The Ferrari 812 GTS has been revealed 50 years after the debut of the last 'Spider' in the Ferrari range powered by a front-mounted V12.

The open air version of the modestly named 812 Superfast was unveiled on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show in front of buyers from around the world who travelled to Maranello to celebrate the brand’s 90th anniversary.

A front-mounted V12 has not been used in a series production Ferrari Spider since the 365 GTS4 – known as the Daytona Spider after taking out the top three positions in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona – released in 1969.

As with the Ferrari F8 Spider, the Ferrari 812 GTS Spider has a retractable hardtop roof that can open or close at the press of a button in 14 seconds while travelling at up to 45km/h. But the most impressive figures, of course, are related to its epic performance.

The naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 revs to 8900rpm, has an epic 588kW of power and 718Nm of torque – the same as the 812 Superfast coupe – and sends drive to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

Getting all that power to the ground has its challenges – even with massive 315/35/20 tyres at the rear – with Ferrari claiming a 0-100kmh time of about or less than 3.0 seconds on the way to a top speed in excess of 340km/h.

Ferrari says the V12 makes its huge power numbers and is able to run at such high revs thanks to a 350-bar fuel injection system and variable geometry inlet tracts originally developed for its Formula One engines.

Ferrari claims 80 per cent of maximum torque is available from just 3500rpm while the peak is reached between 6500 and 8900rpm, which sounds like a great excuse to leave it in first and second gear.

To create the Spider version of the 812 Superfast, Ferrari redesigned the entire rear of the car, including the roof, tonneau cover, and luggage compartment.

Despite the extra body strengthening required for the open top design, Ferrari has still managed a near perfect weight distribution of 47 per cent of the mass over the front wheels and 53 per cent over the rear for a total dry weight of 1600kg, about 75kg heavier than the 812 Superfast coupe on which it is based.

Pricing will not be confirmed until closer to the car’s Australian showroom arrival next year but, as a guide, the 812 Superfast starts at $610,000 plus on-road costs. The open top version is expected to eclipse the $700,000 mark by the time it’s in the traffic.