Ferrari says the 812 GTS is their first open-top non-limited production V12 front-engine grand tourer for 50 years, marking a return to the form since the 365 GTS4 (Daytona Spider). In between, there have been a few noteworthy, if short-lived, forays along similar lines such as the 550 Barchetta, 599 SA Aperta, and the F12-based F60 America.
With the 812 Superfast spawning a targa-esque counterpart, ‘normal’ Ferrari buyers will have the chance to own one of the more rare permutations of Maranello marque, and one that’s currently holding the title of the world’s most powerful series production convertible.
The cynic might be quick to assert that the 812 GTS is merely a Superfast that’s missing a fixed roof, and to that we would have no rebuttal. Speaking of which, the mechanism itself can be deployed and retracted in about 14 seconds at up to speeds of 45km/h.
The three-piece aluminium canopy would extend from a slot just above the boot once the panel holding the integrated roll-over hoops is displaced, locking on in much the same way that the folding metal roof of the Portofino or F8 Spider would.
The automaker says the GTS’ design both retains the Superfast’s athletic profile while also maintaining aerodynamic properties nearly identical to the coupe. Certain compromises have had to be made, of course, such as the rear wheel arch losing its aerodynamic duct, but this has been compensated by the addition of an extra flap on the rear diffuser. Changes weight and structural rigidity are negligible.
Much like the Daytona Spider that serves as spiritual predecessor, the 812 GTS uses a naturally aspirated V12 engine, though the 6.5-litre F140 unit found used now is more advanced by orders of magnitude.
At a screaming 8,500rpm, the motor delivers 588kW while peak torque of 718Nm is reached at 7,000rpm - astonishing, but identical to the Superfast. Drive reaches the rear driven wheel wheels - wearing 315 section Pirelli tyres - via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In terms of sheer acceleration, Ferrari hasn’t disclosed an official 0-100km/h time, only stating that it comes in under 3 seconds. Figuring that the coupe variant manages the task in 2.9 seconds, we’re calling it 2.95 seconds for the GTS. Keeping the throttle pinned will see 200km/h sail by in 8.3 seconds, eventually reaching a top speed over 340km/h.
The car is making its official public debut at the ongoing Frankfurt Motor Show. Ferrari expects response for the open-top V12 to be very strong indeed. One could imagine the order books already close to being filled. Regardless, first deliveries for the 812 GTS are expected to start midway through 2020.