...The End Of An Era
BBC TopGear India|July 2019

The world is changing. The cars we drive are changing. Worse, there’s a radical shift in the way supercars of tomorrow are shaping up and in this transitional phase, the Ferrari 812 Superfast could just be the very last of its kind. That means, it could very well be...

Devesh Shobha
Ferrari 348 – that’s the first Ferrari I’d ever seen in person, the first Ferrari I’d ever touched with my own bare hands, the first Ferrari I’d ever witnessed whizz past me on our roads. For the teenage me back in the late ’90s, the 348, with its timeless design and the pop-up headlamps, was the car of my dreams, the car that made me a Ferrari fan boy for life. So, when I kickstarted my motoring journalism career in my early-20s, I’d set myself a goal – to make myself capable enough to be able to drive a Ferrari one day. Not own, but review them.

It seemed easier to achieve that goal back then. But a decade later, I’d still not been at the wheel of one. This made me promise to myself, the day I finally drove a Ferrari, I shall hang up my boots. Why? Because I doubt there’s anything else that would excite me more than driving a Ferrari. Yes, I can be a bit biased. Love is blind, after all. Okay, things would change if I were to drive a Formula 1 car, but what are the odds of that happening. Obviously someone must’ve leaked my voluntary retirement pact to the Ed, who promptly assigned the upcoming Ferrari drive to me. As it turned out, it wasn’t just any Ferrari drive, it was the 812 Superfast; the maddest, the angriest and the noisiest Ferrari you could get today.

What you get for roughly 5.2 crore (base price, ex-showroom) is a naturally-aspirated monstrous V12, spitting out venomous 788bhp and 718 Newtons, capable of rocketing itself to 100kph in 2.9s, 200kph in 7.9s before maxing out at 340kph. Yes, those numbers for a front-engined two-seater Gran Turismo sound mental, and that’s what this super GT is at full swing. I don’t mind that one bit. What I do though is the setting for our drive — Dubai. Nothing personal against the city, the infrastructure there puts Mumbai’s to shame, but the roads there are heavily governed by law and most of them are arrow straight. What I need is more than an open highway to put the angriest Ferrari through its paces. So, I cooked up a plan, which turned out to be what most Indian motoring journalists do in Dubai, and set the navigation to Jebel Jais.

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