Ferrari are calling the 812 Superfast their most powerful car yet

Ferrari is set to reignite the supercar power war with what is claimed to be its fastest and most powerful model, the aptly named 812 Superfast.

With 588kW from its V12 engine the two-door is claimed to accelerate to 100km/h in just 2.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of "more than" 340km/h.

However, in announcing its latest hero car Ferrari seems to have overlooked some of its recent history.

An overview of the claims

Despite the bolshy claims – the press release says the 812 "ushers in a new era" and is "the most powerful and fastest Ferrari in the marque's history" – there is another Ferrari road car that's faster. And more powerful.

It's called the La Ferrari, the most recent in a long run of "super series" cars Ferrari produces every 10 years or so but has never sold in Australia because it was produced only with left-side steering.

However, 500 of the V12 hybrid-engined hypercars have sold around the world, each with a multi-million price tag.

The La Ferrari was claimed to have 718kW of power and a top speed of 349km/h, comfortably out-punching the 812 Superfast.

Details, details…

Whatever, the 812 Superfast does indeed promise to be super fast, both in on-road pace and in how it sells.

Already more than 25 Australian and New Zealanders have placed an order, with one buyer doubling his order at a special preview in Italy last week.

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"The demand has been beyond outstanding and well beyond even the reaction of the F12," confirmed Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth. "Our sales people were receiving expressions of interest via SMS all night."

Updated and refined

Essentially a heavy update to the F12 Berlinetta, the 812 Superfast streamlines the sleek two-door styling.

The basic shape remains but the grille, details and some lines have been refined, while at the rear there are now four circular tail lights instead of two.

Under the bonnet is a new V12 that adheres to old school thinking. A rework of the 6.3-litre V12 in the F12, in the 812 Superfast the size has been expanded to 6.5 litres.

It's all about big capacity and big revs and eschews the turbochargers increasingly being employed to boost performance and fuel efficiency.

Behind the design

While many modern performance cars use four-wheel drive to harness so much power, the 812 Superfast sends drive only to the rear wheels.

As part of an improved dynamic package the 812 Superfast gets the latest iteration (version 5.0) of Ferrari's "Side Slip Control" which uses electronics to help control a slide to allow controlled sideways slides.

It's the first Ferrari with electric power steering, a system common in mainstream cars to reduce fuel use.

Not that it seems to have had much impact on the 812 Superfast. Combined claimed fuel consumption is 14.9 litres per 100km, more than a V8 -powered Toyota LandCruiser.

Will the price be right?

The price hasn't been announced yet – best guesses suggest it will be similar to the $690,745 charged for the F12 – and buyers placing an order today face at least a 12-month wait.

When the first of those orders arrives late in 2017 it will be the fastest Ferrari on sale today – and it'll be the fastest Ferrari you'll be able to drive on Australian roads.