How the Ferrari 812 Superfast Manages Airflow, Drag, and Downforce
New Ferrari supercar uses a variety of visible and concealed parts to stay planted on the road (or track) at high speeds.
What’s something that automatically comes to mind when you think of automotive aerodynamics? If you were thinking, A big wing in the back, that’s OK. A part like that has its place…but not on the Ferrari 812 Superfast.
The 800-horsepower supercar uses a less obvious, more sophisticated approach to managing the forces of drag and downforce. To increase the airflow to its underbody and decrease drag, it keeps a pair of ducts under its front end closed below 112 mph, then opens them once the 812 Superfast exceeds that speed.
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Vanes in the front air intake section can turn to direct wind around the 812 Superfast’s carved, slippery body. All-important downforce goes up thanks to air from the radiators running to the sides and the underbody. The air intakes next to the headlights also help by sending air through the wheel compartments, which then make the air exit around the sides of the car. Channels in the flat underbody that route air from the radiators and a kicked-up rear spoiler do their parts to boost downforce as well.
Most rear diffusers function by staying stationary, but the 812 Superfast’s diffuser has flaps in it that open up to 17 degrees to cut down on high-speed drag.
All of these features (and others) combined make the 812 Superfast what Ferrari calls “the most aero efficient Ferrari V12 sports car.” We can see why…even when we can’t.