Ferrari SA Aperta: exclusive first drive
TopGear magazine goes supersonic in the perfect playboy hypercar
Posted: 19 Apr 2011
The gearbox flicks between ratios with barely believable speed, dodging between gear ratios six per cent lower than a standard GTB in just 60 milliseconds. An F1 car only takes 45. Downshifts take 120 milliseconds - you can ‘multiple downshift' like the GTO by holding the left-hand paddle - and are accompanied, should you be going fast enough, by a rev-matching bark so loud it makes you flinch, followed by a full racing car overrun cackle you could light fires with. It is absolutely, without caveat, bonkers. Glorious. Then I look down and realise that I've been short-shifting at 6,500rpm. That this V12 engine, this animate collection of inanimate bits, redlines at 8,400rpm. So I hook third to see what that feels like. As it nears 6,000rpm, I'm expecting a lessening of the brutality, a softening of the push. But it just goes. Again.