Ferrari made its debut as a sports car manufacturer 70 years ago this year, and it’s celebrating that milestone with the 812 Superfast, the fastest production road car in its illustrious history.

The fact the Superfast boasts a V12 under its hood is no accident: that’s in an homage to the 125 S, a two-seater officially recognized as the first car to bear the Ferrari badge.

Only where that 12-cylinder was a 1.5-litre unit making 118 hp, the Superfast earns its fastest-Ferrari-ever title with a 6.5-litre motor making 788 horsepower, or 121 hp for every litre of displacement.

Those horses are accompanied by 530 lb-ft of torque and modern stuff like high-pressure direct fuel injection and variable-geometry intake tracts Ferrari says are derived from those used in its Formula One race cars.

But the Superfast isn’t all about cold, mechanical sophistication: The prancing horse brand promises the engine’s performance is accompanied by a “full, rich” exhaust note that “exploits the acoustic clout delivered by its increased displacement.”

Power gets to the road through a dual-clutch transmission and Ferrari’s side-slip control traction management system, which it says makes the car’s performance “even more thrilling to exploit.”

Exploit all of that at once, and Ferrari says you’ll jet from zero to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds.

Following in the footsteps of previous front-engine V12 Ferraris, the 812 wears styling defined by a fastback design, whose high tail was drawn to recall the 1969 365 GTB4.

Up front are LED headlights and functional hood-mounted air intakes, and four traditional round taillights live out back. There are active aerodynamic flaps under the front of the car and an aero bypass at the rear flanks which Ferrari says work together to increase downforce at Superfast speeds.

A more “radical” look is found in the cabin, along with ergonomic seats and Ferrari’s new human-machine interface (HMI), with new steering and infotainment designs.