With all the months-long hype surrounding the debut of the next Ferrari hypercar, I was starting to worry that when it did finally surface it might be a bit of a let down. Thankfully my fears were unfounded as this really is one of the best looking cars ever to howl out of Ferrari’s factory gates. It’s got a stupid name. But when it looks this good. Who really cares?
The LaFerrari marks the first time Ferrari has used a hybrid system in a production road car. Derived from the KERS system used in Ferrari’s F1 cars, the hybrid drivetrain of the LaFerrari uses a 789 horsepower 6.3 litre V12 engine backed up by a 160 horsepower electric motor. That’s a combined total of 949 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque. The high torque levels provided by the electric motor at low rpms allowed Ferrari’s engineers to optimise the V12′s performance at higher revs. The result is a car which can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in under three seconds and continue on to a 205 mph top speed.
The body of the LaFerrari employs a number of active aerodynamic features designed to improve downforce, efficiency, handling and stability. Computer analysis and fine tuning in the wind tunnel has resulted in a car with one of the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency in the world. Active aerodynamic devices front and rear generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls.
On the inside the Ferrari LaFerrari is both stylish and functional. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed with input from Ferrari’s F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. A newly-designed steering wheel host all the major controls, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. Exposed carbon fiber and suede cover almost ever surface giving the interior a distinctly race-car like feel.
Oh and getting back to that dumb name. This is what Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo had to say on the matter: “We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence.”
Well that’s cleared that up then.
Ferrari LaFerrari Specifications:
Engine: 6.2 litre V12 789 horsepower
Electric motor: 16o horsepower
Transmission: 7-Speed DCT
Suspension Front/Rear: Double wishbones/multi-link
Tires Front/Rear: Pirelli P-Zero 265/30/R19 - 345/30/R20
Brakes: Brembo carbon ceramic
Length: 4702 mm
Width: 1992 mm
Height: 1116 mm
Wheelbase: 2650 mm
Weight distribution: 41% front / 59 % rear