Yes you read that right, the latest Ferrari hypercar is called the LaFerrari. Not content with naming the last super Ferrari after its creator Enzo, they’ve gone on another ego bender and named its successor after the company name itself. What’s next, Ferrari, Enzo’s middle name Anselmo?
Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo explained the controversial decision: “We chose to call this model LaFerrari, because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence.”
Regardless of the exemplarily redundant name, the LaFerrari is one hell of a car. It’s not an easy task being a part of the long lineage of ultimate Ferraris, replacing the legendary 288 GTO, F40, F50 and Enzo, but with an exquisite blend of technological innovation, performance and visionary styling, the LaFerrari may have just done the impossible – become an icon in its own time.
It looks special doesn’t it? Not quite as bold as the Enzo but with the welcome elegance of the F40. Forming a close synergy of form and function, the LaFerrari takes an extreme, innovative design route which retains close links to the marque’s traditions, most prominently of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
Ferrari has taken F1-inspired aerodynamics to the next level too, integrating active wings and diffusers into the LaFerrari’s underbody, fine-tuned in the company’s F1 wind tunnel.
The LaFerrari is the first road-going Ferrari to have a hybrid powertrain, but not as we know it. Making full use of Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 KERS know-how has resulted in a hybrid solution that exalts Ferrari’s fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. Known as HY-KERS, it represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions.
At the heart of the LaFerrari lies a state of the art 6.3 litre V12 engine that’s good for 800 hp, has a high 13.5:1 compression ratio and revs up to 9,250 rpm – a record for an engine of this displacement. Coupled with a 163 hp electric motor, the combined power output climbs to an incredible 963 hp.
The performance figures speak of itself: 0-100 km/h takes less than three seconds, 0-200 km/h in under seven, and a lap time at Fiorano of under one minute 20 – five seconds faster than the Enzo and over three seconds quicker than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello’s long history.
Having instantaneous and uninterrupted supply of low end torque from the electric motor allowed the engineers to really focus on the high-revving engine’s top end performance, making for an exceptionally smooth and powerful combination throughout the entire rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm.
The battery required to power the two Magneti Marelli electric motors (one to drive the wheels and the other the ancillaries) weighs just 60 kg despite providing the highest energy density among its kind, and is attached to the floor of the chassis. The regenerative braking is further helped by a proprietary system that converts excess torque from the engine (through corners for instance, where it would induce wheelspin) to recharge the battery.
An ideal 41:59 front-to-rear weight distribution with a low centre of gravity is achieved through ingenious packaging of the engine and hybrid system between the car’s two axles. This thereby guarantees dynamic handling and compact dimensions.
The cabin layout plays a significant role in weight distribution too. The driver’s seat is fixed and tailored to the owner, while the steering and pedal box are adjustable, F1-style. Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were both actively involved in this aspect.
Inside there’s a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the dual-clutch F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a track-inspired, pared-back allure.
Only 499 of this limited-series special will be made, guaranteeing exclusivity. It’s not quite as unique as Lamborghini’s Veneno trio, but hey, this is an uncompromising bespoke model that’s developed from the ground up to be as fine as it can be, not just an Aventador in a Batman suit.