Ferrari has just unveiled the LaFerrari - the car that takes over from the mighty Enzo in a long list of ultra high-performance supercars. Formula 1 meets road car, then?
Anything that Ferrari does is big. And every ten years or so, comes an even bigger moment in the Scuderia’s history. In the 80s it was the F40, the 90s had the F50 and in the first decade of the new millennium they gave us the Enzo. This time though, there is no fancy name, no racy combination of letters and numbers – this time Ferrari is simply calling it as it is. Say hello to LaFerrari, the maximum expression of what the Italian maker of supercars is all about according to PR speak. Of course, that pertains to where Ferrari stands as of today and that means a whole lot of carbon fibre, mad levels of electronics and superior firepower under that sleek body.
So LaFerrari gets a 6.3 litre V12 that puts out 789 horses nestled neatly behind the cockpit and visible for everyone to admire under a smoked panel. But with the 160-hp electric motor bolted on as part of what Ferrari likes to call HY-KERS, the LaFerrari is good for a mind-numbing 949 horsepower and a colossal 900Nm of torque! All that while adding just 330g/km of CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere, which by any car’s standards, is extremely low.
Ferrari claim that this new monster of a hypercar will do the 100km/h sprint in under 3 seconds and hit 200km/h in under 7! If you have the courage to keep it pinned further, 300km/h will take under 15 seconds and if you’re beginning to think that it’s all about straight line speed, then LaFerrari will take that notion and shatter it just as it did with the lap times at Ferrari’s Fiorano proving grounds. This one clocks one lap in under 1min 20seconds – that’s a whole 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and 3 seconds quicker than the F12 Berlinetta, essentially making this the fastest road car Ferrari has ever built.
Of course, a lot of the technology that makes its way to the LaFerrari is courtesy Ferrari’s exploits in Formula 1, but it isn’t just related to the engine and HY-KERS. As is the norm with most extremely high-performance cars these days, the backbone of the LaFerrari is a carbon fibre tub, but not just any tub of course. This one is made from four different types of carbon fibre, each hand-laminated and autoclave cured in Ferrari’s racing department using methods perfected on their Formula 1 car. The seats and battery compartment are integrated into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity and beam stiffness while keeping the weight low.
Ideal weight distribution was the most important factor when designing the LaFerrari which meant that the rear had to be biased with just 59 percent of the weight – not so easy as it seems, with the added weight of the KERS system to account for. So most of the components are situated between the two axles and are mounted lower. The driver’s seat is fixed and tailored to each owner’s specifications – the pedal box and the steering wheel are adjustable instead. The driving position is more like that of a single-seater racer and no surprise then that Ferrari’s F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa played a huge role in the way the car’s interiors took shape.
The exterior design itself, is jaw-dropping – one that continues on from the Enzo, but still puts in enough surface changes and contours to make it look space age. The smoked cockpit that extends into the engine cover divides the visual mass wonderfully, and still harks back to the Ferrari form of the 1960s. It’s menacing to say the least, and makes its predecessor look like it was from a century ago! Probably the two areas that would really define the LaFerrari’s styling intricacies are the doors and the rear. Aerodynamics, with a drag coefficient of nearly 3 have been achieved with complex CFD analysis and the use of their F1 wind tunnel. The entire look and feel of the cockpit and the controls is purely race-bred as well.
Thw Ferrari LaFerrari is definitely one of the hottest launches of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and probably one of the most important ones in the Italian icon’s history. With so much technology in place, it’s bound to be amazing to drive as well. The only place we think Ferrari could have done better was with its name. Let us know what you think in the comments below!