LaFerrari: The details (w/VIDEOS)

Yes, Ferrari has chosen to call its new Enzo successor ‘LaFerrari’ – doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue in English does it? But there’s little chance of anything else hindering its success, McLaren P1 included, for this is Ferrari’s best ever car, they’ve put it all on the table and stand ready to be judged by their endeavour.

Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, adds “We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving.”

“Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1.”

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Like the P1, Ferrari’s petrol-electric hybrid is more frugal than you’d expect, but unlike the P1, which McLaren claims average CO2 emissions of 200g/km, LaFerrari emits just 330 g/km without resorting to electric drive. Switch on the HY-KERS system and it will run the P1 close with 220 g/km of C02 emissions, which it can keep up for ‘a few kilometres’.

I can’t imagine many of the 499 buyers complaining though, because its acceleration (which is surely the raison d’être of a hypercar) is truly astounding.

With a total power output of 949bhp, the LaFerrari accelerates from 0-62mph in less than 3 seconds, 0-125mph in less than 7 seconds and 0-186mph in 15 seconds.

Acceleration LaFerrari McLaren P1
0-62mph (100km/h) less than 3 seconds less than 3 seconds
0-125mph (200 km/h) less than 7 seconds less than 7 seconds
0-188mph (300 km/h) around 15 seconds around 17 seconds
Top Speed More than 217mph Limited to to 219mph

It’s powertrain comprises a 6,262 cc V12 engine that produces 789bhp at 9,000rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 6,750rpm, combined with an electric motor which adds 160bhp and 191 lb-ft of torque (from zero rpm). The resulting 949bhp and 715 lb-ft is 47bhp and 51 lb-ft more than the McLaren P1.

For an engine of this displacement, the sheer breadth of power delivery is little short of amazing. It revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm and yet provides high torque levels at low revs, thanks to its electric motor and the mapping benefits this allowed.

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The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Fiat-owned Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries. A battery pack is attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the same department where the KERS for Ferrari’s 2013 F1 car are also made.

If the LaFerrari’s performance superiority was still in any doubt, Ferrari has confirmed that it laps Fiorano circuit in less than 1 minute 20 seconds – that’s 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. As a consequence LaFerrari is comfortably the fastest ever road going Ferrari by a country mile.

Model Fiorano Lap Time
LaFerrari approx. 1’19.90
Ferrari F12berlinetta 1’23.00
Ferrari 599 GTO 1’24.00
Enzo Ferrari 1’24.90
Ferrari 458 Italia 1’25.00
Ferrari F50 1’27.00
Ferrari F40 1’29.60
Ferrari 288 GTO 1’36.00

The batteries used in LaFerrari weigh just 60 kg and are charged in several different ways – firstly under braking and also every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter case, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.

The electric motor is coupled with the car’s F1 dual-clutch gearbox which boosts the car’s energy efficiency as torque is instantly provided to the wheels and from the wheels to the electric motor during recharging.

Unlike McLaren’s P1, the LaFerrari is a masterpiece of active aerodynamics, which are integrated with the HY-KERS system. The engineers’ aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, using diffusers and a guide vane on the front underbody and diffusers plus an active spoiler at the rear. These generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient.

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As revealed earlier last year, LaFerrari is built around a carbon-fibre shell, with the strands hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car.

Ferrari’s aim was to achieve an ideal weight distribution of 41% at the front and 59% at the rear, all within a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system and its batteries. Ferrari’s engineers have managed to locate the masses between both axles and as close as possible to the floor, resulting in a 35 millimetre lower centre of gravity.

The cabin layout aids in this regard, with a fixed driver’s seat tailored to each owner and a pedal box and steering wheel which are adjustable. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, played an active role throughout the car’s development process and were consulted on LaFerrari’s driving position.

The design team was led by Flavio Manzoni, who focused on emphasising the precise link between form and function. Even though LaFerrari is a modern car, the downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet are a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.

The rest of the LaFerrari’s body has been given a sculptural treatment, heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that amply reflects its exotic capabilities.

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As expected, the LaFerrari is compact – just 4702 mm in length, 1992 mm wide and 1116 tall. Its wheelbase is very similar to that of the 458 Italia at just 2650 mm in length.

So that’s it. Only Ferrari could launch a car that would appear to eclipse McLaren’s 903bhp P1. There are just two pieces of information that are missing – how much does it weigh and what will it cost? We’ll let you know once the details are confirmed.