The LaFerrari was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and was hailed by company president Luca Di Montezemolo as “the maximum expression of what defines our company.”
The LaFerrari had a Formula One-inspired HY-KERS system, which paired an electric motor with a 6.3-liter V12, and was only produced in 499 examples (although since then, 210 additional Aperta open-top LaFerraris have been made). Some might be put off by the idea of a hybrid Ferrari, but Ferrari’s motivation for the system was in no way to increase efficiency, even though this is a side effect of the LaFerrari’s powertrain.
The LaFerrari had its work cut out for it from the start, following in the footsteps of legendary Ferrari halo cars like the 288 GTO, the F40, F50, and Enzo. The competition from Porsche and McLaren with their hybrid hypercars, the 918 and P1, and at this insane level of performance and prestige, the bar was high for this ultimate Ferrari model if it wanted to stand out.
Looks & Interior
The LaFerrari’s carbon fibre tub chassis is primarily responsible for the car’s overall shape, both inside and out. Every strafe and slice in the car’s bodywork has been optimised in the F1 Wind Tunnel, and surfaces up front are kept to a minimum and minimised to help aerodynamics. Ferrari aimed to create a shape with the highest degree possible, and as a result, the hypercar, which has a drag coefficient of just 3, was created.
Active aerodynamic components such as diffusers, a guide vane, and the rear spoiler work together to produce downforce beneath the car, securing the LaFerrari to the road or track. The computer brain of the car automatically controls these active features by analysing various parameters and adjusting the systems to function best under the given circumstances.
The two seats in the LaFerrari are bolted to the tub, with the interior dominated by carbon fibre detailing. The driver is greeted by a large, squared-off steering wheel, which also houses Ferrari’s now-familiar Mannetino drive mode selector and LEDs that were inspired by Formula One to indicate when to change gear.
The interior of the LaFerrari is dominated by carbon fibre accents, with the two seats bolted to the tub. The driver is greeted by a sizable, squared-off steering wheel that also includes the now-famous Mannetino drive mode selector from Ferrari and Formula One-inspired LEDs that serve as a gear-change indicator.
Drive & Handling
A car of this calibre almost always has performance and track capability, and the LaFerrari has both in spades. Its road manners are a really delightful party feature.
According to reviews of this scarlet missile, Ferrari wanted the car to be practical on the road, and as automatic gearboxes go, it is mellow and easy to use in a city setting.
The ride quality is as good as you can expect in a hypercar with seats bolted directly to a super-stiff carbon fibre chassis, and visibility is good around the front three-quarters.
When you push the LaFerrari, it offers an engaging experience that flatters the driver thanks to the active aerodynamics and stability control system. Smooth and communicative steering response translates well to track driving and provides an enjoyable response on the road. LaFerraris can be seen performing acrobatic tail slides in numerous of the videos we’ve collected, which the system, to an extent, permits to flourish.
With the full force of the V12 and HY-KERS systems available to be exploited in a chassis that is more than capable, the LaFerrari further impresses on the track. According to rumours, gearshifts happen so quickly as to almost feel seamless, and the overall balance of the vehicle allows it to simply explode down straightaways and flow through corners.
Under Hood Performance
The 6.3-liter V12 hybrid engine in the LaFerrari generates 950 horsepower (788 horsepower at 6750 revolutions per minute from the V12 and 160 horsepower from the electric motor that drives the differential). The car weighs only 1255 kg when empty, and it accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds when fully charged. Ferrari estimates the top speed to be near 217 mph.
The sensations and usability involved in that performance have been prioritised by Ferrari during the car’s development, so figures only tell a portion of the story with this vehicle. The LaFerrari is said to be fairly comfortable and compliant on the road despite its obvious track potential. While driving around town, the car’s double clutch automatic gearbox relieves the driver of the responsibility of shifting, and despite the perceived harshness frequently associated with vehicles equipped with carbon fibre tubs, the ride is surprisingly supple and comforts the driver.
The LaFerrari, however, performs better on a track than almost any other road car on the planet. People who questioned the necessity of the hybrid powertrain may be surprised to learn that it was only installed as an afterthought to aid on the racecourse.
The HY-KERS system ensures on-demand torque throughout the rev range, improving the driver’s throttle response and increasing the appeal of chasing the 9250 rpm redline.
In spite of an initial asking price of about $1,420,000 for the coupe and no official price for the convertible, the limited run of 499 hardtops and 210 Aperta open-tops all sold out if you’re looking for a LaFerrari.
Prices for this “ultimate Ferrari” have quickly risen to absurd levels on the auction circuit as a result of its exclusivity, so if you’re thinking about buying one, you’ll need deep pockets and a chequebook with at least six zeroes and a digit or two in front.
Ferrari sold the last “new” Aperta and coupe LaFerrari models through auction to raise money for charity. The last coupe, 500, sold for $7 million to fund the earthquake-related reconstruction in Italy.