This is THE Ferrari.
Although its name may conjure up images of the Renault 5 in North America known as “Le Car”, the new Ferrari LaFerrari is a revolutionary step for not just Ferrari, but the entire automotive industry as things start to shift towards responsible performance. We’ve seen quite a bit of innovative super cars coming out of Maranello lately, but nothing compares to the new LaFerrari. It seems as though every nook and cranny was packed with the most advanced engineering currently available to Ferrari from Formula 1 racing to carbon fiber manufacturing to “green” technology.
The new Ferrari LaFerrari may have a redundant name, but it’s the pinnacle of everything Ferrari. “We chose to call this model LaFerrari,” declared Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, “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.”
The most noticeable of the “firsts” for Ferrari is the use of an innovative and lightweight hybrid system known as HY-KERS that draws from the Scuderia Ferrari’s Formula 1 KERS system. The LaFerrari is the first Ferrari model to ever be powered by a hybrid drivetrain that uses a 6,262 cc (6.3-liter) 65-degree V-12 with a high 13.5 : 1 compression ratio, 9,250 RPM redline, and a 789 horsepower (800 CV) output, good for a 126 hp/liter specific output as its basis. But that high-power figure is just the start. The high-revving V-12 is mated to a 161 hp (163 CV) pair of electric motors for a total output of 950 horsepower (963 CV) and over 664 lb-ft. of torque.
The innovative new drivetrain features two electric motors that were developed alongside Magneti Marell with one motor driving the rear wheels and the other powering the accessories. The same team that assembles and builds the batteries for the F138 KERS system also assembles the battery pack that is positioned at the floor of the chassis. Almost equally as impressive as the output was the fact that Ferrari engineers were able to get the weight of the batteries down to just 132 lbs. (60 kg) while still achieving the highest possible energy density. The battery pack is charged every time the LaFerrari brakes or produces more torque than is required, which is then converted into energy and stored.
Both units of power are seamlessly connected to an F-1 dual-clutch seven-speed transmission and a variety of advanced control systems that work to integrate the engine’s powerband with the electric motors for an uninterrupted flow of torque and power. Acceleration is nothing short of impressive as 62 mph comes in less than three seconds and in the next heartbeat 124 mph has been surpassed in under seven ticks of the clock. The Ferrari LaFerrari reaches 186 mph in just 15 seconds and can exceed 217 mph (350 km/h), all while returning 330 g/km of CO2.
Integrated into the new hybrid drivetrain are advanced Brembo brakes with carbon-ceramic material (CCM). The brakes feature new lightweight calipers that offer more efficient cooling for better stopping power and reduced fade. A new tire setup using Pirelli PZero rubber in 265/30 R 19 front and 345/30 R 20 rear sizes help to achieve maximum road holding.
But before tires could be shredded from the 900+ horsepower powertrain with its green footprint, the chassis and structure had to be created, and posed quite a few challenges for Ferrari. With the powertrain being larger than the traditional combustion setup, Maranello engineers had to sip a few extra cups of espresso to create a 59-percent rear weight distribution while integrating the short wheelbase.
Engineers were able to situate the masses of the hyper car as close to the floor as possible between the two axles for optimum handling dynamics and a 35 mm lower center of gravity. Four different types of hand-laminated and autoclave-cured carbon fiber from the automaker’s racing department are used throughout the chassis and built using the same methods as the Formula 1 racing team. A large number of parts were integrated into the chassis and help to increase torsional rigidity by 27-percent and beam stiffness by 22-percent all while reducing weight.
The new Ferrari LaFerrari’s design was led by Flavio Manzoni as his team worked in conjunction with engineers to ensure maximum aerodynamic efficiency and form. Special design cues such as the downward-sloping fascia and low hood that emphasize the powerful fenders are reminiscent of the late 1960s sport prototypes raced by Ferrari. Engineers utilized CFD and the Formula 1 wind tunnel to create the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever seen in a road-going car by generating downforce without sacrificing the overall drag coefficient. A special active aerodynamics system that is compromised of front diffuser and underbody guide vane, and rear diffuser and spoiler is controlled by advanced computers to deploy automatically and improve almost every aspect of driving dynamics.
Inside, the Ferrari LaFerrari is straightforward, carbon-clad, and functional. The driver’s seat is tailored to the owner and fixed while the pedals and steering wheel are adjustable. The position of the seat is similar to single-seat race cars and puts the F1 gearbox’s functions and other controls on the wing-shaped, suspended stack within reach. An ergonomic sports steering wheel with flat bottom features new gearbox paddles and a number of essential controls that can be easily accessed.
The new Ferrari LaFerrari will be strictly limited to a production of just 499 units and be aimed at the biggest Ferrari collectors and enthusiasts. Pricing for the new Ferrari has not been released.
Ferrari LaFerrari Specifications
Total maximum power: 963 CV/950 HP
Total maximum torque: >900 Nm/664 lb-ft.
V12 maximum power: 800 CV/ 789 HP @9000 RPM
Maximum revs: 9250 rpm
V12 maximum torque: 700 Nm/ 516 lb-ft. @6750 rpm
Electric motor output: 120 kW/161 HP (163 CV)
CO2 emissions: 330 g/km
Maximum speed: over 350 km/h
Acceleration 0-62 mph: Less than 3.0 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: Less than 7.0 seconds
Acceleration 0-186 mph: Less than 15.0 seconds
Fiorano Lap Time: Under 1:20
Type: 65-deg. V12
Bore and stroke: 94 x 752 mm
Total displacement: 6262 cc
Compression ratio: 13.5:1
Specific power: 128 CV/l
Length: 4702 mm
Width: 1992 mm
Height: 1116 mm
Wheelbase: 2650 mm
Weight distribution: 41% fr, 59% r
Tires (Pirelli P-Zero):
Front: 265/30 – 19
Rear: 345/30 – 20
Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo):
Front: 398 x 223 x 36 mm
Rear: 380 x 253 x 34 mm
ESC: stability control
High perf ABS/EBD: Performance anti blockage system/electronic brake balance
EF1-Trac: F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
E-Diff 3: third generation electronic differential
SCM-E Frs: magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
Ferrari LaFerrari Gallery