The Ferrari LaFerrari or, as Ferrari prefers us to say, simply “LaFerrari”. It is part of a trio of almost legendary cars, inextricably linked to the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder to form what many petrolheads have called “The Holy Trinity”.
The LaFerrari follows in the footsteps of Ferrari’s most legendary cars – the 288 GTO, the F40, the F50 and the Enzo – but for the first time adds an electric motor to the V12 petrol engine, creating a high-performance hybrid with a F1-style KERS. The price of the LaFerrari exceeded one million euros when it was new, but that is irrelevant: it has been sold for a long time since there are only 499 units of this sports car in the world
The 6.3-litre V12 reaches 9,250rpm and develops 789bhp at 9,000rpm for a specific output of 128bhp per litre. The maximum torque is 700 Nm at 6,750 rpm.
This is complemented by an electric motor that runs directly through the differential (not the gearbox, as in the P1), turns at 16,500rpm and puts out a further 161bhp and 199lb ft. Together with the batteries, the combined weight of the hybrid system is 146 kg, about half that of the admittedly more robust 918 Spyder hybrid system.
The system more than fulfills its mission, since it improves acceleration by 20% and reduces CO2 emissions by 50%. The main performance figures are a 0-100km/h time of “under 3 seconds” and a 0-200km/h time of “under 7 seconds”.
At 1m20s, the LaFerrari’s track time at Fiorano is also 5s faster than an Enzo and 3s faster than the F12 Berlinetta, which it displaces as Ferrari’s fastest road car. The maximum speed is more than 350 km/h.
It combines these benefits with a supposed 220 g/km of CO2 in hybrid mode, that is, less emissions than a Lotus Exige. Active aerodynamics include front and rear diffusers, an underbody guide fin and a rear spoiler that react and deploy automatically when driving conditions require it.
There’s a Brembo carbon-ceramic brake setup, while the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber.
Having such an exclusive powertrain, the Ferrari LaFerrari needs a powerful transmission. The unique gearbox is based on an F1 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It has the 6.3-liter V12 on one side, and the primary motor/generator on the others. A common input shaft allows each to work in conjunction with shafts located near the center of the case.
With performance levels in the stratosphere and such a high focus on weight savings and efficiency, the interior of the LaFerrari is a surprisingly comfortable and refined space to sit in.
As for the interior equipment, it has a dual-zone climate control system that provides heating and cooling, an anti-glare rearview mirror, a digital clock, as well as a security system with an immobilizer.
Forget features like ventilated seats or a power sunroof, the LaFerrari is all about going fast, and most of the features revolve around getting this red rocket to the finish line as quickly as possible.
The most conventional exterior feature would be electric heated mirrors, but after that it gets serious: you have F1 wind tunnel tested bodywork with an active front splitter and rear wing to increase downforce.
Behind the lightweight forged wheels with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires hides a set of carbon-ceramic brakes and an adaptive suspension system with carbon forks at the front. The carbon fiber tube unites all these elements with the V12 engine and the hybrid system at the rear.
Speaking of hybrid systems, the LaFerrari’s KERS hybrid system provides short bursts of extra power and takes total output from 789PS to 950PS. Inside, things are quieter: there’s an F1-inspired steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, leather seats, cruise control, and keyless start. There are no advanced driver aids, but rain-sensing wipers and parking sensors are standard.