Ferrari’s latest hypercar – rumoured to be called the F150 – has been unveiled as the LaFerrari. It’s an unconventional name for a Ferrari defying the conventions of its F40, F50 and Enzo forebears.
Just like its arch rival, the McLaren P1 – unveiled in the same building as the LaFerrari at the 2013 Geneva motor show – the new Ferrari hypercar has a hybrid, KERS-inspired drivetrain at its heart.
The LaFerrari combines the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine in the world – a 6.3-litre V12 that produces 789bhp at a no doubt epic-sounding 9000rpm – with a 161bhp electric motor. Their combined peak is 950bhp, 47bhp more than the P1, while total torque is ‘in excess of’ 664lb ft. The electric motor’s instant torque has allowed the engine to exhibit more high-end histrionics.
The headline performance figures are a 0-62mph time of ‘less than 3sec’ and a 0-124mph time of ‘under 7sec’. At 1m20s, the LaFerrari’s Fiorano track time is also 5sec quicker than an Enzo and 3sec quicker than the F12 Berlinetta, which it displaces as Ferrari’s fastest ever road car. The top speed is quoted as over 217mph. It combines this performance with a claimed 220g/km of CO2 emissions in hybrid mode, making the LaFerrari as polluting as a sports saloon.
There are actually two electric motors, one powering the rear wheels, the other running the LaFerrari’s ancillaries. Their batteries are said to weigh just 60kg, and are charged under braking and via excess torque from the V12 engine, when more is produced than can by applied to the wheels. The driving motor is linked to the twin-clutch gearbox, providing instant torque.
Ferrari has worked hard to negate the weight problems hybrid systems incur, with all of the setup’s mass squeezed between front and rear axles and as low as possible to keep the centre of gravity in check. The driver’s seat is fixed (though tailored to each of the LaFerrari’s 499 owners), with steering wheel and pedals adjustable instead. Ferrari describes the driving position as similar to a single-seater racer, one of the LaFerrari’s many homages to the company’s rich Formula 1 heritage. Likewise, four different types of carbonfibre can be found in the chassis courtesy of F1-inspired design and production methods.
Aerodynamics are high on the LaFerrari’s agenda, too. It gains an active setup, with front and rear diffusers, an underbody guide vane and rear spoiler all reacting and deploying automatically when driving conditions require. This generates downforce without unnecessarily compromising the car’s drag coefficient.
Both the hybrid system and active aero integrate into the rest of the LaFerrari’s dizzying electronic systems, including F1-trac and E-diff. There’s a Brembo carbon-ceramic brake setup, while the 19in front/20in rear alloy wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber.
No prices have yet been confirmed, the McLaren P1 costing £866,000. Just 499 will be made, meaning 124 more LaFerraris than there will be P1s.