Finally the new (and for the time being) ultimate Ferrari has been unveiled at the Geneva show, and as predicted it is a hybrid with performance that will blow everything away this side of F1.
However, what was not predicted, was that Ferrari would outsource and go to Nissan’s famous Department of Silly Names to get the name for this new supercar. “LaFerrari”. Just what sort of name is that? Oh well, it could have been worse like “Cecil” I suppose.
This is Ferrari’s most extreme road car to date featuring technologies drawn from Formula 1, including a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain with KERS-style kinetic energy recovery.
The LaFerrari will be built in a strictly limited production run of just 499 cars – 100 more than the Enzo – all of which will find their way into the eager hands of Ferrari collectors the world over. Read Ferrari collectors with bags of cash. At least 1.3 million euro which comes out at around 50 million baht, and then add on customs, excise and tax for just being rich. And they won’t take my Mira as a trade.
Because an electric motor provides maximum torque from minimal revs, Ferrari’s engine development team was able to optimize the V12 petrol engine’s performance at higher revs, resulting in a more constant supply of power and torque throughout the wide rev band.
The 590 kW/700 Nm 6.3 liter V12 internal combustion engine has a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and revs to 9250 rpm. This is paired to a 120 kW electric motor, for a combined system potential of 708 kW and 900 Nm, which is enough torque to drag City Hall down to Beach Road. Power is sent to the wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Actually, the LaFerrari has two electric motors, one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis, consisting of cells assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department alongside the KERS for the F138 Formula 1 car.
The battery pack weighs 60 kg and is recharged by both brake and engine regeneration – the latter feeds excess torque energy straight to the cells.
Ferrari claims it to be its fastest road car to date, with a zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and a 0-200 km/h time of under seven seconds.
You do not move the driving seat to get comfortable, as it is fixed. You move the pedal box, a feature that Ferrari say was developed in consultation with Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an “active role” throughout the entire development process. Since Massa in particular, is about 1 cm off being called a dwarf, I wonder how 6 footers will go?
The styling team was led by Flavio Manzoni, with the need to pair aerodynamic lessons learned from Formula 1 with the requisite sex appeal of a Ferrari.
According the Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, this new car gives, “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.”
That may be so, Luca, but it still is a silly name!