We were just as baffled as you were when the LaFerrari was unveiled. As the Ed pointed out, it literally means ‘The Ferrari’. Why pass up an opportunity for an iconic name befitting a 963 horsepower monster with the highest order excellence of Ferrari technology and craftsmanship poured into it? Well, turns out this was precisely the reason why the LaFerrari was called so. “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.”
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As with most modern hypercars, the design team led by Flavio Manzoni worked in close synergy with the engineers to design the LaFerrari. For a design that lays as much emphasis on function as it does on form, it is simply stunning. Retaining the DNA of the current family of Ferrari’s the LaFerrari has a sharp downward sloping nose with a low bonnet emphasizing the muscular wheel arches. Ferrari says this is inspired by the late 1960s Ferraris. The LaFerrari is powered by a 6262cc V12 that makes around 800 horsepower with a rev limit of 9250 rpm! It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre.

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The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV/HP) electric motor, which results in the magic number – 963 horsepower. This hybrid system is what Ferrari calls the HY-KERS which also benefits from the regenerative braking courtesy of the KERS tech from Formula 1. The total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm with the electric motors providing for torque at the lower revs and the V12 optimized to deliver the best performance at the higher revs. The LaFerrari has not one, but two electric motors developed with Magneti Marelli. One motor powers the driven wheels exclusively. The batteries which weight at 60 kgs are charged by regenerative braking as well as the excess torque from the combustion engine. The electric motor delivers powers to the driven wheels through the dual clutch gearbox.

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The LaFerrari benefits from Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 wind tunnel. The LaFerrari boasts a slipper drag coefficient of 3 with additional downforce being generated when required by the diffusers, guide vanes up front and the spoiler and diffuser at the rear. These are what comprise the ‘active aerodynamics’ in the LaFerrari as they are activated only when the additional downforce is required. Ferrari’s proprietary algorithms keep all the systems under rein and respond to driver inputs instantaneously. Even the braking system of the LaFerrari is connected to these dynamic control systems. New lightweight callipers were designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition provide for the stopping power.

The engineers at Ferrari wanted to achieve ideal weight distribution (59:41 with a rear bias) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. A lot of time went in to bringing the components between the car’s front and rear axle and as close as possible to the floor. This meant Ferrari had to abandon adjustable seats in favour of a fixed seat tailored to the driver and made the pedal box adjustable. The LaFerrari’s chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the F138 Formula 1 car. This enabled Ferrari to integrate various components into a single one, for example the battery compartment was integrated into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.

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With mind boggling performance figures of 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1 minute 20 seconds – a whole 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta and a production run limited to 499 numbers, the LaFerrari will be one of the most sought after prancing horses in the brand’s history. Add to that the fact that this is also the fastest road car in Maranello’s long history.