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Published on March 8th, 2013 | by Dominik Wilde

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Ferrari unveils ‘LaFerrari’ at Geneva

Ferrari LaFerrariHere it is, quite possibly the most eagerly anticipated car of the decade has arrived.

The LaFerrari (so called as it is “the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence,” according to company president Luca di Montezemolo) was unveiled to the world earlier today at the Geneva Motorshow, and will head straight into battle with  McLaren’s P1 (shown in production form at the Geneva show for the first time), Porsche’s 918 Spyder, the Lamborghini Veneno  and the Pagani Huayra. Who’d have thought there’s a global financial crisis on?

The unusual name isn’t the most striking feature of this car though; the new LaFerrari is a hybrid. Now don’t use that as an excuse to stop reading, bear with me on this one.  The LaFerrari is powered by a normally aspirated 6.3 litre V12 engine. It’s the same engine used in the FF and F12 Berlinetta albeit reworked to produce 789 bhp at 9250 rpm and 715 lb/ft of torque.

Attached to the engine, and taking cues from the company’s F1 program, is a ‘HY-KERS’ system that utilises a battery produced by Samsung to add an additional 161 bhp, meaning the LaFerrari commands a staggering total output of 950bhp.

The battery, charged using energy otherwise lost under braking, powers two electric motors in the car, the first which is used to enhance the car’s performance, the second of which is applied to the engine to power ancillaries.

Unlike the McLaren P1, The LaFerrari does not have an all electric drive feature, although it can be engineered into the car for those customers who do want it. CO2 emissions are 330g/km, big in comparison to the McLaren P1 which boasts a figure of less than 200g/km thanks to it’s standard all electric drive feature

Styling-wise, the LaFerrari appears to have drawn inspiration from a number of sources. The window line is similar to its smaller cousin, the 458 Italia, the rear appears to resemble James Glickenhaus one off Enzo based P4/5, whilst the front clearly has a whiff of Formula One about it with it’s low, pointy nose.  The huge side air intakes that feed the monstrous V12 clearly show wind tunnel influence, but despite the shape being functional, it still takes a rather stunning form. Surprisingly, the car was designed in house at Ferrari rather than with input from Pininfarina like previous offerings from the prancing horse.

Ferrari LaFerrari InteriorInside, whilst the pedals and steering wheel can be adjusted to suit the driver, the seat is fixed in a position reminiscent of a single seater thanks to the influence of F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Carrying on from the Michael Schumacher designed steering wheel of the 458 Italia, the main functions of the car, besides the accelerator and brake, are all mounted on the steering wheel. Ferrari’s trademark manettino on the steering wheel offers five settings as opposed to the usual four and the gear shift paddles take on a longer, more ergonomic form. The cabin is definitely not airing on the luxurious side. As with the Enzo that preceded it, the LaFerrari won’t have a stereo.

The car is constructed from four different types of carbon fibre to keep weight to a minimum and utilizes Pirelli’s P-Zero tyres and Brembo disc brakes all round to enhance grip and stopping power. Active aerodynamics also play a big role in the LaFerrari. Small devices under the car at both the front and the rear adjust at speed along with an active rear spoiler. They all deploy automatically to enhance the car’s already stunning aerodynamic performance. The aforementioned hybrid system’s battery system is mated to the chassis in order to keep the centre of gravity low and torsional rigidity high. In fact, it is up 27 per cent compared to the Enzo.

Definitive performance figures haven’t been announced yet, although we do know that the 0-60mph time is around 3.0 seconds, 0-186 will be over with in just 15.5 seconds (1.5 faster than the McLaren P1), whereas the top speed has been quoted as being ‘over 217mph.’ Coincidentally, the McLaren P1 will have a top speed of 217mph.

The LaFerrari will lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in less than 1 minute 19.9 seconds on road tyres, and Ferrari say that if it were to be fitted with racing slicks, the car would complete a lap in less than 1 minute 16 seconds. Just to put that into perspective, the next quickest car, the 700bhp, 211mph F12berlinetta, laps Fiorano in ‘only’ 1 minute 23 seconds.

Only 499 will be made, and although over 1,000 orders are rumoured to have been placed, not all cars have been sold. If you want one, expect to pay over £1 million and also make sure you’re a seasoned Ferrari customer, because as with the Enzo before it, it’s likely this one will only go to Ferrari’s top clients.

 


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