Limited edition Ferraris have always been eagerly waited and anticipated, as they normally are special. Following in line is the new LaFerrari that is nothing like the Enzo – the previous special edition Ferrari. Called the Ferrari (LaFerrari in Italian), the super sports car shows in its every aspect how Ferrari’s are made – in an excellent way.
F1 inspired architecture
The LaFerrari’s architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car’s two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process. 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 Formula 1 car.
|Openings that influence the LaFerrari’s aerodynamics|
The LaFerrari’s styling emphasise the link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque’s tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the La Ferrari has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, inspired by late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes. The LaFerrari’s body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
|Seems like it can take off|
The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS (HYbrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System). The Hybrid system consists of a 6.3-litre V12 power unit, with an output of 800hp (596kW), paired to a 160hp (119kW) electric motor. Combined the HY-KERS system provides the LaFerrari with total of 960 charged prancing horses. 0 to 100Km/h takes 3 seconds while top speed is more 350km/h. The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm.
The HY-KERS system batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries. The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
|Large air openings add to aggressiveness|
Air at play
Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow the car’s configuration to attain LaFerrari’s exceptional performance. To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the under body) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate down force when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions. The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition. The car’s extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
|F1 inspired steering wheel|
Inside there’s a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
|A view most will enjoy on the road|
The LaFerrari is with no doubts the best prancing horse ever. So pity that many of us will never get to own it as only 499 units will be made. The LaFerrari is priced at $1.3 million (Kshs 110.5 million).