After months of anticipation, Ferrari’s replacement to the legendary Enzo supercar was unveiled today at the Geneva International Motor Show. It’s called LaFerrari; it’s Ferrari's first hybrid, and the fastest road car ever built under the Prancing Stallion logo.
The name of Ferrari’s new flagship has been under question for sometime. Many expected it to be called the F70, and then it was rumored to be the F150 (highly amusing for us in America). The name LaFerrari however, is even worse — hearkening back to the Dodge La Femme of 1956 — but this is Ferrari. It can, and will, do whatever it likes.
When the sheets were removed, the Ferrari stand at Geneva erupted into cheers, clapping, and rather a lot of pushing and shoving. And for good reason, too. LaFerrari is simply beautiful. In fact, it looks better than expected, as it presents sleek, swooping lines, and limits the aggressive edge of the Enzo. That ferociousness is still present at the front with its massive hood vents and sharp chin, but it blends elegance and speed in a wondrous fashion. The interior looks as breathtaking and futuristic as you would expect as well, with its digital display cluster and Alcantara wrapped surfaces.
Beneath the skin, LaFerrari does not disappoint. A V-12 motor punches out 800 hp, but when you add the 163 additional hp provided by the coupled electric motor, a grand total of 963 raging ponies are unleashed, comfortably outdoing the 903 hp produced by LaFerrari’s arch nemesis, the McLaren P1.
Both the P1 and LaFerrari boast 663 lb-ft of torque, and with the electric motor allowing Ferrari to tune the engine performance for higher revs, leaving the electric portion to deliver the low rev punch, LaFerrari should explode throughout the entire range, just like the P1.
The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed with Magneti Marelli. One motor powers the driven wheels while the other the ancillaries. The battery is located on the floor of the all-carbon chassis, and consists of cells assembled in the same department as their Formula One team’s KERS system.
Battery regeneration switches on under braking as well as when the V-12 produces more torque than needed, like when cornering. Rather than sending that excess torque to the wheels, the torque is converted into energy and stored in the batteries.
Unsurprisingly, the motor is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and carbon ceramic Brembo brakes. Combining all of this ensures LaFerrari will burst to 60 mph in well under three seconds, and surpass 124 mph in less than seven. It will also eclipse the 1 minute, 20 second barrier for lapping Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, which is five seconds faster than the Enzo and three seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. Prices for the beast were not revealed, but expect the sticker to read an equally impressive $1.3 million.
Only 499 LaFerraris will be produced, and Ferrari already has 700 written requests from eligible buyers. With the big guns in the hypercar world now unveiled, only time will tell whether LaFerrari has what it takes to become the champion of the world's asphalt. Regardless of how that plays out, this is, without question, a fantastic era for the enthusiast.
I just wish Ferrari used a better name.