A decade after the introduction of the game-changing Enzo, Ferrari introduced the next addition to the company’s hypercar dynasty that includes the 288 GTO, F40 and F50. And like the Enzo before it, the new car only went to Ferrari’s preferred clients. Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, the LaFerrari immediately came up against the Porsche 918 and the McLaren P1. The three were inevitably compared and contrasted thanks to their high price, savage performance, wild looks and the fact that all three embraced hybrid powertrain technology independently of one another. Unlike in most hybrids, though, these cars exploited electric power primarily to add to performance and enhance the internal combustion engine, not to increase fuel economy. Other aspects of the car were developed through Ferrari’s FXX program.
The Ferrari LaFerrari sits atop a carbon fiber monocoque chassis with double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The bodywork, also made of carbon fiber, was styled entirely in-house by Ferrari. Pininfarina was not consulted on the shape of the car at all.
Although it has a somewhat silly name, the LaFerrari is a serious car. Its 6.3-liter V-12 makes 800hp, while the electric motor that works with it makes an additional 163 hp. 0-60 mph comes in less than three seconds. 0-125 takes less than seven, and 0-186 takes less than 15, while the quarter-mile is done away with in 9.7 seconds. Its lap time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track is 1:19.7 seconds, faster than any other road-going Ferrari and a full five seconds faster than the Enzo. It also has a Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery system developed through Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars. Called the HY-KERS, the system provides bursts of extra power at the driver’s discretion, meaning the entire system output in the LaFerrari can be as much as 950hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Magneti Marelli supplied two separate electric motors for the LaFerrari, one that sends power to the wheels and another to power the ancillaries. More familiar Ferrari hallmarks are there as well, including magnetorheological dampers and carbon ceramic disc brakes.
Just 500 LaFerraris were produced, while a little over 200 examples of the LaFerrari Aperta with its removable roof were also sold. Any example is highly collectible, as any Ferrari halo car is. Indeed, almost as soon as these cars became eligible for sale on the second-hand market, they started showing up at high-end collector car auctions. As a performance and technological benchmark, the LaFerrari will always be desirable.