In Geneva, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo just revealed the company’s newest hypercar, the LaFerrari. Though difficult and odd to pronounce, this mean machine is a definitive statement from Ferrari, whose other flagship cars such as the 1984 turbocharged 288 GTO, 1987 F40, 1995 F50 and 2002 Enzo are all nothing less than milestones of the automotive industry.
Inside, the LaFerrari boasts of a mid-mounted, direct injection 6.3-liter V12 capable of spinning up to 9250rpm and producing up to 790bhp. This engine features an F1-derived variable geometry air intake system, utilizes a variable capacity oil pump, and a main shaft with aerodynamic counter weights. Compression ratio is a high 13.5:1 and the overall center of gravity is reduced by 35mm.
It also features a dual-clutch gearbox and electric motor, which uses a 120-cell, 60kg lithium ion battery pack tucked under the seats. The electric motor adds around 160bhp to the V12, providing the LaFerrari with a total of 950bhp and 663lb-ft of torque. With this, the LaFerrari accelerates from 0-62mph in just under 3.0secs, 0-124mph in less than 8.0secs, insanely fast on any standard.
The hypercar marks the first time Ferrari applied its HY-KERS technology to a production car. This was developed by the F1 team in Gestione Sportiva and helps reduce emissions by 40% while increasing the V12 engine’s output by 10%. This aids the LaFerrari to recapture the kinetic energy lost during braking and cornering to charge the battery pack.
The car’s tub, meanwhile, is comprised of four different types of carbon fiber, all painstakingly hand-laminated before being cured into the GES F1 autoclave. According to Carmelo Lo Faro, VP at Cytec Engineered Materials and partner of Ferrari in manufacturing these carbon fiber components, “the aim is to use the right sort of material, in the right thickness, according to its location in the chassis and performance requirements. We are talking about a technology that is beyond what you currently find in commercial aerospace, and is used only in the latest fighter jets. In fact, the new Ferrari features a type of carbon fiber that is used in the nuclear industry to manufacture the centrifuges that uranium is enriched in.” Now that’s awesome.
The LaFerrari’s active aero, from the winglets, retractable rear wing to the spoiler are all derived from the FXX program. The exterior is also filled with vents, slats and intakes all used to hustle air into cooling and generating downforce depending on speed, road or track condition. Using this, the car is able to run in two different configurations: High Downforce (HD) and Low Downforce (LD). The dash, meanwhile, looks fantastic as it’s made primarily of carbon fiber while at the same time featuring minimal instrumentation for its E-diff and stability controls.
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