It started with the Ferrari 288 GTO, followed by the F40, next came the F50, after that came the Enzo, now Ferrari has introduced the car that represents the panicle of Ferrari performance: the La Ferrari. In pervious articles, we’ve referred to the car as the F70, other news outlets have called it the F150, but Ferrari decided to call their latest hypercar the La Ferrari because they feel the car “is the maximum expression of what defines [the] company.”
The La Ferrari uses a hybrid drivetrain that produces 950 horsepower via the combination of a V12 engine producing 788 horsepower (with a redline of 9,250 rpm), and an electric motor producing 160 horsepower. Together, both power plants produce a total of 663 lb-ft. The powertrain allows the Ferrari La Ferrari to reach 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds, on to a top speed of 220 mph. The car uses a 7-speed dual clutch transmission that can change gear in approximately 50 milliseconds.
The La Ferrari’s electric motor can be activated to provide maximum performance via the car’s HY-KERS system, which uses the power and more significantly the instant torque produced by the electric motor to improve acceleration. This system works similarly to the system used in Formula 1 cars, called KERS or Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The batteries for the electric motor are charged during breaking, or when excess torque is generated by the car’s power plant. The latter charging method was developed with the help of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team.
Unlike one of the La Ferrari’s main rivals, the McLaren P1, the Ferrari cannot drive under electric power alone, though future Ferrari models using this technology will be able to operate in an all electric mode.
In order to generate adequate down force while maintaining a low coefficient of drag, the La Ferrari uses active aerodynamics: front and rear diffusers, an underbody “guide vane,” and a rear spoiler are deployed automatically when the car recognizes a need for increased down force.
Like the Ferrari F50, the La Ferrari uses fixed seats tailored to the body type of the buyer. Both the steering wheel and pedal box can be electrically adjusted as required. Ferrari says the car’s cabin layout and driver-centric controls were developed with input from Scuderia Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso, and Felipe Massa. In order to keep weight down, the cabin of the La Ferrari is sparse, carbon fiber is used extensively, most of the car’s essential buttons have been placed on or near the steering wheel, and a sculptural fin below the center console holds buttons controlling the car’s transmission.
In 2002, the Ferrari Enzo lapped the famed Fiorano Circuit in 1 minute, 25 seconds. The Ferrari La Ferrari has shaved 5 seconds off the lap time of the Enzo, and 3 seconds off the lap time of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Production of the La Ferrari will be limited to 499 examples.