LaFerrari translates, simply enough, to “the Ferrari.” In other words, the company is not so subtly declaring that this is the Ferrari, the $1.4 million manifestation of its philosophy, technology, and design heritage. That heritage includes a line of such true Ferrari supercars as the GTO, F40, F50, and the Enzo Ferrari. And securing a spot in that pantheon means the LaFerrari must smite those that came before.
To pull that off, Ferrari’s engineers sought inspiration from the electric power that propels Formula 1 racecars around the track. The hybrid engine they created for this street-going Ferrari packs 949 horses – that is, about 200 more than those F1 racers. These total system horses arrive with a one-two punch:a 789-hp, 6.3-liter V-12 mated to a 160-hp electric motor. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission sends abusive force to the rear wheels, right up to a shrieking 9,250 rpm redline. Regenerative brakes suck up energy and return it to a lithium-ion battery that actually helps support the car’s carbon fiber structure. That feathery material, created in the same autoclaves as Ferrari’s F1 cars and hand-assembled by engineers, helps hold curb weight to 3,285 pounds.
It also gets centrefold exposure inside the LaFerrari’s cabin, accessed via a set of wing doors. Inside, drivers perch limbo-low with only custom-fitted padding between their bulging, um, wallets and the carbon tub – all the better to feel the physical forces assaulting their bodies. Pilots manage most of the Ferrari’s techno-array via a squared-off F1– style steering wheel, including the manettino switch that toggles settings for the throttle, transmission, and electronic rear differential, as well as the F1 stability and traction systems.
The result? A 2.9-second surge to 60 mph, a sub-10-second quarter mile at more than 150 mph, and a top speed of 217 mph.