Meet the LaFerrari. Yes, that's the actual name given by Italian supercar maker Ferrari to its latest creation, unveiled to the press at the Geneva International Motor Show. This may not be as exclusive as the Lamborghini Veneno--of which only three units will hit the road--but the LaFerrari will be pretty rare itself, with only 499 samples to be made. Which, in case you fail to notice, is one fewer unit than the Lexus LFA.
Why the seemingly pretentious name?
"We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company--excellence," said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. "Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling, and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car that encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry."
The Ferrari design team took the lead of Flavio Manzoni in coming up with "an extreme, innovative design that retains close links to the marque's tradition." The car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a low hood that emphasizes the muscular wheel arches, "a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes."
The LaFerrari features hybrid technology called HY-KERS, which allows the car to emit just 330g/km of carbon dioxide. During development testing, a full-electric version of this car gave off an impressive 220g/km of carbon dioxide.
This is essentially the first car in Ferrari's history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. It consists of a 6.3-liter, 789hp V12 engine that revs to a maximum of 9,250rpm. The powerplant is paired with a 120kW (161hp) electric motor, which brings up the total output to an astonishing 950hp, with maximum torque measured in excess of 900Nm. According to Ferrari, "the electric motor is coupled with an F1 dual-clutch gearbox for optimal weight distribution, and to boost energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels."
Ferrari's weight-saving expertise gleaned from Formula 1 made possible a total battery load of just 60kg.
The LaFerrari is also an exercise in groundbreaking body architecture. Weight distribution is 41% front and 59% rear. "The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car's two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its center of gravity by 35mm and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions," explains Ferrari in a statement. The aim of the engineers was to deliver "the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a drag coefficient of nearly 3."
The car's performance potential is so extreme that a different tire setup is required: 265/30 R19 Pirelli P-Zeros at the front and 345/30 R20s at the rear. That's because this car, Ferrari claims, accelerates from zero to 100kph in less than 3sec and from zero to 200kph in under 7sec. Around the famed Fiorano track, the LaFerrari is said to be 5sec faster than the Enzo and over 3sec faster than the F12 Berlinetta over a single lap.