LaFerrari; Automotive Paragon
No other automaker has achieved such recognition as Ferrari. Although many competitors have arisen throughout the ages, not a single company has even come close to matching the power, the speed, the beauty or the exclusivity Ferrari exudes year after year. The athletic Ferrari 360 Challenge, the breathtaking Ferrari Testarossa and the fabled Ferrari Enzo have unrelentingly pulled at the heartstrings of car fanatics everywhere. Their latest creation is no different. Let me introduce you to the captivating LaFerrari.
On the new LaFerrari, not a single element seems out of place. The flowing, curvaceous lines and the gaping, hungry ducts gracefully interact to create a sense of fierce beauty. Although the LaFerrari seems like an artist’s masterpiece, it secretly is an engineer’s brainchild. The front wing combined with the smooth underbody and rear diffuser help to create racecar-like levels of downforce. The rear spoiler adds to this effect by keeping the immensely powerful rear end of the LaFerrari planted through the apex of high speed turns. Compared to the Ferrari Enzo, the ride height of the LaFerrari was lowered by 30mm and the width was decreased by a sizeable 40mm. The amalgamation of these F1 inspired features results in a shockingly low drag coefficient of 0.3.
Yet in the LaFerrari, beauty is not merely skin deep. Lurking beneath the glistening red paint, a carbon fiber exoskeleton is the backbone of this engineering marvel. No less than four different types of aircraft grade composites were used in the construction of the LaFerrari. The new structural tub exceeds the Ferrari Enzo’s torsional rigidity and beam stiffness by 27 percent and 22 percent respectively. Even with all the increased chassis strength, engineers at Ferrari have managed to decrease overall weight by a staggering 20 percent. The redesigned dampers, control arms, and braking system results in shaving off a whopping 5 seconds from the Enzo’s lap time.
Most motor-heads just want to know what resides under the LaFerrari’s ducted bonnet, and fortunately for us, Ferrari is not one to disappoint. Peering into the rear mounted engine bay, one’s eyes are drawn to the voluminous, twin-ducted intake manifold feeding a massive twelve cylinders. This V12 makes an astounding 789 horsepower at a lofty 9250 revolutions per minute. For such a high strung mill, the V12 makes a hearty 663 foot-pounds of torque. It is the most powerful V12 engine Ferrari has ever put inside a production vehicle.
If that was the only thing under the hood, the LaFerrari would still be one of the most impressive road-going vehicles ever produced, but Ferrari didn’t stop there. Coupled with the carnal V12 is a HY-KERS hybrid kinetic energy recovery system. Using technology from their F1 KERS system, the HY-KERS integrates a 161 horsepower electric motor and a 132 pound battery pack, which is the equivalent of 40 regular sized car batteries at a fraction of the weight. The battery pack is cooled by its own cooling system to ensure maximal discharge performance.
The combination of the screaming V12 and the electrifying HY-KERS system culminate in a 0 to 60 mph of less than 3 seconds. Also 0 to 190 mph arrives in less than 15 seconds. The top speed is said to be over 220 mph. Only 499 of these models were produced at a price of 1.3 million dollars. The LaFerrari supply was depleted before the model even debuted in March. This car, the Ferrari LaFerrari will be one for the history books.