Hate hybrids? You can’t ignore them with the amazing LaFerrari – arguably the fastest and most exciting hypercar. And here NWVT’s Nick Williams captures the engineering glory through his lens. He had the rare opportunity to make the most of his exquisite light-painting photographic skills for a few hours after the car was refreshed and refined at Mulgari prior to the UK performance specialist’s inaugural Strong Coffee and Fast Cars meet.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder? Neither has so much power to match the Italian stallion’s diaphragm-thumping 950 hp which rockets the car from standstill to 200 km/h in seven seconds, 300 km/h in 15 seconds and on to 350 km/h.
And although this machine is absolutely mint, its owner hasn’t spared the horses with dozens of track days to enjoy what it’s designed for.
With fewer than 500 of Ferrari’s fastest ever road car being made in a two-year timeline, all sold, priced at well over one million euros – and premiums rising – then with exclusivity requirements such as proven brand loyalty, LaFerrari is very, very special.
The front profile is immediately reminiscent of its forebear the Enzo in the family tradition of 288 GTO, F40 and F50. That suspended blade of the spoiler is discreet but oh so purposeful and neat.
The sports-racer style cabin, with monogram steering wheel and two fixed carbon fibre seats – with moveable pedal box – sits in front of the powerhouse. That’s a 6,262cc naturally aspirated V12 engine good for 790 hp at 9,000 rpm and 700 Nm torque at 6,750 rpm. These alone make LaFerrari more potent than the last Scuderia V12 F1 car from 1995.
But then there is the F1-derived HY-KERS kinetic energy regeneration system – with 60 kg lithium ion battery pack which, coupled to a 25.7 kg electric motor, gives another 160 hp and 200 Nm torque to lift the grunt to 950 bhp and 900 Nm.
Unlike the Porsche and McLaren, the Ferrari officially has no pussy-footing electric-only eco mode – the hybrid power’s there on tap all the time, although electric-only has been explored. Stopping power is supplied by huge Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, 398 mm at the front, 380 on the rear.
For aerodynamics these static images reveal only part of the story as front and rear wings are deployed electronically on the move to provide high or low downforce configurations – the rear wing stowing so neatly that the only clue is the slim grey line continuing side keylines.
But the best feature is the cabin with the fixed seat positions close to that of an F1 driver in the carbon fibre tub – that is where you want to be! That tub incidentally, stronger and stiffer than in the Enzo, was developed by Ferrari’s F1 technical director Rory Byrne who may be remembered for starting his F1 design career with Toleman.
For those accustomed to the contortions required to get into some sports cars, probably the biggest surprise is the excellent accessibility – better than most family cars. For not only do the thick upward-hinging berlinetta doors open with a large aperture in the edge of the roof, they also go right to the floor beside the seat – and expose the rear of the front wheelarch – rather than having a wide sill.
Get in, close the doors, and you’re in heaven!