It’s not every day that a new flagship Ferrari debuts; the 288 GTO was released in 1984 and the F40 that replaced it arrived just a few years later in 1987. Eight years passed before the F50 came along in 1995 and the Enzo succeeded that model in 2002. Now eleven years later the Prancing Horse marque has revealed its new hybrid supercar at the Geneva Motor Show.
Quizzically called LaFerrari, the new top-of-the-line from Maranello is the most extreme performance machine Ferrari has ever made. At the heart of LaFerrari rests a 6.3-liter V12 with 789 horsepower and a pair of electric motors with a lightweight battery pack kicking in another 161 horses, for a grand total of 950 horsepower and another 660 lb-ft of torque. With an astronomical redline of 9,250 rpm, the F1-derived super-sportscar will accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in less than three seconds, reach 200 km/h (124 mph) in less than seven, moving on to a top speed in excess of 217 mph. Most tellingly perhaps is that in the right hands (in this case, two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso’s) LaFerrari will lap the Fiorano test track in less than one minute and twenty seconds — three seconds faster than the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and five seconds faster than the Enzo.
The carbon monocoque chassis is hand-made from carbon fiber in the same workshop that makes the Scuderia’s F1 cars. The power is kept in check by the latest carbon-ceramic brakes, which work with a regenerative braking system to recharge the batteries from the spent brakeforce energy. As a result, the new Ferrari promises to be one of the most devastatingly fast automobiles on the road, bridging the gap between road car and race car more completely than any vehicle that has come before it. Just don’t expect to pay less than $1.2 million for one of the 499 examples that will be built.
By Noah Joseph