Ferrari raises the bar

Date:6 March 2013 Tags:, ,

Just 499 examples are to be built of Ferrari’s latest no-compromise hypercar – surely supercar is now no longer extravagant enough a description? – the LaFerrari.

Unveiled  at the Geneva International Motor Show, the LaFerrari is not only a hyper-performer, it’s also a hybrid. There is one big difference between the Ferrari’s hybrid concept and those of other, lesser makes, though: it simply does not have an electric-only mode. This, says Ferrari, “would not fit the mission of this model”. In future, that may change; in fact, a full-electric version was tested during development.

Cutting-edge tech incorporated in a Ferrari road car for the first time includes  active aerodynamics and what the company calls the HY-KERS hybrid system. (KERS is an abbreviation for Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, used to boost output in Formula 1 racing.)

Four different types of carbon fibre are used in the car. The light but super-stiff chassis has integrated seats (the steering wheel and pedals move).

Its 6 262 cm3 V12 engine develops 600 kW and, according to Ferrari, revs to a record 9 250 r/min. Compression ratio is 13,5:1 and specific output is 128 hp per litre. A 120 kW electric motor completes the drivetrain.. Total torque generated is “in excess of 900 N.m”.

Recharging of the hybrid system batteries is accomplished by regenerating energy under braking and by diverting excess torque from the engine that would otherwise be lost in wheelspin.

Active aerodynamics involve powered devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) that generate downforce when needed. The aero devices are deployed automatically depending on driving conditions.

The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system. It features lightweight callipers and carbon-ceramic discs.

Tyres are 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.

And yes, it’s fast: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds. Not surprisingly, the LaFerrari smashed the road car lap record at Ferrari’s  Fiorano test circuit by 3 seconds.