When design work started on the LaFerrari in 2010, it set a new course for Ferrari, with the design of the car being taken entirely in-house. Design chief Flavio Manzoni wanted to create a car that represented the future, one that would embrace the latest developments in aerodynamics and set a new course for Ferrari as it moved away from its 70-year relationship with Pininfarina.
The LaFerrari, project name F150, was to be equipped with the latest F1 hybrid technology, and much of its development was the result of painstaking testing with the FXX, a track-only development prototype of the Enzo. Behind the carbon fibre monocoque (designed by F1 guru Rory Byrne) was a longitudinally-mounted 6.3 litre normally-aspirated V12 producing 789 bhp, supported and enhanced by a 161 bhp KERS-style electric motor, providing short bursts of additional power. The seven-speed F1-style dual clutch transmission provided seamless gear changes, augmenting the car’s spectacular acceleration figures. All that power and cutting-edge technology helped the LaFerrari to lap Farrari’s Fiorano test track in 1:19.70, almost 5 seconds faster than its forerunner the Enzo.
As these laps times ably demonstrated, huge developments had been made in the intervening years since the Enzo, and the LaFerrari incorporated a number of sophisticated driver aids to keep all that power under control, including electronic stability control, high performance anti-lock braking and brake distribution systems, a traction control system integrated with the hybrid power unit and a third-generation electric differential.
Just like the 288 GTO, F40, F50 and Enzo before it, the LaFerrari created a new performance benchmark, not just in its outright speed and acceleration, but also in its braking and handling. Equally impressive though was its docility and usability in everyday, low-speed, urban driving conditions.
Production of the LaFerrari ended in 2016 after a total of 499 coupes and 200 open-top ‘Apertas’ had been built.