LaFerrari replaces Enzo as Ferrari's ultimate road car

  • 12-Mar-2013 10:47 EDT
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LaFerrari is built using four types of carbon fiber. Active aerodynamics are integrated with the car's dynamic control systems.


The name proved a controversial choice at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, but that aside, the Ferrari LaFerrari packs as much technology as its McLaren P1 rival. That is hardly surprising given both companies’ extensive experience in racing.

Ferrari set out to achieve the ideal weight distribution—said to be 59% at the rear, with all major masses contained between the two axles and with as low a center of gravity as possible.

Ferrari calls the hybrid drivetrain HY-KERS, consisting of a 6262-cm³ naturally aspirated V12 gasoline engine producing 789 bhp (588 kW) at 9000 rpm and 700 N·m (516 lb·ft) at 6750 rpm. Features include continuously variable-length air intakes varying according to engine speed. The crankshaft has been lightened, and the counter webs made more aerodynamically efficient to reduce pumping losses. The six-into-one exhaust system was hydroformed using Inconel alloy to reduce weight and offer high temperature and corrosion resistance.

Electrical power comes from a 161-bhp (120-kW) drive motor. Combined power output is quoted as 950 bhp (708 kW) with a maximum 900 N·m (664 lb·ft). Maximum speed is quoted as exceeding 218 mph (350 km/h); 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) is said to take less than 3.0 s, with 0-186 mph (300 km/h) coming up in 15 s. Carbon dioxide emissions are said to be 330 g/km. The engine features a 13.5:1 compression ratio.

The hybrid system includes two electric motors developed with Magneti Marelli, one to power the car, the other to power ancillaries.

Like the McLaren P1, the LaFerrari is made from carbon-fiber composite materials. The hybrid battery pack is incorporated in the tub, as is the seat structure, which Ferrari credits with reducing weight and lowering the center of gravity. Compared with the Enzo Ferrari, the chassis gains a claimed 27% in torsional rigidity and 22% in beam stiffness, while weighing 20% less. Kevlar is used in the underbody to prevent damage from road debris. Ferrari claims a first in the use of T800 carbon fiber for most of the tub. Where passenger protection is important, T1000 is used in such areas as doors and sills.

Active aerodynamics are used in a variety of ways to maximize downforce and also minimize drag by integrating them with the car’s dynamic control systems. In this way, hot air is channeled away from the radiator by the broad central vent on the front hood. The front spoiler directs air to the front of the outlet to improve its efficiency, so generating pressure on the front section of the hood, creating downforce.

At the rear, a pair of engine air intakes helps to boost the ram effect, increasing power by a claimed 5 hp (4 kW). F1 experience was used to help perfect the airflow under the car, including the use of vortex generators to boost downforce and efficiency.

Active aerodynamics on the underbody are used to control the flaps on the front and rear diffusers to increase downforce and air extraction capacity. The guide vane on the front underbody is also controlled to channel excess air away from the front radiator at high speeds to reduce drag or to close it at lower speeds to improve efficiency.

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