A Masterpiece From Maranello
Maranello is a place where many legends were born. Arguably, one of them is the Ferrari LaFerrari. But what makes the LaF (that’s the nickname for LaFerrari among collectors) so special? The supercar, which competes with the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder, was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 2013 as the brand’s new top-notch model and as the first production Ferrari to feature a hybrid powertrain. And ever since its introduction, the hypercar has enjoyed the status as one of the greatest masterpieces ever to leave the Maranello factory.
Formula 1 DNA
This Italian symphony of technology, design and performance was made in collaboration between Ferrari’s GT department, the Formula 1 division and the Design Center. Even Formula 1 drivers were involved in contributing with their unique experience.
Ferrari even integrated to the LaF a system called HY-KERS (Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System), derived from the KERS from the Formula 1 team. The KERS aggregates kinetic energy produced when the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes are applied, stores it, and re-uses the energy when the driver requires additional power from the V-12 combustion engine.
The monocoque and body of the Ferrari LaFerrari are made of four different types of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics; all manufactured in the F1 department of Ferrari with in-house technology used. Thanks to the innovative materials, the chassis weight dropped by 20 per cent. In addition, the center of gravity is 35 millimeters lower. The total weight of the hypercar is 1430 kg (dry weight), despite the additional 146-kilogram electric unit. The Ferrari engineers had to save some kilograms on the body since they knew the hybrid technology was heavy and would add weight.
Most Powerful Ferrari
The direct predecessor of the LaFerrari was the Ferrari Enzo, of which the LaF inherited its characteristic butterfly doors. With a total output of 963 hp (708 kW), the Ferrari LaFerrari was considered the most powerful two-seater of the Italian brand until the presentation of the SF90 in 2019. Hence, the LaF held its title as the strongest prancing horse for an impressive six years.
The LaFerrari has a 6.3-liter V12 engine with 800 hp (588 kW), which we know already in similar variations from previous models such as the FXX and F12. As mentioned, the V12 is temporary assisted by two electric motors that produce another 163 hp (120 kW), for a total of 963 hp (708 kW). One of these electric motors transmits its energy directly to the dual-clutch transmission, allowing smooth gear shifting. The second operates several other units and thus relieves the main drive.
A seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle provides lightning-quick acceleration and is responsible for impressive numbers. From 0 to 100 km/h, the LaFerrari needs less than 3 seconds, from 0 to 200 km/h a mere 7 seconds and for 0 to 300 km/h only 15 seconds. The top speed of this Maranello masterpiece is north of 350 km/h. But pay attention. The power of this rear-wheel-drive rocket is only meant for the best drivers out there.
Ferrari’s Formula 1 influence is also visible in the interior. The car looks like an Italian handcrafted art design with a strong DNA from racing sports from the inside. F1 drivers also played a central role in designing the rectangular racing-style steering wheel and its large column-mounted shift paddles, which sit right behind the steering wheel. You find buttons close at hand on the latter, such as the start button, Manettino selector and audio-system controls.
For those who don’t know, “Manettino” is translated from Italian and means “little switch”. It enables the driver to quickly switch and control between driving modes right at the steering wheel. An F1 steering wheel works similar in theory (hands don’t leave the steering wheel) but is more complicated.
Price & Collectability
LaFerrari’s popularity and rareness may temp some owners to treat the car like a garage queen. Nowadays, seeing a LaF in real life is like seeing an alien. You would expect to find the hypercar in exhibition halls, at the concours, in a museum but not in real life. Which, in my opinion, is such a pity. The original selling price was around CHF 1.2 million, but the current market price is around CHF 2.3 to 2.8 million, depending on the car’s condition.
Ferrari planned to produce 499 cars but ended up with one additional LaFerrari for a total of 500 cars. The last LaF had a very special purpose. It was built after the earthquake disaster of Accumoli, a small municipality in Rieti in central Italy, on August 24, 2016, to raise money for the reconstruction of the affected area. Ferrari even made some visual changes to its 500th LaF for the special occasion. The Italian flag sits on the tip of the nose. From there, two thin white stripes extend to the cockpit. In addition, a memorial plaque commemorates the victims of the earthquake. The supercar raised seven million dollars for a good cause and ended up in a private collection.
This is not the first time Ferrari has extended a series. For example, an additional “Enzo” was made for charitable purposes for Pope John Paul II in 2005. At the time, its auction fetched EUR 950’000. Ten years later, the 400th Enzo was sold for the equivalent of EUR 5.4 million at Sotheby’s auction house.
The LaFerrari came to herald a new era for Ferrari, and it did so with a bang. Fans of the iconic Italian brand who previously found electric motors as exciting as watching Weightwatchers TV commercials immediately changed their opinion after sitting in the LaFerrari. And after you drive through the city with the LaF and everyone pulls out their smartphones, you know exactly what kind of breathtaking masterpiece the Ferrari LaFerrari is. People who think the LaFerrari would sound as good as its older siblings are entirely wrong. Turning on the V12 engine of the Italian icon will scare away birds on nearby trees.
Original selling price started at CHF 1’200’000, but the current market price is around CHF 2’500’000.
Limited to only 500 vehicles
When to drive:
A masterpiece like the Ferrari LaFerrari is a homage to Italian sportscar history. Once you go with it through the city, you understand the magic the car spreads across the streets. You turn heads like with no other car.
What we love about the car:
The LaFerrari is not only Ferrari’s first hybrid hypercar, but it is also the Italians first vehicle that has been totally designed in their own design center.
Photography: Zach Brehl @zachbrehl & Lucas Scarfone @scarfonephoto