Car Nuts

LaFerrari supercar makes Geneva debut

Only 499 of the long-awaited Ferrari Enzo successors will be built

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari finally took the wraps off its long-awaited Enzo supercar successor at the Geneva International Motor Show this week.

Called LaFerrari, it will have a limited production run of just 499 units. No price or availability date have yet been stated.

"We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence," said Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo. "Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving."

LaFerrari.jpgThe technically ambitious LaFerrari is clearly aimed at the collector market, but it also previews features that will find their way into the rest of the Ferrari range, di Montezemolo suggested.

One particular noteworthy technology is the LaFerrari's HY-KERS hybrid powertrain, which is said to make full use of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 KERS know-how.

The company says HY-KERS represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. It citing a CO2 output of just 330 g/km of (more than three times the EU's overall target) without resorting to electric-only drive – which, it says, would not fit the mission of this model.

The HY-KERS system is designed, however, so that in future applications a car could be driven for a few kilometres exclusively on electric power.

The LaFerrari's dynamic controls integrate active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system into a road-going Ferrari for the first time ever.

Structure

The LaFerrari’s structure comprises four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as for the Formula 1 car.

LaFerrari.jpgVarious compnents, such as theseats and battery compartment are integrated into the chassis, helping improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%), while reducing weight.

The design goal was to achieve a weight distribution biased to the rear(59%) within a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. All the major masses are situated between the car’s and as close as possible to the floor to lower the centre of gravity.

With a fixed seat, tailored to the driver, the pedals and steering wheel are adjustable, providing a driving position similar to that of a single-seater.

Powertrain

The LaFerrari is powered by an 789-horsepower, 6.2-litre V-12 engine, coupled with a 120 Kw electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 950 horsepower.

LaFerrari.jpgHigh torque levels are available at low speeds, thanks to the contribution of the electric motor, thus allowing Ferrari's engineers to optimize the gasoline engine's engine’s performance at higher speeds.

Total torque generated is said to be in excess of 664 lb-ft.

The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made.

The batteries are charged under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and when the engine produces more torque than required, such as in cornering at which time the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.

The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox making torque instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.

Aerodynamics

The LaFerrari features active aerodynamic devices, both front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler), which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient.

LaFerrari.jpgThese devices deploy automatically on the basis of various performance parameters monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls, thus matching the configuration to the driving conditions.

The active aerodynamics and hybrid system are both integrated with the other dynamic control systems aboard to provide a seamless blend of performance and driving pleasure.

In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V-12’s revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.

The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.

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

Performance

Acceleration from 0-to-100 km/h is said to take less than 3 seconds and from 0-to-200 km/h less than 7 seconds.

Top speed is expected to be about 350 km/h and the LaFerrari can lap the company's Fiorano test track in less than 1’20" – fully 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and more than 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta.

Those numbers make the LaFerrari the fastest road car in the Maranello firm’s long history.

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