After months of speculation, teaser photos and heavily camouflaged prototypes caught testing on the roads of Italy and the famed circuits of Europe, Ferrari’s next-generation supercar was revealed Tuesday morning at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
All this for a car called LaFerrari. And it’s a hybrid.
That’s right; the highlight of the Geneva show and one of the most widely anticipated debuts of all of 2013 is a car whose name translates to TheFerrari. And it’s not a Ferrari LaFerrari. It’s just LaFerrari. And no, it has nothing in common with Renault’s Le Car, including an expected price of more than $1 million.
Although the name of this supercar may not live up to that of its predecessor -- the Enzo, named for the founder of the company -- the performance specs definitely will.
The LaFerrari has a whopping 949 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, with 789 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque coming from a 6.3-liter V-12 engine with a righteous 9,250 RPM redline and a 13.5:1 compression ratio.
Working with this V-12 is an electric motor making an additional 161 horsepower, while a second, smaller electric motor powers the car’s ancillary systems. Power is pushed to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual clutch gearbox.
LaFerrari’s batteries weigh just 132 pounds and are mounted to the chassis. The car recharges them with regenerative braking when slowing down, and by using the engine’s excess torque when it’s not needed -- during cornering, for instance.
The chassis of the LaFerrari is made from several composite materials including carbon fiber and Kevlar. The driver and passenger seats are part of this structure and are built right into the composite tub. When it comes time to adjust your driving position, you don’t move closer to the steering wheel and pedals, they move closer to you.
Ferrari didn’t reveal the curb weight of the car, but it’s expected to be around 2,800 pounds. That’s about the same as an average compact car. Add 949 horsepower to this mix, and you have a potent supercar, as indicated by the LaFerrari’s performance figures.
Ferrari says the car will go from zero to 62 mph in less than three seconds, zero to 124 mph in less than seven seconds, and zero to 186 mph in 15 seconds. Its top speed will be faster than 217 mph.
In addition to this straight-line speed, Ferrari also says the LaFerrari lapped its Fiorano testing track in 1 minute, 20 seconds. That’s five seconds faster than the Enzo supercar the LaFerrari replaces, and three seconds faster than the company’s F12Berlinetta.
Ferrari said it will make just 499 copies of the LaFerrari. The automaker didn’t disclose pricing at Geneva, but don’t expect it to be any cheaper than its close competitor, the McLaren P1. That 903-horsepower supercar -- also a hybrid -- debuted at Geneva with a price tag of $1.15 million.
Given the speed and specifications of the LaFerrari, it’s inevitable that the car will long be compared with the P1. That the battle for supremacy between these two titans of F1 motorsport would spill into their road cars is collateral damage everyone benefits from. No matter what you name the cars.