You balked at the Prius in 2001. You snickered at the Tesla in 2008. Now, you’re clamoring for not just a Ferrari, but the Ferrari with battery power. The first Ferrari with hybrid technology just happens to be the most provocative, representing a new era of exotics that are made more efficient through electrical motors. We know 330 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometer may not pique the interest of most automotive enthusiasts, but it was a number proudly promoted by Ferrari when it unveiled the Ferrari Enzo’s long-awaited successor. With Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rising in the United States and the European Union looking at new rules to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles, even a division as small and as niche as Ferrari has to look at ways to become more environmentally friendly. To put the new number into perspective, the Aventador LP700-4 is rated at 398, and the Prius scores an 89. Even more telling, the Ferrari Enzo emitted 545 grams.
While a limited run of 499 units (perhaps it is saving the 500th unit for the pope as it did with the 400th Enzo) may not have a huge effect on the overall state of the environment, a small production run allows Ferrari to experiment with new technological solutions that will filter down to the rest of the lineup. In this case, it is a system derived from its F1 Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), called the Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System (HY-KERS). It started with the 6.3-liter V-12 also found in the F12. In the LaFerrari, the engine has been tweaked to produce more high-end grunt, relying on the electric motor’s torque for more of the low-to-mid-range power. The result is another 1,000 rpm and an additional 59 ponies to play with. Or, to be more specific, 788 horsepower at an amazing 9,250 rpm.
That electric motor also contributes 161 horsepower to the total output, equaling 949 horsepower. The electric motor’s battery pack is attached to the floor of the chassis, channels its energy through the seven-speed dual clutch transmission, and is recharged while braking as in a normal hybrid. Ferrari will even redirect what it deems unnecessary torque, as can happen in corners, away from the rear wheels to be converted into electrical energy for the battery cells. The result is performance levels unmatched by any other Ferrari as confirmed by a lap time at Fiorano of one minute and 20 seconds. That’s five seconds faster than the Enzo and three seconds faster than the F12 Berlinetta, making the LaFerrari the fastest road car in the Italian brand’s history. Other notable performance statistics include 0-60 mph in fewer than three seconds, 0-124 in fewer than seven seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph.
Engine: 6.3-liter V-12
0-60: Under 3.0 seconds
Top Speed: 217+ mph
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Torque: 664+ foot-pounds
Pro: Usher in a new era of Ferraris with electric motors
Con: Spent so little time on the name