The Geneva Auto Show preview days for press are going on right now, and one of the major head turners for the 2013 year is the just unveiled LaFerrari hybrid supercar. Done up by none other than its namesake Ferrari, only 499 of these extreme green machines will be made available at a price likely over $1 million.
The Ferrari LaFerrari, in many ways from a surface appeal, has the sweeping lines and low profile so common in this Italian automaker’s line up. What’s unique here though is the hybrid technology under the hood, known as HY-KERS, which helps keep this vehicle emitting just 330 g/km of CO2. Though there is no electric mode only option for the car, it is noted future applications of this system will be geared towards just such an offering.
HY-KERS has been in development for some time, first surfacing in Geneva back in 2010. At that point in time the aim was “approaching the development of hybrid technology without losing sight of the performance traits and driving involvement that have always exemplified” Ferrari cars, and it looks with the LaFerrari this may well have been accomplished.
The drivetrain for this car is among the most powerful out there for a hybrid offering. It consists of a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm. This engine also has a 13.5:1 compression ratio and an output equal to 128 CV per liter. It is tied to two electric motors (120kW total), giving the LaFerrari a combined power output of 963 CV, or 949 horsepower.
As with any other hybrid, LaFerrari also has a battery pack, which in this case is attached to the floor of the chassis and consisting of cells that all total weigh just 130 pounds. The batteries are charged in different ways, according to Ferrari, including under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
The total whiz bang of all this? 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, 0 to 120 in under 7 seconds and a top speed of over 217 miles per hour. That pretty well beats any Prius over the starter mark by a really, really, and we do mean really, long shot.
The LaFerrari has all the typical touches a car from Ferrari is expected to have, including a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands and gear-shift paddles that are now longer and more ergonomic. Its design is best described as combing “cutting-edge aesthetic research and aerodynamic functionality,” adding all up to what is said as “a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.”
“We chose to call this model LaFerrari,” said Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, in a statement, “because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1.”