It isn’t often that a hyper sportscar which emits 330g/km of CO2 and has a rumoured top speed of around 220mph is featured on this website, however we are making an exception for Ferrari’s new model.
When the wraps finally came off the €1million LaFerrari yesterday at the Geneva Motor Show one of the biggest talking points, other than the strange name, was the use of a hybrid powertrain, the first time Ferrari has ever used the HY-KERS system in a road car.
Just 499 examples of the model will be built (with all said to spoken for), yet the company has said that it represents a the perfect opportunity to experiment with technological solutions that will later filter down onto other production cars.
Based on the Formula 1 team’s KERS know-how, the hybrid system found on the LaFerrari balances maximum performance with lower CO2 emissions. Although the finished powertrain doesn’t allow for electric-only driving, it is hoped that in future applications it will allow for emission free propulsion for several kilometres. In fact, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved 220g/km of CO2 emissions, a figure unheard of for a Ferrari.
The HY-KERS system combines a 6.3-litre V12 petrol engine with a 120Kw electric motor, with 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 Formula 1 car is also made. The batteries, which weigh just 60kg, can be charged in a variety of ways, including under braking and every time the engine produces more torque than is required, such as when cornering.
The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
But what of the name, we’ll leave that to Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari President: “We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary 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.”
Richard has been writing about cars since 2008. His favourite motoring topics include the latest fuel-saving technology but also high performance cars – he's conflicted like that. When he doesn't have his writing (or marketing) hat on, he can be found traipsing around the British countryside. Or drinking a skinny latté.
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