The fastest road-going Ferrari ever built — the LaFerrari — is Ferrari’s attempt to redefine the performance and technological limits of contemporary supercars. Time (and testing) will tell if it’s the car at the top of the heap after competing head-to-head with the likes of the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1. But right now, it’s looking like Ferrari is in the catbird seat.
However, if you want to be sitting in a LaFerrari seat, you’d better give Maranello a call today.
Frankly, I don’t know if it will do you any good, since Ferrari intends to build only 499 of this flagship model and the company claims to already have over twice that many requests in hand, but if you have a spare €1.3 million lying around (expected to be about $1.5 million when it hits the U.S.), you might be able to get on the list.
But get on the list for what?
For a hybrid-drive supercar that incorporates carbon-fiber everything, marshals 963 hp with a powerplant combining a normally-aspirated 6.26-liter V12 engine and a 163-hp electric motor, utilizes active aerodynamics, features fixed, Formula 1-style, pod-like seats to which the driver can adjust the steering wheel and pedal box, has a newly-designed braking system, custom Pirelli tires, and boasts a company-claimed top speed of 230 mph.
Ferrari has collaborated with some of the best design and engineering firms in the world to create this automotive work of art, including Brembo (brakes), Delphi (wiring), Harman (infotainment), Bosch (hybrid control unit), Getrag (transmission), and Lear (seats).
Speedwise, the LaFerrari has already bested the time of the fastest Ferrari ever — the F12berlinetta — around the company’s Fiorano test track by more than 3 seconds. It offers ridiculous elapsed times to 62 mph (under 3 seconds) and 124 mph (under 7 seconds).
And then there’s the dynamic and traction-control system, which allows the car, as Ferrari states, to: “reach the most extreme limits of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area.”
In other words, Ferrari has built its most badass car ever that can legally be driven through your local neighborhood.
The LaFerrari (literally, in Italian, “The Ferrari”) is the current iteration of the company’s ongoing effort to build a state-of-the-art, limited-edition, high-performance car, of which 2002′s Enzo was the last example. Like the Porsche 918 and the McLaren P1, it is a hybrid (every marque worth its salt is headed in the gasoline+electricity direction). With that electric motor added to the powertrain, LaFerrari gets better gas mileage than the Enzo — whose doors it blows off, performance-wise — and Ferrari claims a 50% reduction over the Enzo in terms of CO2 emissions.
In terms of sheer numbers — horsepower, performance, top speed — the LaFerrari has the edge over the P1 and the 918 Spyder. It also has the higher sticker price, which must be borne in mind (almost twice that of the Porsche, for instance). La Ferrari is due out in early 2014, as is the McLaren P1. The 918 Spyder should hit the market in September 2013 (and it is rumored that the entire production run is already spoken for).
Listen, if you want an excellent supercar — one that you can obtain without being a repeat billionaire customer of Ferrari — get the 458 Italia. Not only can you buy it now, you can get it for a price of around $240,000, which will save you plenty of change for buying gas to power its 570-hp V-8 engine. Not only did the Ferrari 458 Italia best the McLaren MP4-12C and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 in a head-to-head test conducted last fall by Road & Track, it is a multiple award-winning car that anyone who drives seems to fall in love with.
As the Daily Mail wrote: “The 458 Italia is an awesome example of car-making art at its highest level and is probably the finest sports car you can buy.”
It even has room for a bit of luggage. Which you can schelp in the 458 Italia at around 200 mph.
Here’s a video review of this automotive superstar:
Who needs a LaFerrari, which is essentially an exercise in Formula 1-level technology brought to the street, when you can have the 458 Italia? Mostly, you’d be waiting to drive your LaFerrari during track days at the nearest race course.
When it comes time to shop for the 458 Italia (or any other model of car, new or used, you have your eye on), you can increase your automotive knowledge quite a bit by starting with CarsDirect. Not only can you get spec’s, options, and pricing for any make and model in which you’re interested, from the 458 Italia to the Chevy Volt, you can become a savvy, money-saving car-shopper by reading their collection of in-depth articles.