LaFerrari – One Of The Most Anticipated Cars Of 2014 (part 2)

8/8/2014 9:13:51 PM

Rev it up

The result is exhilarating, in every sense of the word. There are many fast cars around, and amongst them are many Ferraris. When driving those cars, most of the time you just need to reset your brain to the right reactive parameters – easily done in many cases. But, in this instance, there’s an extraordinary, intoxicating potential.

Needless to say, the limits of the driver – however high they may be – are much lower than the limits of the LaFerrari. The acceleration of the LaFerrari is not as scary as you might expect (0-100 comes up in less than three seconds). On the other hand, the engine (more accurately speaking, the power unit) reacts impressively – press the accelerator to unleash pure performance and discover instantaneous, fierce response, perfectly translated through the double-clutch gearbox. It’s so seamless that you’re unaware of the fact that there are two sources of energy powering the car.

The hypercar comes with luxuries including air conditioning and satellite navigation

The hypercar comes with luxuries including air conditioning and satellite navigation

When you drive fast, you have no idea of how the sophisticated aerodynamics are working – appendages, underbody openings, and metal joints that are madly stressed to glue this hypercar to the ground (the aerodynamic load reaches 360kgs at 200km/h on bends and 90kgs on straights). At Ferrari, they really wanted to create a car that could reach speeds of 350km/h (or even more, since the top speed also depends on the electric power available). They will never admit it officially, but the LaFerrari can reach speeds close to 380km/h.

LaFerrari sits on 19-inch alloys at the front, with 20-inch wheels at the rear

LaFerrari sits on 19-inch alloys at the front, with 20-inch wheels at the rear

On the steering wheel, you’ll find the ‘manettino’ with all the traditional modes. The car takes care of all the wizardry. However, don’t assume that the absence of setup options is a negative. The pouring rain in which we drove the car was evidence of just how extraordinary this combination between hardware (drive unit and carbon chassis/body-shell) and electronics is, which a human being – imperfect by nature – could never ensure, especially when setting off at warp speed. Put it this way – you can’t talk simply of performance. This car is capable of taming the thrust of its almost 1,000bhp (the same power as that of the last V12 Formula 1 race car in 1995). Even in the heavy rain, it didn’t take us long to reach speeds of 200km/h, and by then we were already at the end of the straight at Fiorano. I desperately braked hard, hoping not to hit the guardrail too hard (my mind already flying to the huge cost of repair if something happens to the car). But, then, the clever combination of carbon ceramics brakes and aerodynamic braking, aided by the stability control system, had us back at a standstill in a flash. The sharp turn to the right, luckily, was many meters away. Smart, confident, precise, and instantly responsive. I felt the same when driving in the city, and around the hairpins of the Apennines around Modena – while local boys would stare, open-mouthed, at the red rocket flying by.

At the heart of LaFerrari sits a 6.3-litre V12 engine alongside two electric motors

At the heart of LaFerrari sits a 6.3-litre V12 engine alongside two electric motors

From the point of view of dynamics, the LaFerrari is the ultimate speed unit – perhaps the best hypercar we’ve ever driven. Taking its high price tag and positioning into due consideration, LaFerrari sets new standards in automotive technology. Outstanding construction, mechanics, aerodynamics and performance make us believe that we’ve reached more an end, rather than a beginning in the age of supercars. How can Ferrari possibly do better than this? How can we possibly go faster than now?

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