The Modern Legend of the LaFerrari

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
A brief look at the revolutionary vehicle that made hybrid cars super

Hybrid cars have come a long way since they began as an environmentally friendly experiment. Now the fusion of electric and petrol engine is at the heart of some of the most phenomenal supercars to ever be created – in no small part to the superlative LaFerrari.

It was conceived as a way to push the boundaries of modern motoring manufacture, a concept to see just how extreme a production car’s performance could get with the latest technology available. Who better to lead such a foray into the unknown as the most famous name in performance cars?

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Considering Ferrari’s F1 heritage, that was the obvious place to look for inspiration; in fact, the hybrid system propelling the LaFerrari is an even more nuanced version of their F1 KERS; it has to deal with issues off the track as well as on, including the LaFerrari’s double identity as a phenomenal grand tourer.

The entire architecture of the vehicle is the height of Ferrari technology, the low gravity and aerodynamics directly contributing to the LaFerrari’s performance; it’s a happy side-effect that it also happens to be one of the most stunning cars available.

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As angular and futuristic as its engine, there’s no mistaking the LaFerrari on the road. From its angular nose, down its sleek profile all the way to the wide rear housing the bulk of the hybrid engine, it feels like a Ferrari from the future – which, in a way, it is.

As for said power… the LaFerrari has a maximum speed of over 350km/h (217 mile), reaching 0-100km in under 3 seconds. Considering the parameters here, it’s hard to get an exact number for such an extreme car, but needless to say it’s enough that you don’t forget it in a hurry.

With the F1-inspired cockpit layout, it’s all too tempting to let the LaFerrari loose at every opportunity; its ultra-responsive steering puts all the power directly at your command and somehow feel in complete control.

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That said, any F1 driver – even the two Ferrari team members involved – would be envious of anyone driving the LaFerrari. The entire dashboard has been reinvented for the car, with infotainment equipment hidden in more useful locations. Even the steering wheel has been revolutionised – reinventing the wheel as it were.

While other hybrid supercars have appeared since, the LaFerrari laid the foundations for what a hybrid system could actually achieve and, in many ways, it’s yet to be surpassed. It's not much of a surprise that the limited number released sold out in next to no time. If you were one of the 499 people that managed to acquire one, you have a future piece of motoring history in your hands. If not… just keep your eyes on Ferrari; they're not a marque to sit on their laurels.

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