January 19, 2021
Road Legends That Changed the World: the Ferrari LaFerrari in Project CARS 3
There are cars, sports cars, supercars, and hypercars. And then there is the absolute zenith of possible performance in a street-legal car. And the car that is in the list for Top Ten greatest cars ever made. A Ferrari so special they named it twice …
Start with the numbers: 0-100km/h in 2.4s, 0-200km/h in less than seven seconds, and 0-300km/h in 15 s. Top speed is over 350km/h.
As for the name—it’s not just a Ferrari. It is LaFerrari, the Ferrari.
LaFerrari, of course, could come with nothing other than a V12. And not just any V12, either, but a 6.3-litre monster that is the most powerful road-car engine Ferrari has ever made, 800cv at 9,000 RPM. But wait … there’s more. Another 153cv comes from the electric engine for a total power output of 963 cv, and 663 lb-ft of torque.
Almost a thousand horsepower in a car that weighs just 1,200kgs.
For the styling, Ferrari—for the first time since 1973—chose not to use Pininfarina and, instead, employed their own in-house designers (Centro Stile Ferrari), overseen by Flavio Manzoni. This in itself makes LaFerrari a unique car for Maranello, given that Pininfarina has been intimately involved in styling Ferrari’s aesthetic since 1951.
For the engineering, Ferrari also didn’t need to go far—this was developed by their Formula One and GT division, with legendary F1 designer, South African Rory Byrne (who conceived 11 Championship-winning cars during the Schumacher era), serving both as the technical and design consultant.
One of the key elements of the LaFerrari is the seat that has been built as part of the chassis (it doesn’t move—it’s the pedal-box and telescoping steering wheel that move for driver comfort) to ensure both the rigidity of the chassis as well as lowering the centre of gravity. For the driver, that means an almost F1-style driving position. Weight-saving is accomplished by using four types of carbon fibers, all hand-laid sheets of mesh, including T1000 (the doors), M46J, Kevlar (for the underbody), and T800.
Ferrari had four objectives for this car—to maximise aero’ efficiency, ensure perfect weight distribution, lower the centre of gravity, and find a way to achieve all of that while marrying their F1-derived KERS-hybrid lump. This was no easy task—the hybrid system takes up a lot of square-inch-space with coolants and, with the big 6.3-litre V12, Ferrari had to come up with some innovative solutions to fit all that into a car that is as big as its successor, the Ferrari Enzo (also in Project CARS 2).
The weight distribution that Ferrari settled on was a 41F/59R configuration.
For the aero’, Ferrari also didn’t have to go far, employing their F1 wind tunnel to create the most aero’-efficient road car in history. Active aero’, combined with the aero’-shape, work in tandem: or to quote Ferrari, “The front wing creates downforce by eliminating pitch sensitivity caused by the pronounced splitters. A broad central air vent on the front hood extracts hot air from the radiator.
Finally, the front spoiler also generates downforce. A central flap helps keep the air escaping from the vent close to the bodywork to reduce wake turbulence, while the rear radius of the vent reduces drag.”
The active aero’ means the underbody of the car fluctuates, using the rear spoiler as a trigger: flaps will engage front and rear to increase downforce and, at max speed, influence the drag by pushing air away from the radiator. Cornering, meanwhile, is aided by a whole host of technological wizardry—full-bore F1-derived electronic traction control that is mated with the hybrid system.
That leads to the KERS system maintaining RPM to increase throttle response, while the traction control system feeds torque to the rear wheels via an electronic diff’, Ferrari’s in-house E-Diff 3. The brakes serve to charge the batteries, and the tech’ is so advanced even in full anti-lock mode, the battery is still being fuelled by the energy from the carbon ceramic Brembo brakes.
Ferrari made only 499 of the coupe, all immediately sold to Ferrari’s chosen customers; in August 2016, Ferrari announced the 500th model would be sold at auction with all proceeds to be sent to victims of the central Italian earthquakes. In December of that year, the car sold for $7.5 million.
The car began delivery in 2013 and it is now acknowledged by virtually every car magazine and enthusiasts as one of the top ten sports car in the history of the automobile. Get out there and see why. It won’t take very long at all …