Chris Harris is back again, making me jealous of his life. He recently spent some time in Maranello, testing the new Ferrari LaFerrari . The LaFerrari, despite having a silly name, is the hardcore, hybrid successor to the famous Enzo. It’s also the Italian answer to the Porsche 918 and the McLaren P1 . It’s also probably the most brutally fast hybrid production car ever made.
Chris got to test each of those aforementioned hybrid supercars and had nothing but great things to say about them. However, he seems to feel a bit different about this LaFerrari. It seems to be the only one of the three he actually loved. The reason for that is probably the fact that the LaFerrari hides it’s techno-wonder more than the others. The Porsche 918 is a unashamed nerd-fest (a very cool, very fast nerd-fest), and the McLaren is all business with its very serious, designed-in-a-wind-tunnel looks. The LaFerrari, on the other hand, is typical Italian pantomime and theater, it’s a celebration of colors and noise. I personally think it looks fantastic, I especially like the bug-antenna-style wing mirrors. It looks like a proper Ferrari, not just an exercise in aerodynamics and numbers. They each have their own character but the LaFerrari seems to have the most interesting one.
Combine all of this power, performance, handling prowess and looks, and you have possibly the greatest supercar the world has ever seen. Now go watch Mr. Harris give it "the full potatoes!".
It all begins with the engine, and wow, what an engine. A 6.3 liter V-12 from the F12berlinetta , reworked for LaFerrari duty, makes 789 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque. This masterpiece of an engine is paired to a 161-horsepower electric motor, because almost 800 horsepower isn’t enough. For you math buffs, that’s a combined output of 950 rampaging Italian horses. All of this power is sent through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual to the rear wheels only. This power combo can send the LaFerrari to 60 mph in under three seconds and on to 100 mph in around six ticks. The best part of the powertrain, however, is the shriek the engine makes when it closes in on its 9,000-rpm redline.
Now, if you’re thinking that it’s just an exercise in numbers and is useless on the road, much like the Enzo, you’re wrong. Chris clearly demonstrates how, thanks to its electronically controlled magnetic dampers, it rides quite comfortably, even on bumpy Italian roads. It also doesn’t buck and heave under low-throttle situations like the Enzo did, thanks to that dual-clutch gearbox.
But no one wants to talk about how comfortable a Ferrari is on the road. We wanna see it thrash a race track, especially in the hands of a tire-shredding hooligan like Chris Harris. He’s excellent to watch because he has an uncanny ability to tell you so much about the way the car behaves. If you watch the video above, you’ll notice how balanced the car is. The fact that he can so easily drift a 950 horsepower, rear-wheel drive super-car is simply astonishing. He describes in great detail how the car works with you, not against you, and that you can easily manage the throttle through corners to give you those magnificent power-slides. Then there’s just the outright speed of the thing. It’s fast beyond anything I’ve ever seen, not much faster than the P1 or 918 but I definitely think it has the edge.