Maranello’s quickest supercar yet loses its roof

The Ferrari LaFerrari made its first public appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, taking center stage in spite of massive competition from the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Veneno. Not only the fastest road-legal supercar to come out of Maranello, the LaFerrari is also the first Ferrari to carry a hybrid powertrain. Developed as a successor to the almighty Enzo and the F50, the LaFerrari is the first Ferrari not to be designed by Pininfarina since 1973.

Built in just 499 units and priced from $1.7 million, the LaFerrari became an instant hit with deep-pocketed enthusiasts, who rushed to pay the hefty sticker and help Ferrari close order books in a matter of months. Although both the standard supercar and the highly exclusive, track-only FXX K are already sold out, the LeFerrari saga continues in 2017 with a convertible version.

Rumors about a LaFerrari convertible have been flying around since 2014, when we rendered the model based on the coupe version. Come 2016 and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne finally confirmed that a drop-top model is in the works. In July 2016, Maranello unleashed the first official photos of the Laferrari Aperta, while the Paris Motor Show hosted to supercar’s public debut.

Updated 11/11/2016: Ferrari dropped a very cool promo video for the LaFerrari Aperta with Formula 1 driver, Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel.

Continue reading to find out more about the LaFerrari Aperta.

  • 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    963
  • Torque @ RPM:
    663
  • Displacement:
    6.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    217 mph
  • Price:
    3400000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8/10

Exterior

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Exterior
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As expected, the Aperta is identical to the coupe below the waist and features the same aggressive lines that make the LaFerrari unique not only among other Ferraris, but modern supercars as well. As it is the case with convertibles, only a handful of features set the drop-top apart from its coupe sibling. Arguably the most important styling feature is the revised roof, which was redesigned to accommodate either a soft-top or a carbon-fiber hard-top. The latter is optional.

Arguably, the most important styling feature is the revised roof, which was redesigned to accommodate either a soft-top or a carbon-fiber hard-top

With the panel removed, the LaFerrari gains a different, sleeker appearance, mostly because the slightly bubbled roof that gives the standard LaFerrari its Le Mans prototype-inspired look isn’t there. However, while the C-pillars sit a tad lower behind the seats, the engine hood is identical to the coupe’s. sporting the same V-shaped glass section. This is somewhat surprising, as most convertible Ferraris come with redesigned engine covers compared to their coupe sibling.

With the top up, be it both the soft- or hard-top, the Aperta is almost identical to the coupe when seen from the side. However, certain changes made to aerodynamics are visible upon closer inspection. These were made to ensure that, with the roof open and the side windows up, the drag figure is unaffected compared to that of the coupe.

Among the most notable modifications there’s a longer front dam and the lowered underbody surface around the longitudinal vortex generators. The new elements boost the ground effect and the car’s ability to generate efficient downforce. The new aero kit is completed by two small L-shaped flaps on the upper corners of the windscreen which, in the absence of a hard top, generate airflow that interacts with the flow being deflected towards the rear render, diverting it upwards to reduce the compression on the rear section of the cabin, thus reducing drag.

The removal of the roof also demanded a reconfiguration of the door rotation system. The Aperta has the same butterfly doors as the LaFerrari coupe, but when fully open, they sit at slightly different angle. This also led to modifications to the geometry of both the wheel arches and flanks and the addition of a carbon-fibre insert, which incorporates an aerodynamic vent, that allows the doors to rotate.

Interior

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Interior
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Like the coupe, the drop-top sports a cabin that blends the already traditional Ferrari luxury with race-inspired elements.

Inside, the Aperta mirrors the coupe as far as design and features go. Like its sibling, the drop-top sports a cabin that blends the already traditional Ferrari luxury with race-inspired elements. The same steering wheel with flat top and bottom sit in front of the three-piece, customizable instrument cluster, while the center console has the same clean design. Nearly every surface is wrapped in either soft Italian leather or Alcantara, with the dashboard, door panels, and seats featuring two-tone finishes in virtually endless combinations.

All these niceties are joined by impressive amounts of carbon-fiber. The lightweight material can be seen on the center console, steering wheel, door panels, and the floor, but Ferrari also used it in the seats in order to save more weight. The removable roof will enable the driver to enjoy unlimited headroom and the enhanced roar of the V-12 powerplant.

Drivetrain

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Drivetrain
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Motivation comes from the same hybrid drivetrain that brings together a 6.3-liter V-12 and a HY-KERS unit that provides short bursts of extra power. The conventional engine cranks out 789 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, while the KERS unit adds 161 horses and 148 pound-feet for a total output of 950 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of twist.

The good news is that the Aperta matches the performance of the coupe, mainly thanks to the revised aerodynamics.

The good news is that unlike other drop-tops, the Aperta matches the performance of the coupe, mainly thanks to the revised aerodynamics we discussed in the Exterior section.

Specifically the Aperta hits 60 mph from a standing start in the same "under three seconds" (tested by some at 2.8 ticks) and from 0 to 124 mph in 7.1 seconds. The top speed is rated at "over 217 mph," also identical to the coupe. Ferrari also claims that the Aperta delivers the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness characteristics, as well as dynamic performance levels.

Fuel consumption — as if it matters when it comes to supercars — should be similar to the coupe at 16 mpg on the highway, 12 mpg in the city, and 14 mpg combined. Ferrari claims that the LaFerrari emits 330 grams of carbon-dioxide per km. Despite having a lithium-ion battery and regenerative braking, the LaFerrari doesn’t have an official all-electric range. The supercar is known to operate on electric power only, but Ferrari, for some reason, didn’t release any specs.

While the engine and performance are identical to the coupe, the Aperta does feature a few revised drivetrain components. In order to manage the hot air flow from the radiators through the bonnet, the angle of inclination of the radiators was modified. They are now angled backwards to direct the air flows out along the underbody, a solution that results in complete separation of the hot air from the flow reaching the cockpit, keeping temperature levels for occupants comfortable.

Prices

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Exterior
- image 681627

Unlike the coupe, which was built in 499 units, the LaFerrari Aperta will hit the streets in very limited numbers. Initial rumors claimed that only 50 examples will be built, but Ferrari later confirmed that the production run will include 150 units. Pricing is still a mystery several months after the car’s official launch, but the Aperta is likely more expensive than the coupe. Most reports indicate a sticker between $2 million and $2.5 million, which makes sense given the limited run and the fact that the coupe was already pretty expensive at around $1.7 million. But the Aperta’s sticker is only a matter of statistics now, as all 150 example were sold long before Ferrari unveiled the production model.

Competitors

Pagani Huayra Roadster

2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster Exterior
- image 397804

With supercars such as the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport and the Koenigsegg Agera RS already discontinued, we have to look at future vehicles to find a proper competitor for the LaFerrari Aperta. One of them is the Pagani Huayra Roadster. Essentially a topless version of the fast and expensive Italian supercar, the Roadster is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2017 using the same drivetrain as its coupe sibling. Power will come from a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at more than 730 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of torque, which should enable the Huayra to hit 60 mph in less than three seconds and a top speed of more than 210 mph. The Roadster will probably cost as much as the LaFerrari Aperta, as its sticker should go beyond the $2 million mark before options.

Find out more about the Pagani Huayra Roadster here.

Bugatti Chiron Grand Sport

2020 Bugatti Chiron Grand Sport
- image 671607

By the time the Chiron Grand Sport arrives in 2019, the LaFerrari Aperta will already be an expensive collective, but this French car will definitely be benchmarked against Maranello’s fastest road-going drop-top. Set to receive the uber-powerful drivetrain from the newly launched Chiron, the Grand Sport will hit the streets with a quad-turbo, 8.0-liter W-16 rated at 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of twist. That’s an extra 296 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to the previous model. We expect it to hit 60 mph in around 2.7 seconds and reach a top speed of around 240 mph. With the coupe set to fetch €2.4 million (about $2.5 million) before options, the Grand Sport will most likely cost in excess of €2.8 million (around $2.9 million). Only 200 will be built.

Read more about the Bugatti Chiron Grand Sport in our speculative review here.

Conclusion

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta High Resolution Exterior
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To be honest, the LaFerrari Aperta is nothing more than yet another clever way for Ferrari to offer an exclusive product and make a huge profit with each example sold. Maranello simply waited for the LaFerrari, which was still creating a massive stir years after its official unveiling, to sell out and it is now using the Aperta body style to get back into the spotlight. That’s how the supercar industry works nowadays, with most companies relying on very exclusive models to keep their business going. And, needless to say, Ferrari is doing the right thing here. Sure, the LaFerrari Aperta isn’t for anyone and most of us probably won’t see one in the metal anytime soon, but it’s yet another wild supercar that we’ll grovel at. And we all know we just love doing that...

  • Leave it
    • * Very, very expensive
    • * Likely already sold out
    • * Available only to select Ferrari customers

Updated History

Updated 10/03/2016: We added a series of images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, plus all the official details released by Ferrari.

Updated 07/08/2016: British magazine AutoCar, reports that the open-top version of the LaFerrari could drop the usual "Spider" name and use the "Aperta" instead. Continue reading for the full details.

Updated 07/05/2016: Ferrari dropped the first images on the open-top version of the LaFerrari, and announced the supercar will be making its public debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show.

Updated 05/05/2016: While it will take some time until we will finally see the LaFerrari Spider out there, German auto sales website Mobile.de is already listing one unit. Check the "Prices" section to see how much they are asking for it.

Updated 05/04/2016: During a recent interview with Automobile Magazine, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne finally confirmed that the Spider is in the works and that it will be unveiled sometime in the near future.

Press Release

Photo Credit: Ferrari

Technological excellence, performance, style, exclusivity. These are Ferrari’s unique core values which are perfectly represented by the car launched to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the company. Designed for Ferrari’s most passionate clients, the LaFerrari Aperta is the new limited-edition special series, an open-top version of the acclaimed LaFerrari supercar.

Available with both a carbon-fibre hard top (optional) and soft top, the LaFerrari Aperta boasts the same specification and characteristics as the LaFerrari, combining extraordinary performance with the unique exhilaration of open-top driving. It is equipped with the same hybrid power unit as the coupé: an 800 cv 6,262cc V12 engine (specific power output of 128 cv/l, compression ratio 13.5:1) coupled with a 120 kW electric motor for a total power output of a 963 cv. The powertrain control software has been optimised to increase its overall efficiency thanks to the experience Maranello’s engineers gained with LaFerrari. The dynamic control systems integrated with the active aerodynamics remain unchanged.

The biggest challenge involved in designing the LaFerrari Aperta was to produce a convertible that could be pushed to the same extreme limits as the coupé. The Styling Centre’s input was concentrated on retaining as much of the original LaFerrari aesthetic as possible. The flowing line that neatly divides the cockpit from the car body is unchanged with only those elements above the waistline modified. The resulting impact is of a carbon-fibre ‘flying bridge’ hunkered into the main volume.

Engineering development focused on the chassis and aerodynamics and produced absolutely astounding results. The LaFerrari Aperta delivers the same top speed of over 350 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in in under 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 7.1 seconds. It also delivers the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness characteristics, as well as dynamic performance levels. Modifications to the aerodynamic set-up ensure that, with the roof open and the side windows up, the drag figure is unaffected compared to that of the coupé.

Special attention was focused on the unique experience of open-top driving. The coupé’s blistering performance feels heightened to superb effect in the LaFerrari Aperta. The absence of the roof delivers a genuinely exhilarating experience with the hybrid power unit providing a heady soundtrack. A sophisticated wind-stop system, designed to improve aerodynamic and acoustic comfort, means occupants can easily carry on a conversation even at high speeds.

POWERTRAIN

The LaFerrari Aperta’s powertrain, which is the same as the LaFerrari’s, uses hybrid technology. It couples an 800 cv 6262cc V12 with a 120 kW (163 cv) electric motor for a total output of 963 cv. Thanks to the HY-KERS system, it is the most high-performance and efficient Ferrari ever built.

Making full use of Ferrari’s F1 expertise with KERS systems further evolved for use on road cars, the V12 is perfectly integrated with the electric motor, seamlessly blending the advantages of both. The high levels of torque available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs, thus providing exceptional, continuous power throughout the rev range and a maximum torque peak of 900 Nm.

Coupled with the F1 DCT, the electric motor was designed employing High Specific Power Density technology which enabled the engineers to drastically reduce weight and volume in relation to available torque. The result is performance figures comparable to those of the F1 car, with the same torque density and the same efficiency (94%) or, in other words, very limited power dissipation.

The batteries consist of 120 cells assembled into eight modules, with a power output that’s the equivalent of 40 traditional batteries but weighing just 60 kg. The batteries are charged in two different ways: under braking - even hard braking when the ABS intervenes, such as when driving on a track - and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. The Hybrid Power Unit is essentially the HY-KERS system brain and controls power delivery from both the V12 and the electric motor via two inverters and two DC-DC converters. Variable-frequency control makes torque delivery rapid and precise.

An auxiliary engine also replaces the traditional alternator, shaving off further weight and reducing overall package dimensions.

V12 ENGINE

The 6,262 cc V12 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever sported by a road-going Ferrari. It punches out 800 cv and spins to 9,250 rpm, to deliver absolutely extraordinary performance, driving thrills and an unmistakable Ferrari sound. These unprecedented results are the product of meticulous honing of the engine’s volumetric, mechanical and combustion efficiency.

To boost volumetric efficiency, the V12 employs continuously variable-length intakes - a mainstay in F1 engine technology until banned by rule changes – which optimise performance as a function of engine speed. Similarly, the torque and power curves are optimised across the rev range. The hybrid powertrain generates total torque in excess of 900 Nm: the instantaneous torque from the electric motor is employed at lower revs and V12 engine power and torque is optimised at higher revs. The V12’s peak torque of 700 Nm is, in fact, developed at 6,750 rpm.

Additionally, the entire intake system – from the dynamic air intakes on the top of the rear wheelarches to the intake plenum - was designed to maximise internal fluid-dynamics. The engine also boasts a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio for maximum combustion chamber efficiency.

The engine’s soundtrack plays a huge role in its emotional impact: meticulous tuning has resulted in a full, harmonious sound that’s more intoxicating than ever. The equal-length 6-into-1 exhaust system was hydroformed using Inconel as in F1 to help keep overall weight down with the additional benefit of very high temperature and stress resistance characteristics.

CHASSIS

To retain the same running gear and performance as the LaFerrari coupé in this new open-top model, Ferrari’s engineers worked on two main areas: the chassis and aerodynamics.

With the chassis, the focus was entirely on the lower section which had to be reinforced because it is subject to different stresses caused by force lines which, in the coupé, converge in the upper part.

The elimination of the roof also demanded a review of the door rotation system. The Aperta has the same butterfly doors as the LaFerrari coupé although, when fully open, they are now at slightly different angle as a result of safety-focused re-engineering demanded by its open-top configuration. This in turn led to modifications to the geometry of both the wheelarches and flanks. Specifically, a carbon-fibre insert, which incorporates an aerodynamic vent, was added to allow the doors to rotate. However, the insert itself has also become one of the Aperta’s signature styling elements, a flourish that, although absolutely distinctive, does not interfere in any way with the original LaFerrari lines.

A string of targeted modifications which, despite a small increase in weight, allow the LaFerrari Aperta to deliver the same torsional rigidity figure as the LaFerrari, thus putting the Aperta at the top of supercar category in terms of dynamic performance.

AERODYNAMICS

The greatest aerodynamic challenge for the Maranello technicians was to retain the coupé’s extreme performance capabilities. Their goal with the LaFerrari Aperta’s design was to achieve the same drag figure as the LaFerrari, even when driving without the hard top in place.

To effectively manage the hot air flow from the radiators through the bonnet, the angle of inclination of the radiators was modified. In the coupé, the radiators are angled to ensure that the air flow hugs the bonnet: in the LaFerrari Aperta, the radiating masses are angled backwards to direct the air flows out along the underbody. This solution results in complete separation of the hot air from the flow reaching the cockpit, keeping temperature levels for occupants comfortable.

The new layout of the radiating masses made it necessary to create a duct that could channel air from the upper section of the front grille over the bonnet. This solution generates downforce depending on the variations in the flow momentum striking the car.

Furthermore, deflecting the hot air to the underbody also meant that the vortex generators needed to be redesigned. The front dam is now longer while the underbody surface around the longitudinal vortex generators has been lowered to boost the ground effect and thus the car’s ability to generate efficient downforce.

The aerodynamic package is completed by two small L-shaped flaps on the upper corners of the windscreen which, in the absence of a hard top, generate a coherent vortex that interacts with the flow being deflected towards the rear header rail, diverting it upwards to reduce the compression on the rear section of the cabin, thereby reducing drag. This system ensures that the open-top car’s drag is similar to the coupé version.

In terms of open-top aerodynamic comfort, an innovative integrated system was developed. The high-speed air flow that would otherwise enter the cabin from the top of the windscreen is captured by an angled wind-stop fixed to the parcel shelf. The wind-stop is angled to channel the flow through spaces in the car’s interior structure before exiting at a slower speed behind the passenger seats. This delivers a level of interior comfort in line with other convertibles in the Ferrari range without increasing drag.

DESIGN

LaFerrari Aperta retains intact the avant-garde styling of the coupé, a model that represents the peak of the synergies between the engineering and development departments and Ferrari’s Styling Centre. The body’s shape is very sculptural and aerodynamically functional, with an innovative formal language. Its fluid forms lend a sense of huge power, while the F1-inspired nose and the muscular power of the tail section reveal the car’s extreme, sporty character.

Seen from the side the LaFerrari Aperta has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches. The result is strongly reminiscent of the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes, such as the 330 P4 , a model that was also built in open and closed coupé versions. The ratio of the front and wheelarch dimensions are also very much in line with Ferrari tradition.

The styling is underscored by a discrete model-specific livery with just a few graphic accents in a contrasting colour defining the main styling contours. Equally, the cabin features detailing that coordinates with the livery, as well as new seat upholstery in which leather is combined with Starlite Alcantara.

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