Watch and listen as a Ferrari Enzo chases the new hypercar, LaFerrari, over the hills in Monaco. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Ever seen a grown man lose his marbles with excitement? To be transformed into a child at the step of a pedal and scream out loud from sheer happiness? Well Chris Harris does just that when taking two of Ferrari‘s all-time best on a track day at the famous Angelsey circuit.
The production of the F40 preceded the F50 by a full 2 decades, however as you can see in the video above, it completely steals Chris’ heart. He expresses his full range of emotions whilst taking both cars on a tarmac tearing frenzy. He also sits with Mark Hales, former racing driver and motoring journalist, and discusses the F40 then and now.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Here’s the first comparison (of many to come) between the new Ferrari LaFerrari and some other hypercar. In this case, comparing its sound to a Ferrari Enzo with straight pipes. Turn it up!
The Geneva International Motor Show isn’t just an auto show, it’s an automotive fashion week.
Like the fantastical collections from haute couture fashion shows, the concepts on display at Geneva are not always ready-to-
wear drive, so to speak, but rather a showcase of the pinnacle of automotive design in a world free of limitations. And like those fashion shows, designers use runway models on which to showcase each piece. So, in that way, it’s not surprising to see new, bespoke body work affixed to the chassis of a different model car – or donor car, if you will. Below are three examples of just that; from some of the best, and oldest names in the business.
Italdesign Giugiaro celebrates 45 years at Geneva with the Parcour, a new type of GT suitable for driving conditions that are outside the limits of a normal sports car. The inspiration behind this aggressive, all-terrain concept is – you guessed it – Parkour: a military training discipline from which a person learns to quickly negotiate obstacles, while moving from one place to another, using nothing but body strength and athleticism. Adapted to an urban setting, Giugiaro sees Pakour as a way to traverse a city simply, quickly and safely by adapting oneself to one’s environment. As such, the four-wheel drive Parcour, already boasting a powerful, 550hp Lamborghini V10, has a control device on the dashboard where the driver can select up to four different driving modes: comfort, off-road, winter and high-speed. Based on a Lamborghini Gallardo platform, the 22″ wheels and extra ground clearance allow the car to easily negotiate varying surfaces.
The Roadster version is more radical as there’s no interruption between the passenger compartment and engine bay. The front and rear pillars have been reinforced with carbon fiber; also capable of serving as roll over bars in case things go upside down.
This concept is a tribute to the man whose name is synonymous with Italian style and design: Sergio Pininfarina. During his time at Carrozeria Pininfarina, he oversaw many iconic design projects. Working with third-party car manufacturers – most notably, Ferrari – he made the name, Pininfarina, famous. He was still influential right up until his untimely death last July, collaborating with Ferrari on their latest GT car, the F12berlinetta. This concept then takes the spirit of his extraordinary achievements and translates it into a modern vision of exclusivity, innovation and passion.
Based on a Ferrari 458 chassis and engine, the Sergio is a sculptural and three dimensional interpretation of the classic “barchetta” (little boat) design of the 1960s, cars like the Alfa Romeo Duetto. The line of the car is dictated by the use of only two pieces of body work, laying across a grafted longitudinal section.
The front end’s low, blacked-out spoiler, is a throwback to the sensual 1960s Ferraris and, at the same time, functional for the stabilization of the aerodynamic load. There’s also an aerodynamic deflector in front of the cockpit which acts as a virtual windscreen that protects the passengers from turbulent air. Further back, the roll-bar is designed as a winged surface that catches the flow of air coming off the front deflector, adding a further downforce effect.
Celebrating sixty years of collaboration with Aston Martin, Bertone has created a luxurious, “shooting-brake” interpretation of the Aston Martin Rapide. This one-off was commissioned by a private collector who wanted updated version of the Aston Martin Vanquish shooting-brake, first seen in 2004. With the underpinnings coming from the production Rapide, Bertone has stretched the body work and given it a functional hatchback.
The two-tone leather, wood and aluminum trimmings were hand-picked by the customer.
Like the production Rapide, the 2+2 layout means that each occupant has his own seat.
The wait for Ferrari Enzo successor is finally over. This is the new Ferrari hypercar: LaFerrari.
Yes, LaFerrari, as in, “The Ferrari.” It’s a name that makes sense only grammatically, if you were referring to the brand or one of its cars in Italian. Think of the confusion in Italy! I don’t have much more to say on the rather ostentatious name other than it’s just stupid and it’s of those names that doesn’t have a good nickname it in. LaF? L-Fer? In German it’s, “DieFerrari.” Yay.
Ok, so onto its looks. Like other tifosi, the unveiling of this new car was somewhat anti-climatic for me. I think we were all expecting a form follows function design and we got it. I don’t think anyone had their hopes up that this would be a pretty Ferrari since there was little left to the imagination with the release of all the teaser images and artist renderings. In any case, this is it. Before going any further, let’s keep in mind that this is car is the product of Ferrari’s in-house design studio, under the direction of Flavio Manzoni, and not a result of a collaborative effort with Pininfarina: Ferrari’s personal atelier of the last 50 years. While no less dramatic or evocative than something from Pininfarina, you do get a sense that a new team of designers descended onto this project and that the overall result is a departure from the old studio.
And what a result it is! It makes the Koenigsegg Agera look tame and the Porsche 918 look antiquated. Even the new McLaren P1, which briefly held the top spot for most flamboyant hypercar, now comes in second to the ludicrous Lamborghini Veneno – TheFerrari, a distant third. And good thing too, because where the McLaren looks like it had acid thrown at it, the Ferrari still benefits from ages of Italian style and inspiration which blurs the line between art and science.
Like the Enzo, the front has that triangular bonnet motif, albeit less pronounced. There’s a massive air intake that hides equally large cooling fans. Above the nose, there’s an outlet that allows air to release over the top of the car – which also helps produce downforce. The cab is pushed further forward, too, decreasing the distance from the windshield to the front of the car. The front fascia with that low splitter looks less F1 derived and more like a FIA GT1 racer.
The 3/4 view shows just how pronounced the ‘nose’ is – not the prettiest angle of the car. However, it’s here that we can see the rake angle of the rounded windshield. The roof panel (seen here painted black) is also a structural member made of carbon fiber that is integrated so subtly, it’s hard to imagine it serving dual roles.
There’s a lovely rounded panel ahead of the front wheel that’s separated from the headlight by the beginning of a sickle line. That line is broken momentarily by the bulbous front wheel arch as it moves along the length of the car. The sickle line picks up again below the Ferrari crest, where it continues along the door before sharply deviating downwards, outlining the top half of that cavernous, side air intake.
There’s actually a lot going on just behind the front wheel. Apart from that top sickle line, there’s a second, sweeping line that rolls off the top of the wheel arch forming the lower half of that deeply sculpted air intake, which now looks more like the outline of a human eye. That bit of shading just below the Ferrari crest suggests an opening behind the which allows trapped turbulent air to escape from the wheel well.
There’s yet another line running out of that basket weave behind the front wheel. Reminiscent of the 458 Italia, this one continues upwards along the window sill, up and over the fuel filler cap and back down along the glass engine cover.
Then there’s also the beginning of a fourth line, formed by what appears to be a panel gap, located at the wheel’s two o’clock. It’s no more than a mere dash at that point, which doesn’t appear again until the panel behind the side scoop. Always rising, it slices across the rear wheel well on its way up to the tail light then wraps right around the rear of the car. This visual cue is an obvious but subtle throwback to Ferrari supercars like the F50, F40, and even the 288GTO, all of which had the same panel gap design element separating the upper and lower halves of the car.
Acting together, the play of these lines gives TheFerrari’s profile a certain level of pantomime but also gracefulness. Artistic touches like these jump from a designer’s sketchpad to computer software, not the other way around.
I can’t leave the profile view without mentioning the wheels. 265/30, 19s up front and 345/30, 20s in the rear on a classic Ferrari five point star design. Tucked in behind are carbon ceramic Brembos measuring 398 mm and 380 mm respectively.
The rear fascia looks like the business end of a machine that is keen to expel unwanted gases and air, appropriately and efficiently. Visually, it’s striking. There are some elements carried over from the F12 Berlinetta like the use of two tail lights, instead of the Enzo’s four, and the central location of the fog lights, mounted as low as possible. That centre column, behind the prancing horse, houses a some of the mechanism used to extend the rear wing when required for extra downforce or hard braking. When closed, we see that the wing recreates that retro panel gap which continues from the sides of the car. That worked out well. Down below, we see the trick air diffuser flanked by the exhaust tips on either side. I do have some issues with the back though. I don’t like how the location of the number plate divides that centre column either. Maybe the problem is the centre column itself.
The interior is much more spartan than I expected from a 1 million Euro Ferrari. First thing you’ll notice though is the new squared off steering wheel design, which is looking more and more F1-like. The “manettino” switch remains as do a host of other buttons and the flappy paddles seem to have increased in length. Then there’s that bizarre stack rising from the centre console which houses the Launch, Reverse and Auto buttons. I’m not sure what they were going for there. Although, there is a new seating position where the driver more reclined – similar to how an F1 pilot would sit. Perhaps that centre stack then is there to decrease the reach to those buttons. Either way, I don’t like it. Despite the new seating position the interior doesn’t really look all that special, a far cry from something like the Pagani Huayra’s interior which is in the same price range.
It’s pretty astonishing to see how far car design has come in these last ten years as, with the release of this car, LaEnzo looks at least twenty years older than it actually is. In that regard alone, I think this car is a win for Ferrari’s design studio.
Ferrari’s 59th Formula 1 effort was unveiled earlier today in Maranello, Italy. The new racer will be called F138: a combination of the year, 2013, and number of cylinders, 8, marking the last year eight cylinder engines will be used in the sport. Ferrari state that the car is an evolution of last year’s car as the Sporting Regulations for this season were left largely unchanged. That should result in improved performance while maintaining last season’s solid reliability. To the naked eye, the rear of the car looks different with new exhaust routing, whereas the front and rear wings were lifted off the previous car. Glad to see that unsightly stepped-nose finally gone. The livery, too, has been altered slightly with a stroke of black paint running along the lower length of the car. Read the full press release here.