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The Top Gear car review:Ferrari LaFerrari
For:It’s utterly magnificent. And the V12 at 9000rpm will make you weep
Against:Using 950bhp regularly requires commitment. And nerve
What is it?
It’s the one we’ve waited a long, long time for. Ferrari’s successor to the Enzo, its ultimate distillation of...
The 950bhp hyper-hybrid son of Enzo is here at last. And we’ve driven it. Charlie Turner reports
What we say:
A V12 with KERS electrification that amounts to 950bhp of pure industrial awesomeness.
What is it?
You’d think getting on for a thousand horses would make the LaFerrari all but undriveable on the road, but it simply doesn’t. The V12 has been optimized for high-rev horsepower, the resulting hole in the torque curve (the V12 engine doesn’t do its best work until north of 5,000rpm) filled by the electric motor. That means instant throttle response, razored responses and the most natural-feeling hybrid in existence. In terms of on-road driving, after a while, and if you can forget the limited-edition status and million pound pricetag for long enough, it’s no more intimidating to drive than a 458. It rides well, you can see out of it and the 7-speed F1 ‘box works beautifully. Find a decent empty stretch of road though, and you can warp the weft of spacetime with the LaFerrari’s acceleration. It handles fabulously, too – with the delicacy you expect of a Ferrari, but the punch of the Space Shuttle. Really though, it’s not a hybrid – it’s a V12 megacar with electric nitrous.
On the inside
Carbon and lots of it. The ‘seats’ are actually just pads attached to the carbon tub, with the controls adjusting to suit. The pads are bespoke-fitted to the driver, and you sit shoulders low and knees high, like in a racing car. Saying that, it’s very comfortable, and vision is good. There’s a full digital dash, swathes of Alcantara and not an awful lot else. The only thing you should really be interested in is the steering wheel, which houses the big red – slightly tacky – button to rouse the drivetrain and the Manettino dial, which allows you to figure out how much of a hero you want to feel like on any given journey. It’s quite noisy thanks to all the bare carbon, but you’ll forget all that as soon as the V12 gets singing. There is literally nothing quite like it.
Looks like a pretty safe bet. If Enzo prices are anything to go by then this car will be an appreciating asset. Servicing and general maintenance will be terrifying (and absolutely vital), and you won’t see much more than 5mpg if you thrash it (putting paid to any idea that the hybrid aspect is there to aid economy), but if you could, you’d sell your least favourite child just to have a go.