It is fitting that my first article of 2020 is about the Ferrari I lust after more than any other Ferrari or indeed more than any other hypercar. I fell in love with the LaFerrari hypercar the moment I first saw one in 2013. Vancouver is blessed with a menagerie of exotic automobiles from Bugatti Veyrons, to Pagani Huayra Roadsters to McLaren P1’s and McLaren Senna’s. We even have a Koenigsegg Agera RS for good measure. All of these pale in comparison to the LaFerrari and I am delighted to announce Vancouver finally has a red LaFerrari in the house.
In 2013 the world was introduced to a trio of hypercars from Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, the so called holy trinity. Ferrari gave us a V12 hybrid called LaFerrari, literally “The Ferrari”, McLaren gave us the P1 a rear wheel drive V8 turbo hybrid, and lastly Porsche gave us the all wheel drive V8 turbo 918. The P1 and 918 can be driven on electric power for a limited range, while the LaFerrari simply utilizes electrical power to torque fill the gaps left in the acceleration map of its mighty V12. The LaFerrari Kinetic energy recovery system is derived from the same technology Ferrari uses on its Formula One racing cars. All three manufacturers produced worthy contenders to take the title of hypercar king, however I was forever smitten on the 16th of October 2013 which was a gloriously sunny Italian day at the Ferrari factory in Maranello.
In 2013 I won a Shell Oil competition in Canada whose grand prize was a trip to Italy to take a tour of the Ferrari factory and to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia around Ferrari’s famous Fiorano test circuit. The first stop on the tour was to visit the building where Ferrari make the cylinder blocks for the V8 and V12 engines. I had literally just stepped off the bus when I heard a roar of a V12 engine, I turned round and a glorious red LaFerrari pre- production prototype pulled up alongside me. I was already in seventh heaven just being at Ferrari, so when I saw the LaFerrari my knees went weak and I almost collapsed on the car. It was love at first sight. I can still recall the moment with sublime clarity. Later the next day while having pictures taken on the main straight of Fiorano I saw another LaFerrari prototype this time in camouflage paintwork performing some test work on the far side of the test track. That was my last sighting of a LaFerrari for a few years.
My wait to see a production LaFerrari took until the fall of 2015 when a white LaFerrari graced the lawns at the Luxury supercar weekend held at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver. While it was thrilling to be physically in the presence of a LaFerrari once again I confess the white colour choice for this particular car left me longing for my red LaFerrari in Italy. I know I know I am nitpicking. This white LaFerrari stayed in Vancouver for 6 months before being sold and then departed our shores.
My next meeting was with a red LaFerrari belonging to Brain Ross the owner of the Ferrari Maserati dealership in Vancouver. He owns an impressive collection of Ferrari’s, among them are an F40, a 288 GTO, an F50 and an Enzo all of which were on display at the Vancouver International car show in 2016. Rumors have abounded that his red LaFerrari was sitting on the 3rd floor of the Vancouver Ferrari dealership last year being offered for sale. Sadly I never able to verify this rumor.
Last week I was looking at Instagram and to my utter delight I saw a red LaFerrari was at SR Auto a local exotic car dealership here in Vancouver. I messaged the account that had posted the image to determine if the LaFerrari was still around or was an old picture. A few minutes later it was confirmed this gorgeous red LaFerrari was indeed at SR Auto’s downtown dealership. Next morning at 6:30am I was outside the dealership getting my first look at my dream hypercar. The showroom floor was littered with precious exotics, a Pagani Huayra roadster, a Koenigsegg Agera RS, a McLaren P1, a Ford GT, a Ferrari F40, and a McLaren Senna, but all I could see at the far end of the showroom was a red LaFerrari. Sadly my time was all too brief as I had to go to work. I vowed to return and get up close to the LaFerrari.
My vow was fulfilled this past Monday. I know the owner of the dealership and he very kindly opened up the butterfly doors of the LaFerrari for me. I had not had a chance to get inside a LaFerrari before. It took me back to that October day at the Ferrari factory. I have watched dozens of LaFerrari videos and read numerous articles but now this was my time to explore the LaFerrari.
One of the unique aspects of the LaFerrari are the seats, unlike conventional seats that move the Laferrari seats are fixed in order to get a lower center of gravity. Instead the pedal box moves to accommodate the driver, helped by a small lever to the right of the driver’s seat. It was neat to finally see the actual device for myself. The forward view out the LaFerrari is good, while rear visibility is most taken up by the hybrid V12 engine in the rear. The butterfly doors are obligatory for hypercars, I was surprised how heavy they were to close.
Naturally this car does a lot of sitting around with barely 900 miles on odometer it needs to be on the special Ferrari charger for the battery and the hybrid system. The LaFerrari was duly connected to its life support systems, instead of pictures of the charger and its cables I could reach out and touch them. Touching this car reinforced my connection with this work of driveable art, none more so than with the square steering wheel. My sense were being overloaded at being this close and having this much access to a LaFerrari.
I promised the owner of the dealership if I won the $70 million lottery I would be back to purchase the LaFerrari. Sadly I must inform you that I did not win the 70 million jackpot and so will remain a non LaFerrari owner. I have been promised a ride along when the weather improves and who knows I might even wangle a drive in this $3.2 million (US) hypercar.
Codename – Project 150
Production run – mid June 2013 to January 2016 – 500 units produced
Longitudinally mounted direct fuel injected 65 degree V12
Supplemented by KERS –Kinetic recovery system called H-KERS 789hp + 163 KERS = 950hp
7 speed dual clutch
Brembo carbon ceramic brakes
Pirelli P –Zero Corsa tires
Carbon fibre monocoque
21 onboard computers
Top speed – 218 mph
0-62 mph – 2.4 seconds
0-186 mph – 15 seconds