It’s been a long time coming, but the embargo on LaFerrari press test drives has finally lifted. It’s now clear just how good it is to drive the 708kW, 1250kg, $3 million hypercar — and apparently, it’s not quite as insane as you’d think.
Reading the Autocar ‘first drive’ review of the LaFerrari, you get the impression that all the technological wizardry that Ferrari has put into its latest road car hasn’t softened it, but has made it a little friendlier than the simple, raw power of previous top Ferraris like the F50.
As well as a 6.3L V12 outputting a full 588kW to the rear wheels, Ferrari has adapted its F1-derived kinetic energy recovery system for the LaFerrari. Hy-KERS, as it's called on this particular carbon fibre tub chassis, includes regenerative braking that fills up a 60kg lithium-ion battery and powers a 120kW electric motor that mates to the gearbox's final drive, filling in the low-end torque gap of the petrol engine.
It's interesting that unlike the McLaren P1 and the BMW i8, Ferarri has gone for a full-power, no-frills hybrid implementation -- there's no messing around with electric drive to the front wheels, and no low-power electric-only mode for creeping around town. When you hit the LaFerrari's start button, you get the full business 100 per cent of the time.
The entire package is pretty insane -- it certainly gets around Fiorano quickly enough -- but according to Steve Sutcliffe at Autocar, it's manageable enough to actually be driven on the road, every day, as a regular vehicle. None of the horrible low-speed flappy-paddle clunkiness of a regular supercar, apparently -- it's basically a Prius on steroids, then.
You can watch Autocar putting Maranello's finest through its paces on YouTube, or just click on the video below.[video provider="youtube" id="CaC3jJgtDOE" size="xlarge" align="center"]
Bonus: here's what Chris Harris (you'll know him from /DRIVE) thinks about the LaFerrari, and here's what Top Gear has to say. The consensus view is that Ferrari's latest hyper-hypercar is incredibly fast and supremely technologically advanced, but is still (relatively) tame and easy to drive on both road and track. [Autocar]