Since they’ve been a thing, it’s been nigh on impossible to get away from the ‘holy trinity’ of the road-going motorcar as we know it; the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder, and LaFerrari.
Hypercars are nowadays rather more tempting than supercars, but still few float my boat absolutely. And that stands true for these three. The LaFerrari here is probably the only one that really interests me.
Besides, figures have always been important in things like these and the LaFerrari beats the other two in two big regards. It has more power, 963bhp from the combined efforts of its V12, and KERS electric motor, and has less weight to carry around.
And it feels the most special. As I’ve said before, it’s probably all down to the badge. It’s great to see McLaren back in business and they’ve filled themselves into the supercar market superbly. But not only do I not know what the hell they’re trying to do at this moment, but they seem very clinical. Porsche are unquestionably good and have met with immense success, but somehow have never absolutely seemed to be at the top level of premium brands. With Ferrari, meanwhile, you just sort of expect greatness everywhere.
It also looks the best to me. When I think of a mad machine designed for uncharted speed, this is what I imagine it looks like. And it looks really great. Just as a Ferrari should. Indeed, despite a slightly more modern engine relatively speaking, everything about this car lives up to its name – it is the Ferrari.
But of course, that’s before you drive it. You have to wonder if anything really can contain 963bhp of power heading to the rear wheels at all times, no matter how much you try to tame it. We’ve seen not even race cars go mad under that sort of power, so what about this?
Well somehow, it manages it. And superbly. Getting away it barely flinches, as the screaming V12 takes off and works its way through the short first gears at blinding speed. Just like that you’re off and running. Then you get to the first corner where there’s another surprise in store. It doesn’t go mad once you get back on the throttle. Just a little flick and it carries on straight and true, at such speed you’re onto the next before you even know it. It is fantastic.
As you probably would have guessed, absolutely flat out it’s blitzkrieg. 7th gear is surprisingly tall, but this is probably just what a cruise gear would be in real life. And in it, you’ll still hit 190 down Yas Marina’s longest straight even if you’re still nervy about touching the throttle beforehand. For the best of this, use onboard view where the speedo in kph changes faster than you could ever process.
I said I was still a little afraid to hit the throttle out of corners at first, but that was just me at first. Speaking of corners, LaFerrari isn’t invincible through them. At the end of the day it is still a humble road car, so you have to know your limits here. However, while you have to keep cornering speeds calm, you can get out of them far faster and easier than anything else like it, so you’re really totally safe in that regard.
Where LaFerrari really makes its cornering gains is into them. The brakes are way, way better than you’d expect. I found this out the hard way – on one run into the first corner, I missed my braking point totally and completely. At the speed this thing goes, I was expecting to go straight into the wall without question. But such was its stopping power that somehow, I stopped just before it went nose first into the barrier. That was almost better, if anything, than the speed of the thing.
Really, LaFerrari has something for everyone here and it really is, quite simply, one of those must-try cars. With the status it holds in the modern world of cars, it’s already quite noticeable. But it’s more than just big numbers and speed. Because no matter who you are, you really can hold your own in this car. That’s definitely the biggest achievement of them all.
Trust me. Once you’ve tried it you’ll know what I mean.