From an emissions point of view, even the environmentally minded might question along with some car aficionados why supercars that they only sell a few hundred of need to be hybridized only to save some CO2 mostly at lower speeds.
Perhaps that’s the case also with the $1.69 million Ferrari LaFerrari, a hybrid supercar with a combined system total of 963 horsepower, and 663 pounds-feet from its 6.3-liter V12 and 163-horsepower electric motor.
In any event, a drive review on road and track by Chris Harris in one of these of which only 499 will be made and all are sold illustrates some of what the excitement is about.
Harris, a UK-based auto journalist, and racer brings an enthusiastic glee in his rolling commentary along with skill that makes videos like this one go viral.
They choreograph his slides with engine screaming antics but he also explains technical details while he’s at it.
One thing McLaren told us last year in New York regarding its P1 hybrid, and Porsche told us the year prior in Oregon as well about its 918 Spyder is electrification makes for a superior performance car.
While elite automakers may on other days admit emission regs have something to do with the electrification of high-performance cars, reps we spoke with were reluctant even when pressed to come right out and say they are doing it because they have to. Only Lamborghini has been fully forthcoming in volunteering hard facts behind its motives, as it is developing the Asterion plug-in hybrid.
As it is, an argument can be made electrification may indeed be a superior way to go, even with the 146-pound battery and 309-pound total electrical system weight adding ballast to the Ferrrari, something normally shunned in higher-performance vehicles. Lots of carbon fiber keeps the La Ferrari’s published wet weight down below 2,950 pounds and as the video explains, the vehicle is quite effective.
In short, the “instant torque” can be metered in at weak points in the powerband to fill in power gaps, broadening usable power beyond many traditional engines. The engine can then be tuned to be plenty high strung, with less worry about lack of bottom end power.
The La Ferrari is ultimately a street car, and capable of docile puttering around, but the video shows that is not its most enjoyable use, nor what it is really all about.
Harris compares it to the P1 which he has already reviewed and that video from February this year now has nearly 4.8 million views and 4,540 comments and counting.