Unveiled at this years Geneva motorshow the awkwardly named Ferrari LaFerrari is the company’s new limited edition flagship

The Ferrari LaFerrari

This Ferrari comes with a F1 style HY-KERS drivetrain system that pairs a 789hp, 6.3L V12 to a 160hp electric motor and a 7-speed DCT gearbox for a total of 949hp, a 0-62 time of under three seconds, a 0-124 time of under seven seconds, and a top speed of 205 mph.

Back in August of last year the word coming out of Ferrari was no to carbon fibre composites, Amedeo Felisa the Ferrari CEO was quoted by the LA Times saying that according to Ferrari’’s forecast, carbon technology won’’t be where the company needs it to be when making 10 to 15 cars a day until 2020. Much of this he said comes down to the resins used, right now, the resins are just too heavy and lack the mechanical characteristics Ferrari wants.

Almost a year down the line and Ferrari look to have found the resin with the right characteristics, the LaFerrari has to be up there as one of the most composite intensive cars on the market right now.


Chassis and Bodyshell

For the Chassis and Bodyshell of the car, Ferrari used its many years of F1 experience in choosing the materials. Their F1 designer, Rory Byrne was brought in with a group of GT and F1 engineers to create a chassis that would provide maximum strength with minimum weight as well as working around the hybrid system. During the engineering phase a number of functions were integrated within the chassis design to reduce weight. One example is the seat structure which is part of the chassis, lowering weight and ensuring a more compact architecture and a lower centre of gravity.

The chassis is built entirely in-house in Maranello alongside the F1 single-seaters using the Scuderia’s materials and production processes. Just like in F1, pre-preg composites of aeronautical derivation are employed: four different types of carbon-fibre are used, because each area of the body-in-black is engineered to guarantee the functional requirements it has to meet.

The Ferrari's carbon fibre shell
The Ferrari’s carbon fibre shell

Most of the tub is made of T800 with both fabric and unidirectional tape being strategically hand laid up to ensure that the right material is in the right place. T1000 unidirectional tape and fabric is used in areas that are important for passenger compartment protection, such as the doors and the sills. Its high energy absorption characteristics pass the strictest side-impact legislation norms. Structural elements of the body are made using M46J unidirectional tape and fabric which is extremely rigid, but lightweight.

For the underbody, carbon-fibre is combined with another specialist composite material Kevlar, which is used to protect the carbon structure from road debris damage.The multi-material approach was adopted for the entire body-in-black in order to reduce the number of components to the benefit of lower weight. An example is the one-piece rear section, which is a single piece hand laid-up using a combination of M46J and T800 carbon-fibres to obtain a very lightweight, yet rigid structure. The carbon-fibre is cured in the same autoclaves used for the F1 chassis in two phases between 130°and 150°C using vacuum bags to remove any voids in the laminate.



The cars styling has been heavily influenced with the composite materials used, the lower section of the tail features bare carbon-fibre and is dominated by deep apertures and a large diffuser equipped with movable flaps that adjust when the motorised spoiler is deployed.

The carbon fibre door panels are an integrated part of the cabin design also, the shells sleekly and efficiently hug the cars form. In another move taken from F1 the car’s various functions are integrated on the steering wheel. The flappy paddle gear-shifters are now longer and more ergonomic and the signature bridge on which the other F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape on which the buttons are arranged for optimal efficiency. 

With only 499 being made and no price as of yet you’d better get on the waiting list pretty quick if you want one.