Words: Jason Barlow
The LaFerrari Aperta is born out of one of the most extraordinary cars of recent years
Think of the LaFerrari, the limited series car bearing the Cavallino Rampante insignia that completely reset the limits of automotive technology. Remove the roof and you’re looking at a bare-bones roadster, a straight-up two-seater ready to occupy its rightful place in the collective imagination – the LaFerrari Aperta. It’s the latest, ultra-aspirational model, created for a lucky few, Ferrari’s present to itself on the eve of the Company’s 70th anniversary.
The transition from fixed head coupé to roadster should, on the face of it, be simple. Except it isn’t. Even without the roof, and even considering all the structural and aerodynamic challenges, the Aperta boasts the same monster performance and handling as the coupé: 0-100km/h acceleration in less than three seconds, and a top speed that breaks the 350km/h barrier.
How is it done? By starting with the same hybrid power unit, ie the 6.2-litre V12, which guarantees a power output of 800hp and revs to a maximum of 9250rpm, with a 120kW (163hp) generated by the electric motor to augment that. Total power: 963hp. Same F1 dual-clutch, same seven-speed transmission, same artfully engineered exhaust system. The only difference is in software calibration, evolved to improve efficiency and provide greater usability at low revs, capitalising on the torque of the electric motor.
Otherwise the on-board electronic vehicle control systems are identical to the coupe’s, from the stability control (ESC) to the high-performance ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), from the F1 traction control (EF1-Trac) to the electronic differential (E-Diff 3) and the magnetorheological control of the recalibrated suspension, with twin solenoid system (SCM-E Frs). All these acronyms add up to a car of unprecedented power and control.