Technological excellence, performance, style, exclusivity. These are Ferrari’s unique core values which are perfectly represented by the car launched to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the company. Designed for Ferrari’s most passionate clients, the LaFerrari Aperta is the new limited-edition special series, an open-top version of the acclaimed LaFerrari supercar. Available with both a carbon-fibre hard top (optional) and soft top, the LaFerrari Aperta boasts the same specification and characteristics as the LaFerrari, combining extraordinary performance with the unique exhilaration of open-top driving. It is equipped with the same hybrid power unit as the coupé: an 800 cv 6,262cc V12 engine (specific power output of 128 cv/l, compression ratio 13.5:1) coupled with a 120 kW electric motor for a total power output of a 963 cv. The powertrain control software has been optimised to increase its overall efficiency thanks to the experience Maranello’s engineers gained with LaFerrari. The dynamic control systems integrated with the active aerodynamics remain unchanged.
The biggest challenge involved in designing the LaFerrari Aperta was to produce a convertible that could be pushed to the same extreme limits as the coupé. The Styling Centre’s input was concentrated on retaining as much of the original LaFerrari aesthetic as possible. The flowing line that neatly divides the cockpit from the car body is unchanged with only those elements above the waistline modified. The resulting impact is of a carbon-fibre ‘flying bridge’ hunkered into the main volume. Engineering development focused on the chassis and aerodynamics and produced absolutely astounding results. The LaFerrari Aperta delivers the same top speed of over 350 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in in under 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 7.1 seconds. It also delivers the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness characteristics, as well as dynamic performance levels. Modifications to the aerodynamic set-up ensure that, with the roof open and the side windows up, the drag figure is unaffected compared to that of the coupé.
The LaFerrari Aperta’s powertrain, which is the same as the LaFerrari’s, uses hybrid technology. It couples an 800 cv 6262cc V12 with a 120 kW (163 cv) electric motor for a total output of 963 cv. Thanks to the HY-KERS system, it is the most high-performance and efficient Ferrari ever built. Making full use of Ferrari’s F1 expertise with KERS systems further evolved for use on road cars, the V12 is perfectly integrated with the electric motor, seamlessly blending the advantages of both. The high levels of torque available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs, thus providing exceptional, continuous power throughout the rev range and a maximum torque peak of 900 Nm. Coupled with the F1 DCT, the electric motor was designed employing High Specific Power Density technology which enabled the engineers to drastically reduce weight and volume in relation to available torque. The result is performance figures comparable to those of the F1 car, with the same torque density and the same efficiency (94%) or, in other words, very limited power dissipation.
The 6,262 cc V12 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever sported by a road-going Ferrari. It punches out 800 cv and spins to 9,250 rpm, to deliver absolutely extraordinary performance, driving thrills and an unmistakable Ferrari sound. These unprecedented results are the product of meticulous honing of the engine’s volumetric, mechanical and combustion efficiency. To boost volumetric efficiency, the V12 employs continuously variable-length intakes – a mainstay in F1 engine technology until banned by rule changes – which optimise performance as a function of engine speed. Similarly, the torque and power curves are optimised across the rev range. The hybrid powertrain generates total torque in excess of 900 Nm: the instantaneous torque from the electric motor is employed at lower revs and V12 engine power and torque is optimised at higher revs. The V12’s peak torque of 700 Nm is, in fact, developed at 6,750 rpm. Additionally, the entire intake system – from the dynamic air intakes on the top of the rear wheelarches to the intake plenum – was designed to maximise internal fluid-dynamics. The engine also boasts a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio for maximum combustion chamber efficiency.
To retain the same running gear and performance as the LaFerrari coupé in this new open-top model, Ferrari’s engineers worked on two main areas: the chassis and aerodynamics. With the chassis, the focus was entirely on the lower section which had to be reinforced because it is subject to different stresses caused by force lines which, in the coupé, converge in the upper part. The elimination of the roof also demanded a review of the door rotation system. The Aperta has the same butterfly doors as the LaFerrari coupé although, when fully open, they are now at slightly different angle as a result of safety-focused re-engineering demanded by its open-top configuration. This in turn led to modifications to the geometry of both the wheelarches and flanks. Specifically, a carbon-fibre insert, which incorporates an aerodynamic vent, was added to allow the doors to rotate. However, the insert itself has also become one of the Aperta’s signature styling elements, a flourish that, although absolutely distinctive, does not interfere in any way with the original LaFerrari lines.
The greatest aerodynamic challenge for the Maranello technicians was to retain the coupé’s extreme performance capabilities. Their goal with the LaFerrari Aperta’s design was to achieve the same drag figure as the LaFerrari, even when driving without the hard top in place. To effectively manage the hot air flow from the radiators through the bonnet, the angle of inclination of the radiators was modified. In the coupé, the radiators are angled to ensure that the air flow hugs the bonnet: in the LaFerrari Aperta, the radiating masses are angled backwards to direct the air flows out along the underbody. This solution results in complete separation of the hot air from the flow reaching the cockpit, keeping temperature levels for occupants comfortable. The new layout of the radiating masses made it necessary to create a duct that could channel air from the upper section of the front grille over the bonnet. This solution generates downforce depending on the variations in the flow momentum striking the car. Furthermore, deflecting the hot air to the underbody also meant that the vortex generators needed to be redesigned.
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