by James Allen
The LaFerrari has become one of the most recognized modern Ferraris in existence thanks to near constant coverage by the media since its launch in 2013. A mere 499 of these coupes were built but if you want even more exclusivity then the LaFerrari Aperta is an even rarer offering. Announced in 2016, the Aperta is the open-topped variant of this hybrid hypercar, with only 200 being made available for sale (all are already spoken for), these cars are the last word in current Ferrari performance and technology.
Essentially identical to the hardtop LaFerrari, the Aperta features a slightly modified door design and it has been reinforced in certain strategic areas to retain structural rigidity. The interior retains the same minimalist design and Formula 1 themed approach of its stablemate.
The steering wheel has a number of toggles and switches which control the more common driving functions. The driver’s seat is also fixed in place to retain the weight distribution, to get comfortable you can adjust the pedal box and steering wheel.
All non-essential controls have been moved away from the central binnacle and the default view is a large rev counter right in the center of the digital instrument panel. The seats are well bolstered and provide excellent support, visibility is good out of the front and sides although not much is visible out the rear. A removable fabric or hard top comes standard with the car and needs to be manually slotted in as it does not feature an electronically retracting mechanism.
The LaFerrari Aperta has been thoroughly tested in a wind tunnel to ensure that it offers the same level of downforce and handling ability as the coupe, Ferrari claims an identical 41%/59% weight distribution and the suspension and electronic systems are unchanged either. This makes the Aperta one of the fastest open-topped sports cars in existence and its levels of grip and cornering ability are best experienced on a racing circuit. It retains that superb controllability that the LaFerrari offers and despite the rear-wheel drive setup, the tires do not get overwhelmed by the prodigious levels of power on offer.
The LaFerrari Aperta comes fitted with the same 6.3-liter V12 gasoline engine as the coupe, it makes 789 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque, an electronic motor adds another 161 hp to offer a combined total of 950 hp and 664 lb-ft. There is no electric-only mode in this car (unlike in the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918) and the system is used only to add additional thrust to the gasoline engine. A -speed dual-clutch transmission transmits the power to the rear wheels.
Get the power and traction levels just right and 60 mph arrives in under 3-seconds, 125 mph a mere 4-seconds later and you will be travelling at almost 190 mph only 15-seconds from pulling off. These figures are once again identical to the coupe and while a handful of all-wheel drive sports cars (and on or two electric sedans) may beat the Aperta to the 60 mph mark, not many will see where it went shortly thereafter. Few LaFerraris will actually be driven to their limits but it is good to know that if the opportunity arises, they will rise to the challenge. Fuel economy is claimed to be better than in a conventionally powered sports car with similar performance but the claimed 12/16 mpg city/highway consumption figures are still eye-wateringly heavy.
The Aperta is not a bare-bones racer as many of the previous top performing Ferraris have been, you still get navigation, climate control, LED lighting and other convenience and luxury items. This makes the LaFerrari Aperta that much easier to use on a more regular basis although few owners are likely to push their priceless collectors’ cars in to daily service. Performance based features include carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive dampers, active aerodynamics, a third-generation electronic differential and EF1-Trac, an electronic traction control system integrated into the hybrid system.
The Ferrari LaFerrari ushered in the era of the hypercar when it arrived in 2013, the LaFerrari Aperta adds an additional level of exclusivity to the formula. These exclusive open-topped models offer the identical lofty performance figures of the coupe variant and values may rise even higher in the coming years thanks to the very limited production run.