LaFerrari Has Evolved Again, But Is This Progress For The Idea Of Supercars?
On one hand, the paradigm shift of late that’s seen the insanity-spec supercars like the previous top dog (top horse?) Ferrari FXX-K and McLaren’s P1 GTR become track-only playthings is a welcome salve for the trajectory supercar ownership has taken in the last few decades, as the ideal use for these physics-bending machines does not include a life spent in first gear traffic jams or being ferried between parking spaces in front of Harrod’s and parking garages in Dubai.
Even though it may seem silly that the manufacturers of this new breed of performance-over-everything supercars are reluctant or plain unwilling to let the limited population of owners actually take their cars home with them, it does signal something important and potentially good: that these companies are still keeping the driving experience, a pure focus on performance, at the forefront. Now sure, you can be cynical and say that in order to move inventory to the Sheikhs and fund managers of the world Ferrari et al have to first provide the stat sheets that confer the kind of clout these clients seek. That doesn’t hold in the case of Ferrari’s new FXX-K EVO though, as to show it off you’d need to bring the crowd to the circuit with you, and it’s much easier to simply drive something street legal, like the original LaFerrari.
Before getting into the other side of debate though, this car deserves some space to share its merits. Ferrari’d given LaFerrari a track-only treatment already in the form of 2015 FXX-K, an extremely potent 1,000+ horsepower car, and one that’s bested in just about every measure by the latest, the EVO. A few people will be able to buy one brand-new, and Ferrari will also be converting a few customers’ FXX-Ks as well. I suppose if you’ve already bought something like the K you may as well want to upgrade it in step with Ferrari’s updates.
The EVO produces a downforce coefficient that’s 23% improved over the FXX-K, 75% better than the base LaFerrari. “Base LaFerrari.” That’s a funny notion that could only be brought into the lexicon by something as extreme as this car. It looks like something that was drawn to the extremes and then skipped every stage where it could be toned down. Thanks to carbon fiber forming processes gleaned from their F1 techniques the car is lighter than its predecessor, and those material improvements in its downforce come thanks to a host of pieces in the new aero kit, including underbelly vortex generators and the massive new fixed wing that’s supplemented by the active bits of aero in the front and rear. Also worth noting is the central stabilizer fin that seems to be the next must-have feature of any car contending the top plane of performance. In the case of the EVO, all this works to produce staggering levels of earthward pressure, with more than 1,400 pounds of downforce generated at 124mph, and more than 1,800 when it reaches V-max. However jarring and aggressive its appearance may be, it is at least backed up with performance on an equally dramatic level.
But this begs the question: is this car part of a new wave of modern supercars that are bringing the focus back to performance, or are we remembering the past with too much generosity? It’s not like Miuras went racing after all, and the wake of cars that followed it were used for status symbols just as the Veyrons of today are. Perhaps it’s the romanticism of the supercar in its fledgling forms, the nostalgic fun we find in the growing pains of these machines that gave us things like Koenig Specials and Zender Fact 4s. Hasn’t the supercar always been something inherently wrong? A car for the street that doesn’t really belong on it in the first place? If that is the case, then one can argue that the FXX-K EVO is actually getting away from the original ideals rather than any kind of return to form. What do you think?