Ferrari has a pair of new offerings on display as the first consumer stream into the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile, including the fastest-ever convertible, a ragtop version of its flagship LaFerrari.
The maker also rolled out a more affordable version of its wagon-like model, dubbed the GTC4Lusso T, a turbo V-8 replacing the original V-12 powerplant.
The debut of the two models came as a bit of counter-programming at a Paris Motor Show that largely focused on battery-power and other green and futuristic technologies. Mercedes-Benz, for example, introduced the Generation EQ electric vehicle concept and said a production version would anchor a new sub-brand called Mercedes-EQ.
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But Ferrari was determined to show that there is still a market for classic performance vehicles. A big market, it seems, as the new LaFerrari Aperta was sold out even before it made its debut on the Paris stage.
At $2.2 million, the Aperta will be produced in extremely limited numbers, only 209 set to be largely handmade. And Ferrari plans to keep nine for itself.
The new convertible isn’t entirely out of character at a show emphasizing battery power. The Ferrari Aperta, like the original LaFerrari, uses a complex hybrid drivetrain borrowing some of its basics from the maker’s Formula One race program.
The combined powertrain is capable of churning out 950 horsepower – just 750 of that from the V-12, with the rest from the electric side of the driveline. That’s the same powertrain as found in the LaFerrari coupe.
Much of the engineering effort was focused on aerodynamics. Even with the top down, Aperta reportedly has the same, low drag coefficient as the LaFerrari – as long as the side windows are up.
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As a result, the convertible supercar matches the coupe’s 217 mph top speed.
Ferrari isn’t the only high-performance automaker adopting electric propulsion. McLaren used a hybrid system in its P1 flagship, and Porsche went with a plug-in hybrid driveline for the 918 Spyder. Porsche is also developing a pure battery-electric supercar, the Mission E.
Ferrari isn’t walking away from pure gasoline power, however, as it is showing with the debut of the GT4Lusso T. It’s priced about $40,000 less than the V-12 version of the Lusso, albeit still at a budget-straining $260,000 to start.
Nonetheless, Ferrari officials said they hope it will help bring new blood into the brand’s family. Indeed, the Lusso – originally known as the Ferrari FF – is the most family-oriented model the maker has ever produced. Its design is wagon-like, though it sticks to the brand’s hard rule of never offering a four-door.
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While it is considered an “everyday driver,” the Lusso models don’t sacrifice performance. The new V-8 models makes 602 horsepower and can hit 60 in less than 3.5 seconds. That’s only a hair slower than the 680-hp V-12.
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