The Ferrari LaFerrari, what do we know of this, Ferrari’s flagship hypercar – successor to the 2005 Enzo and before that the legendary F50 and F40? Well for starters, we can tell you that it’s absolutely huge. It might be low, but while McLaren’s rival the P1 looks positively petite, the Ferrari shocks with its whacking great, long, pointing nose, significant girth, long, long tail and vast out-on-stalks wing mirrors.
It’s a complete technical tour de force too, featuring (cliché alert) Formula 1 technology for the road. That means its V12 engine is coupled to a so-called Hy-Kers system (effectively making it a hybrid, complete with chunk-sized battery pack) driven through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
That combined little lot means it produces in excess of 900 horsepower and – important when you’re a supercar maker that’s into willy-waving – it’ll reach 186 mph in 2 seconds faster than its British rival from Woking. Which we imagine will matter to its owners.
If we can bring ourselves to stop being all cynical for a moment, we’ll admit there are a lot more interesting bits of F1 inspired stuff here – like a significant raft of aerodynamic measures. These appear to have dictated the styling somewhat, which is full of slashes, cuts, and peeling-away surfaces. The most interesting of these is a surfboard-like rear spoiler which deploys from a (for Ferrari) discreet line between the rear lamps. When it’s tucked away, it forms an aesthetic triangle with the brake-lamp and exhaust section below it to make LaFerrari look like it’s wearing a bikini G-string from behind.
While our battle to get on the stand (and a press scrum around it which ranked second only to British tabloid reporters around the Duchess of Cambridge) meant we struggled to truly stand back and drink in the car, we grew to like its looks. It might be extreme but it didn't feely stupidly gratuitous in the way the nearby Lamborghini Veneno did.
You get a pair of dramatic, wing/scissor doors, which when open give the Ferrari an almost exo-sceletal quality and reminded us a little of certain Pagani Hyura design cues. Inside, it’s positively restrained – spare even – as Ferrari’s sought to get the weight down as low as possible. So you sit in a carbon tub, with Carbon finish everywhere, a small digital gauge cluster and those air-vent nozzles out of the F12 which remind us of a bit of Dyson Vacuum cleaner.
Should you have a spare Million-odd euros sloshing around to buy one, you’d better hope you’re on first-name terms already with some important people in Maranello (it might help if your second name is Clapton or Mason). Because only a couple of hundred will be made and you need to be "selected" in order to get one – just like you did with the Enzo that this car "replaces".
It’s perhaps this exclusivity and total diva attitude towards the outside world in general that makes Ferrari such an enigmatic brand – one people love and hate in equal measure. And the once-a-decade occurrence of a new flagship model accounts for the reason this car was surrounded by such a media scrum for its two days on stand.
We suspect that, for most Ferrari fans, it’s this sense of true stardom that the brand’s really all about. Which if you’re into it, means that all there’s left to get your heard around, is a truly spectacularly silly name.