Dallas Cowboys fans always used to say the roof of the Cowboys stadium opened so God could watch his favourite team. Maybe God wanted a peek inside Ferrari’s ultimate road car, too. The 350-kmph, 949-horsepower hybrid-electric LaFerrari Aperta will be available with a removable roof.
If there was ever a problem with the original $1.4 million V-12 coupé, unveiled in 2013, it wasn’t the hard top but the fact that Ferrari made only 499 of them. The cars were snapped up by the lucky few—people like singer Sammy Hagar and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay—before they even officially went on sale, leaving many disappointed customers. To ease their pain, Ferrari announced the release of an open-air spider version of the LaFerrari last fall, which will likely be produced in a limited run of 150. But no need to call your dealer—all of these prancing horses reportedly have already sold, too.
Getting a look inside the LaFerrari Aperta is instructive, because the entire car is built around the driver’s seat, in the manner of the marque’s Formula 1 race cars. Like the competition models, the LaFerrari Aperta driver’s seat is custom moulded to specifically fit the driver and is mounted for precision balance, setting the pilot as low and as far back in the machine as physically possible.
Typically, taking the roof off a car reduces its stiffness, contributing to rattles over bumps and imprecise, unpredictable handling. But Ferrari says the open-top LaFerrari Aperta’s carbon fibre chassis is reinforced to prevent that, ensuring that the al fresco model provides exactly the same handling characteristics as the coupé. And while an open roof normally increases drag, reducing the top speed of convertible models, the maestros of Maranello say they’ve honed the roadster’s aerodynamics to guarantee the same top speed, open or closed.
Those are the kind of specs that can drive a man to obsess. In fact, one coupé owner in Florida is so frustrated at not getting a convertible, he’s suing Ferrari. The 85-year-old collector complained in court filings that denying him a chance to buy the new LaFerrari Aperta harms his reputation and “holds him up to ridicule, disrespect, and disrepute in his profession, trade, occupation, avocation, and among his friends and business and social associates.” And he might just have a point.