The Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid supercar is being hand-built in an assembly hall on the Ferrari campus in Maranello, Italy, that is usually used to construct Formula 1 prototype racing cars. Given the amount of F1-derived technologies and materials used in LaFerrari, this seems entirely appropriate.
By the time we visited the LaFerrari hall, on April 28, 2014, LaFerrari had been in production for some five months. The entire production run will total only 499 cars, of which 120 are designated for U.S. customers, and if that doesn’t seem like many, Franco Cimatti, the MIT-educated engineer who’s in charge of vehicle concepts and pre-development at Ferrari, reminds us that Ferrari built only 349 F50 supercars and only 399 examples of the famed Ferrari Enzo. Why only 499 LaFerraris, rather than 500? we ask. “The ‘9’ is to underline the fact that Enzo Ferrari used to say that we should always build one fewer car than the market will bear,” says Cimatti. And with only about one LaFerrari being completed on average per work day, “499 cars works out to about two and a half years. After that, LaFerrari is too old for such a special car.”
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the steps involved in building each car.