For people like us, “Driving Nirvana” is heaven on Earth. What’s great about it is the many ways you can attain it: it could be mountain passes, straight roads in the middle of the desert, scenic roads and with the most different sort of cars. You might be happy driving a 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost or a tiny Toyota AE86. For us, of the many road/car combinations we’ve driven, no other seems to be as satisfying and awesome as the one Sardinia-Ferrari. It is simply, orgasmic.
The area around Porto Rotondo in October, offers amazing views with traffic-free two lane main roads with enough room for cars with power ratings up to 900hp+ to properly stretch their legs. That’s why the LaFerrari Aperta should be brought in Sardinia for an Escape.
So, this was one of the “day of days” of 2017. Each Escape is an achievement but some others are a little more important than others: very yellow 2017 LaFerrari Aperta in a lovely shade of giallo tristrato, in the best roads in the world.
What to say is pretty much straightforward: yes, a LaFerrari Aperta in Sardinia is much better than sex: do not worry, she’ll only need to be offered drinks quite often and she’ll be ready to go for another round. Why do drugs when you can drive a rampaging, naturally aspirated V12? Why spending your time dreaming when you can experience the sheer technical perfection this car really is? Why we love cars is because cars like the LaFerrari Aperta exist. Works of art blended with exceptional engineering always make for great experiences and we’re honored to experience them for you.
In our vision, an “Escape” embodies the freedom of driving and the joy of savouring the best cars in the world. There’s a sheer pleasure in getting in and drive out without a destination, so that’s exactly what we did. Setting out in a Ferrari is an event per se, firing up a special limited edition and thunder your way through the hills is cause for major celebration: so, let’s the Escape begin! When the 6.2 liter V12 awakens at the pressing of the red button on the steering wheel, the quietness of a sunny afternoon in Porto Rotondo is shaken from the ground up by 900 mad horses, cleaning their throat. Even if we’re in October and there are very few tourists, it gathers immediately a great, cheering crowd. Our destination wasn’t planned so we directed the car inland towards San Pantaleo and Arzachena first, two lovely small towns in the hills of the Gallura region and then we decided to travel upwards to Porto Cervo, Poltu Quatu and all the way up to the coast. After the mandatory time for the car to warm up the engine and the tires, it is time to stretch her legs to the full 9.000 rpm redline. Despite having already experienced the coupè last year (Link articolo), we knew what to expect, but the exhilaration and the “it-feels-like-first-time” sensation is there. You really never get used to experience these masterpieces first hand…never.
To describe the seats as a nicely-padded version section of the chassis is not a very nice way to describe them, but it is true. The seats are “carved” into the chassis to save weight, lower the center of gravity and ultimately to give better feel to the driver. As a matter of fact, of all modern supercar production, the LaFerrari provides perhaps with the most old-school feeling, of nothing standing between you and the car. Despite all that cutting-edge technology, it feels as natural and filter-free as a proper driver’s car should be. Everything inside the cockpit seems to be exactly where it should be: the steering wheel tilted at the right angle, the paddles mounted on the column, the headrest offering enough support without having your head completely tilted back, the perfectly placed rear-view mirrors, offering sufficient rear-view over the bodywork. Perhaps the most stunning fact of this hypercar is the way it has been developed and the amazing work of research it has received. Visibility forward is excellent and provides you with a stunning view of Alcantara, yellow bodywork and the best roads in the world. Without the roof, the experience to be in it is simply magnificent even if the sound of the V12 soon disappears as speed increases, substituted by the loud roar of the wind. Yet, the magnificent sense of connection gives you a feeling which is perhaps the closest thing to what you would experience in a Formula 1.
With the engine pulling strongly offering plenty of torque thanks to the aid of the Hy-Kers electrical system, it is not an exaggeration that the acceleration is rocket-like and the car behaves with incredible composure.900 hp is not an easy number to achieve nor to manage, but the sheer ability of Ferrari’s engineers is evident with the most perfect work on the refinement of this stunning motorcar. It is so finely educated that going outrageously fast is not a problem. You don’t feel the speed: if it wasn’t for the wind-roar getting louder and louder, you would still think you’re doing at least 50 kph less than you’re actually doing.
The LaFerrari Aperta, like its closed-roof sibling, proves brilliantly that producing horsepower is not the real challenge in the hypercar game: managing it, is indeed the real engineering skill-test. Despite being heavier than the coupé and then a little slower (even if this fact doesn’t really seem to be a problem, to be honest) in the acceleration test, the Aperta is able to take corners with outstanding agility. If you love the Ferrari’s sharp-handling trademark on regular production vehicles, multiply it for 100 and you’ll obtain a car which is no different than a proper LMP sports-prototype.
The ride is supple in all modes, allowing you to glide over the bumps at breakneck speed without upsetting the car. The limits of the handling are so high that you can still be fully satisfied without having actually explored all the LaF-A potential. Marvellous, isn’t it?
The glorious sight of the yellow bonnet in front of you, gleaming in the light of the sunset over the Gallura is one to remember forever. With the roads sweeping up and down in a series of wonderful high-speed pif-paf turns it is sure a fully satisfying experience. Next time you shed a tear over its mind-boggling pricetag, just keep in mind that this masterpiece of Ferrariness is worth every. Experiencing it without a specific destination is the highest pleasure I can think of and the best way to properly enjoy this car. Forget car meetings or Ferrari club events: picking it up and going out for a drive when no-one’s around is indeed what proper Escapes should be.
Happy birthday, Escape on Wheels.
Huge Thanks to our friend Greg B.