Automotive

The Lumpiest Ferrari You Can Buy Is Actually A LaFerrari In Disguise


A photo of a Ferrari mule car used to develop the LaFerrari

This looks like a whale shark, right?
Photo: Michael Jurtin ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are two things that are pretty much guaranteed to spark excitement at a car auction; ultra-rare supercars and vehicles that played an important part in automotive history. Well, prepare for the excitement to reach fever pitch, as a one-off Ferrari mule car used in the development of the LaFerrari will soon go under the hammer.

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For anyone that’s been living under a rock for the last decade, the LaFerrari is a pretty special car. It was one of three hybrid hypercars created by Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren in the early 2010s.

Alongside the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1, the LaFerrari showed that hybrid, electrical power could be used to make a supercar even faster and even more extreme. And, while we can all argue about which of the three was the best (it’s the P1), they are each vitally important pieces in the puzzle that is the automotive landscape we see today.

So, imagine our surprise when we saw that one of the mule cars used in the development of the LaFerrari was going up for sale. And, take a look at the picture above and see if you can predict our surprise when we saw that a Ferrari could look like that.


A photo of the Ferrari mule car with all its coverings on the side.

All the parts you need to turn a Ferrari 458 into a LaFerrari
Photo: Michael Jurtin ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Because let’s not beat about the bush, when you hear “LaFerrari mule car,” you don’t expect it to look like a lumpy Ferrari 458 with a face like a whale shark. But here’s the thing, that’s exactly what this test car is, a Ferrari 458 Italia with a few extras stuck on.

In order to keep the final look of the LaFerrari under wraps, the Italian marque used its existing cars to test out its monstrous powertrain. And that’s exactly what brought about this first-phase test mule prototype, which was known as “M6.”

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But if you’re the lucky millionaire billionaire who can see past these strange looks and buy this car, boy are you in for a treat.

Derived from a Ferrari 458, the M6 test car features the base car’s distinctive lines. But with added side-mounted air scoops that draw in air to cool the still-in-development hybrid powertrain destined for the LaFerrari. There is also a hefty roof scoop for good measure.

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A photo of the Ferrari mule car without its covers.

I look quite pretty, really.
Photo: Michael Jurtin ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The car’s aluminum chassis was also altered to accommodate the beefier powertrain, as were the rear quarters of the car.

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But the main talking point here is the monster powertrain that Ferrari fitted to this car. And what a powertrain it is.

In the middle of the M6 you’ll find a V12 Type F140FB engine, which was a precursor to the V12 that would eventually find its way into the final LaFerrari. The mule car also provided a test bed for the LaFerrari’s hybrid system, meaning that the additional electrical power is also present in the M6.

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The car was also used in the engineers’ research of weight distribution for the final LaFerrari, and it was used to analyze the brakes, steering and suspension of the final car.

This one-off piece of automotive history is now being sold by auction house RM Sotheby’s. It will go under the hammer at the auctioneers Monte Carlo sale next month.

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