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The Ferrari name carries with it a base level of respect that many other car companies can only dream of. But, within the Ferarri hierarchy, there are certain tiers of respect that build on that base level. Near the top of that hierarchy sits the illustrious Ferrari LaFerrari. But before the LaFerrari, this hacked-up Ferrari 458 served as the LaFerrari prototype. Despite its estimated $2-million price tag for the upcoming RM Sotheby’s auction, this LaFerrari is one of the ugliest prancing ponies ever to roll the road. 

Ferrari LaFerrari at a Japanese auto show
Ferrari LaFerrari | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What’s up with this Ferarri La Ferrari? 

According to MotorTrend, this ugly duckling is known internally as the F150-M6. This is a much more fitting name for the grotesque (yet kind of rad) prototype we see here. Something as elegant as “LaFerrari” isn’t quite fitting for the jagged black mass we see before us. 

While this prototype is based on a Ferrari 458 Italia, it is very much not one now. The LaFerrari prototype has the Type 140FB V12 engine fitted with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a race-bred performance hybrid powertrain. The good news is that no matter how ugly it is, its 950 horses will make it pretty hard to see at full clip. Even after ten years, this is still deeply impressive. 

Why does it look like this, though? 

2012 Ferrari LaFerrari Prototype wearing camo
2012 LaFerrari Prototype | Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

$2 million is a tough pill to swallow for a car that looks this roughly hewn. However, the bulky, camouflaged body panels come off, making the prototype look closer to a civilized Ferrari. Even still, that is a big pile of cash. 

The other side of that coin is that this car is a peek behind the curtain into how the legendary supercar company developed one of the most extreme cars in the company’s history. 

What happens to car prototypes?

Usually, they are crushed. In fact, based on looks alone, it is amazing that this ugly prototype survived the crusher. But aside from its ghoulish visage, it is amazing that Ferrari allowed its prototype to be sold. 

Soon after the LaFerrari prototype was finished, it was sold to a private owner who is now passing it along via RM Sotheby’s. Of all companies to let a rough prototype survive, Ferrari seems like one of the more unlikely. The Italians have a reputation for sleek, artistic, and wonderfully attractive designs. The fact that they let one so ugly and potentially unreliable or even dangerous out in the world is pretty shocking. 

Once the former 458 sheds its horrendous camo bodywork, the car left behind is actually kind of cool. It’s rough, but having a 458 with a wildly powerful and futuristic powerplant visibly jammed into an existing model offers a certain humanity to the Ferrari world. It acts as a reminder that real human brilliance is involved in designing and fabricating these poster cars. 

When does the LaFerrari prototype hit the auction block? 

MotorTrend notes that RM Sotheby’s will auction the Ferrari on May 14th in Monaco, just in case anyone let the unattractiveness force them to forget this is still a Ferrari. 


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