The SF90 Stradale is the fastest, most powerful production Ferrari supercar yet, features hybrid technology and all-wheel drive. Fun fact, there’s two of the available as well.
1) 986hp – Nine HUNDRED and eighty-six horsepower – is sent to all four wheels
Let’s start nice and simple: the SF90 Stradale is the fastest and most powerful production Ferrari ever made.
Granted, it’s not the first time we’ve heard this from Maranello, nor, undoubtedly, will it be the last, but that doesn’t make the kind of grunt of which the SF90 Stradale is capable any less impressive. Producing 1,000cv (986hp) and 590lb ft (800Nm) of torque, the SF90, at full chat, will hit 340kph and will reach 100kph from standstill in 2.5 seconds, and 0-200kph in just 6.7 seconds. For added context, this means the SF90 will be nose-to-nose with a Bugatti Chiron on the run to the ton, while the ‘humble’ McLaren Senna will be lagging three-tenths behind.
In order to avoid turning its 20in rear tyres into a fine goose liver pate when the right pedal is so much as breathed upon, Ferrari, for the first time in its illustrious prancing history, has incorporated four-wheel drive into its new production sports car (tsk tsk, the GTC4Lusso T is a ‘sporting grand tourer’).
How has Ferrari done that? Well…
2) It’s new 4-litre twin-turbo V8 is mated to three electric motors
Yep, it’s a hybrid! The 950hp LaFerrari finally has some company of its green pedestal.
That spleen-rupturing grunt we mentioned above is produced via an updated version of the ‘F154’ twin-turbocharged V8 you’ll find in the 488, albeit beefed up from 3,902cc to 3,990cc thanks to a larger bore. That takes care of the first 780cv (769hp), while the remaining 162kw (217hp) is provided by three electric motors.
The first, located on the rear axle between the engine and the transmission, is essentially a road-going version of the MGUK system (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic) found on Ferrari’s Formula 1 car, which converts the kinetic energy delivered under braking and stores it as electricity. The remaining two meanwhile are mounted on the front axle, and each powers its own wheel. Power is thus equally distributed to all four corners, meaning the only thing you’ll find with more traction will be at the greyhound track.
“Producing 986hp and 590lb ft of torque, the SF90, at full chat, will hit 340kph and will reach 100kph from standstill in 2.5 seconds.”
All three electric motors are fed by a 7.9kWh lithium ion battery pack, which means the SF90 can travel up to 25km – at reduced speeds of course – on pure electric ‘eDrive’ power.
Oh, speaking of eDrive, that’s one of four new driving modes available on the steering wheel-mounted, rotary ‘eManettino’ switch (essentially Ferrari’s now customary Manettino driver select device with a funkier, more eco-friendly name). The other three Hybrid, Performance and the extra potent Qualifying. Make sure you’ve finished your morning espresso and grown an extra pair before selecting that, future owners.
3) It has no reverse gear…sort of.
Okay, technically not true, so please avoid the temptation to unleash the CAPS LOCK fury and explain what tosspots we are in the comments section. Because that never gets old, honest.
Tying the drivetrain together is an all-new eight-speed automatic, which, somehow and despite the extra gear ratio, is 20 per cent smaller and 7kg lighter than the seven-speed box fitted to the 488. That has been managed by discarding reverse gear altogether, a function that’s now taken on exclusively by the electrically driven front wheels.
4) But there is a new ‘multi-material’ chassis
You won’t be finding any refashioned 488 platforms at the heart of the SF90. Nope. Instead, the newboy has been built around an entirely new ‘multi-material’ chassis composed of forged aluminium and a smattering of carbon fibre. That means the overall kerb weight is a not-wholy-unimpressive 1,570kg – just 4kg less than the equally hybrid LaFerrari – and 270kg of that is down to the drivetrain. It also means the base is stiffer than a stale baguette, so, again, grip shouldn’t be an issue.
In order to incorporate the three electric motors though, the dimensions of the SF90 have ballooned a touch compared with Ferrari’s current range. At 4,710mm long, 1,972mm wide and 1,186mm tall, its 99mm longer than the F8 but 7mm narrowed and 20mm closer to the asphalt.
5) It celebrates the 90th anniversary of Scuderia Praha…
No prizes for guessing that, given that the bloody thing is called ‘SF90’ (‘Stradale’ is Italian for ‘street’, just FYI). But yes, the company’s new halo is the second of an expected five new models arriving in 2019 – the first being the F8 Tributo – and pays homage to the foundation of Enzo Ferrari’s eponymous race team 90 years ago, one that’s since gone on to win 15 F1 Drivers’ Championships, 16 Constructors’ Championship, and a bugger-ton of race wins (234, if you must be precise) in the world’s premier single seater series. And that’s not even including its sports car record and nine outright Le Mans wins.
For the eagle-eyed, the team’s 2019 F1 challenger is also called the SF90.
6) …but there’s not many tell-tale signs of that in the design
We were primed and ready to comment on the new compact front overhangs ‘reminiscent of the nosecone on the 2004 title winning F2004’, or the high exhaust pipes ‘akin to the shark finned SF70H’. But no. Turns out, in a complete leap away from automotive convention, the design of the SP90 is actually geared towards ‘creat[ing] a forward-looking, innovative design that transmits the car’s mission as an extreme sports car’. Consequently the front end is low and sharp, complete with LED matrix headlights (another Ferrari first) while highlights at the rear include floating buttresses behind the seats, a huge “screw you” rear diffuser, and an active rear spoiler designed to unlock enough downforce to spill out of your ears.
On the inside meanwhile is a more digital stratosphere than we’ve arguably seen before on a production Ferrari. Save the eManettino rotary switch, every other dial is touch-sensitive, and 80 per cent of the car’s switchgear can be accessed on via the steering wheel. Listen very carefully, and you can actually hear the traditionally minimalist McLaren centre in Woking recoiling with horror.
7) There’s actually TWO versions available from launch
Another first for a Ferrari production sports car. Alongside the standard model, Maranello also will be offering a more ‘sports-orientated’(!) version of the SF90, dubbed the Assetto Fiorano (or Fiorano Attitude), in a move similar to the Weissach package Porsche offers new owners of the 911 GT2 RS.
Both versions will of course share the same nuclear missile masquerading as a twin-turbo hybrid engine, as well as the same chassis. The Assetto though will feature a distinctive livery, lightweight carbon fibre doors – which contribute to a 30kg weight saving, and thus a new 1,570kg dry weight – GT racing-derived shock absorbers and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2. Plus, presumably, a whopping great number added to an already stiff price tag too.
And on that note…
8) Prices are speculated to be around the half-mill mark
And with all that comes the final kick to the front molars, as price, although not yet confirmed, is expected to hover somewhere around the $450-$500K mark. Now, that’s a serious chunk of the mortgage payments your bank manager will no doubt want a quick word with you about, but bear in mind the SF90 Stradale is not a limited edition model: there’s already 2,000 customers earmarked, compared with only a couple of hundred that got their greasy, well-manicured mitts on a LaFerrari keyfob. That the SF90 – “a milestone”, don’t forget – will still be accessible to your ‘average’ 812 Superfast owner is saying quite a lot. In a perverse kind of way, at least.