The most powerful production Ferrari ever. Although that statement does not get applied to a new car from the Italian automaker very often, today Ferrari took the wraps off its latest flagship sports car: the SF90 Stradale. With almost 1000 horsepower on tap, this new car is indeed more powerful than any other production car the company has ever delivered. Named for the 90th anniversary of Scuderia Ferrari, the SF90 Stradale exists as a prime example of the link between the company’s road cars and racing exploits.
Delivery of extreme power is only the beginning of what makes the new SF90 Stradale stand out from all other Ferraris — this new model is Ferrari’s first PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) which is also why it is the first range-topping Ferrari in the company’s history to skip the V12 powertrain. And to further shift expectations about a vehicle such as this, the SF90 Stradale has all-wheel drive.
Motivating this newest Ferrari is a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine that produces 769 horsepower. This unit gets combined with three electric motors — two on the front axle and one located between the engine and the gearbox. Total output is 986 horsepower with 664 lb-ft of torque.
Teamed with the hybrid system is an 8-speed Formula One-style dual-clutch gearbox. In a nod to Ferrari’s past, the controls for the transmission are centrally located in a mount that mimics the shift gate of legendary Ferraris that have manual gearboxes.
As expected, performance stats for the Ferrari SF90 Stradale are impressive. The new car sprints to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, reaches 124 mph in 6.7 seconds, and will eventually reach a claimed top speed of 211 mph. The SF90 Stradale’s lap time around Ferrari’s famous Fiorano racetrack is 79 seconds — about the same as the LaFerrari — the Italian marque’s first foray into hybrid powertrains for production road cars.
The SF90 Stradale will be offered in two versions — the standard car or the Assetto Fiorano, which has a more sports-oriented specification. The Assetto Fiorano gets some major upgrades including GT racing-derived Multimatic shock absorbers as well as lightweight features such as carbon fiber door panels and underbody, titanium springs and exhaust — which result in significant weight savings. The Assetto Fiorano also has a high-downforce carbon fiber rear spoiler as well as Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
The SF90 Stradale’s hybrid system can be set in one of four modes by the driver. An eDrive mode keeps the V8 shut off; power is provided by the two electric motors at the front. With a full charge, the car can travel in complete silence up to 15 miles in eDrive mode. Hybrid mode is the default setting, designed to optimize efficiency by shutting down the internal combustion engine when not needed. Performance mode keeps the engine running at all times so full power is instantly available. This mode will also charge the batteries. Ultimately, Qualify mode prioritizes performance over efficiency for maximum power available at all times.
Not only do the electric motors provide more power and efficiency, the two units up front help improve the SF90’s overall driving dynamics. The RAC-e motors can operate individually, creating a torque-vectoring system that will vary the speed and power between the inside and outside wheel in a turn for better performance and easier handling. The mass of the motors also provides additional grip when launching from a standstill.
As with previous Ferraris, the SF90 is designed not only to be pleasing to the eye — which it is — but also to provide proper aerodynamics that can simultaneously have low drag, high downforce when needed, as well as direct air to the engine and brakes for cooling. The SF90 produces as much as 860 pounds of downforce at 155 mph for considerably enhanced grip.
The SF90 Stradale possesses a number of innovative designs pertaining to airflow and cooling. For example, Ferrari worked with Brembo to create a new front brake caliper that has an integrated aerodynamic appendage to direct airflow to the brake pads and discs. Additional thought went into the wheel design, which works as a rotor to pull heat away from the brakes.
The overall design of the new SF90 Stradale evokes technological advancement, featuring narrow matrix LED headlights up front for a wide, clean look. The windshield extends practically to the front axle, flowing seamlessly to the slight bump up at the rear. Integrated exhaust outlets and a new take on the typical Ferrari round taillights can be found at the rear.
The interior reflects the fact that this SF90 Stradale is the most advanced Ferrari to date, featuring an aeronautically-inspired cockpit with a central instrument cluster that uses a 16-inch curved digital HD screen contributing to a wraparound feel. Taking a page from Ferrari’s F1 race car, almost all controls are now located on the steering wheel. Touchpads and soft-touch buttons allow the driver to change the display and access controls using thumbs alone.
No word on the price for this new Ferrari, but the LaFerrari it will replace was around $2 million, so that number is probably in the ballpark. And if the SF90 Stradale mimics past flagship models, purchase will likely be by invitation only.