The most powerful Ferrari ever is a plug-in hybrid.
Ferrari’s long-awaited new supercar, only the second production Prancing Horse hybrid to be released after the LaFerrari debuted in 2013, has finally hit the reveal stage in time to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Ferrari’s Scuderia racing division. Dubbed the SF90 Stradale to commemorate the event, this plug-in hybrid supercar represents a new era for Ferrari.
It’s the most powerful production Ferrari ever built, it’s the brand’s first flagship with a V8 rather than a V12, and it even earns the title of being Ferrari’s first all-wheel-drive sports car (the term sports car apparently doesn’t apply to the GTC4Lusso in Ferrari’s eyes). And just to be sure the supercar's looks don’t understate its incredible performance, Ferrari made sure to give the SF90 Stradale a highly futuristic aesthetic that looks to the company’s future while simultaneously calling back to its past.
Helping it surpass its predecessor in terms of sheer performance is a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with its cylinder banks set 90-degrees apart. Alone, it produces 769 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful V8 Ferrari has ever made. Thanks to the help of three electric motors, one powering each of the front wheels and a third MGUK motor (named after the kinetic energy-recuperating F1 technology on which its based) positioned between the engine and a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, the gasoline motor gets a 217 horsepower boost, bringing the SF90 Stradale’s total output to 986 horsepower.
With all four wheels clawing the pavement (no mention of a drift mode), the SF90 Stradale makes the run from 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds, passes 125 mph in just 6.7 seconds, and only stops accelerating once it reaches its 211 mph top speed. And while that’s enough performance to snap necks in a straight line, the SF90 Stradale comes well-equipped for the track. Around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, the SF90 Stradale sets a lap in just 1:19 minutes, which is 0.7 seconds faster than the LaFerrari can do it.
But one need not be an expert to drive the SF90 Stradale quickly. Thanks to the electric motors up front, Ferrari engineers were able to expand the supercar’s torque-vectoring capabilities to the front axle. Aerodynamics lend an additional element of control, with the SF90 Stradale generating up to 860 pounds of downforce at 155 mph. That’s accomplished in part by setting the front of the chassis 15mm higher than the car’s center to increase the amount of air traveling to the vortex generators up front, which helps streamline air around the body.
A variety of drive modes help tailor the experience. The milder eDrive and Hybrid modes aim to save fuel, with the former allowing drivers to travel up to 16 miles at speeds of up to 84 mph on pure electricity, while Performance mode keeps the V8 turned on to shift focus away from efficiency and towards charging the battery. The most intense mode, Qualify, allows the SF90 Stradale to come out guns blazing, with a greater emphasis on performance than on battery charging.
In addition to the drive modes, Ferrari will offer the SF90 Stradale in two flavors, in "standard” and Assetto Fiorano specs, the latter of which includes special GT racing-derived Multimatic shock absorbers, a lightweight underbody and door panels made from high-performance materials like carbon-fiber, and titanium springs and exhaust, resulting in a weight-saving of 66 pounds.
One of the SF90 Stradale’s main improvements takes place on the scales, with the car weighing in at 3,461 pounds, 30 pounds less than the LaFerrari thanks in no small part to its smaller engine. Even though the car is lighter, its chassis is 20 percent stiffer and 40 percent more torsionally rigid than Ferrari’s past performance platforms.
The SF90 Stradale’s radical design certainly looks ferocious. It features a black roof with the windshield ending below the top of the hood, much like the LaFerrari, while the front gets a similar hammerhead look, albeit with the side extensions taking place in front of the headlights. The side profile is classic Ferrari taken to yet another extreme, while the rear features a set of square taillights and a suspended rear wing with one portion remaining fixed and the other bearing the SF90 Stradale’s active "shut-off gurney.”
The interior gets a new look of its own, merging the best of a Formula 1 car’s focus with the type of radically lightweight luxury that Ferrari has learned to craft over the years. The center instrument cluster is now fully digital and is displayed on a 16-inch curved screen that can be configured with the steering wheel’s new touchpad and hepatic buttons. While Ferrari has yet to mention a price or delivery date, we expect the SF90 Stradale to hit the road by the end of the year. If you really must know the price, then this car isn’t for you.