SF90 heralds Ferrari’s hybrid future. Ultra-high-tech flagship paves way for new era of electrified models from Maranello.
FERRARI ’S NEW 986BHP HYBRID
SF90 BY NUMBERS
POWER 769bhp (engine) + 217bhp (electric motors)
TOP SPEED 212mph
ELECTRIC RANGE 16 miles
DRY WEIGHT 1570kg
The 2020 Ferrari SF90 Stradale – the brand’s fastestaccelerating and most technically advanced road car to date – has been revealed as the first in a series of electrified Ferraris.
Described as a “milestone in Ferrari’s history” by company CEO Louis Camilleri, the new flagship model is the first series -production plug-in hybrid Ferrari, with more expected. It is the second of five new models to be presented this year in an “unprecedented” product rollout.
The SF90 name is taken from the firm’s latest Formula 1 car, and in turn references the 90 years since Scuderia Ferrari was founded. Unlike the earlier LaFerrari hypercar, which also used a hybrid powertrain, the SF90’s production is only limited to the amount Ferrari can sell. No price has been revealed at the time of going to press, but expect a figure around the £400,000 mark.
The SF90 Stradale’s petrol-electric powertrain produces a combined output of 986bhp – the most of any road-going Ferrari yet built. At its heart is Ferrari’s familiar ‘F154’ twin-turbocharged V8, bored out from the 3902cc of the 488 Pista to 3990cc. The combustion, intake and exhaust systems have been completely redesigned, and a new, 350bar direct fuel-injection system fitted, all of which contributes to an output of 769bhp from the V8 alone, with 590lb ft at 6000rpm.
The new engine design, which employs a smaller flywheel and has the turbo mounted lower down, results in a lower centre of gravity, while the exhaust system is made from Inconel to save weight.
Complementing the heavily revised V8 are three electric motors, two of which are mounted at the front and one at the rear, giving all-wheel-drive capability. All three generate a total output of 217bhp. They are powered by a relatively small 7.9kWh lithium ion battery pack that gives the SF90 a 16-mile all-electric range running at up to 84mph. The battery can be charged either by plugging into a supplied wallbox or using the engine as a generator.
The petrol and electric power sources channel their reserves through a newly developed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which is smaller and lighter than Ferrari’s old seven-speed unit and promises greater efficiency and 30% faster shift times.
The SF90 Stradale has a claimed 0-62mph time of 2.5sec – a record for a roadgoing Ferrari. It takes 6.7sec to hit 124mph from rest, while top speed is 212mph. Ferrari says the car pulls out a 64m lead ahead of LaFerrari over just one lap of the firm’s 1.86-mile Fiorano test track. A steering wheel-mounted power mode selector, dubbed ‘eManettino’, can be cycled through four drive modes to keep the car running on electric power only for as long as possible, to balance the two power sources or, in Qualify mode, to provide maximum combined performance for a limited period.
The car sits on a newly developed platform, with a multi-material chassis – a first for Ferrari – making use of aluminium and carbonfibre.
The result is a dry weight figure of 1570kg – around 315kg more than the LaFerrari, which makes use of a carbonfibre tub. Despite the reduction in weight, Ferrari claims 40% higher torsional rigidity than previous platforms.
Extensive work on integrating the new power systems has resulted in a new electronic Slide Slip Control (eSSC) system. A brake-by-wire system also features, which Ferrari promises has as much feel as a traditional set-up while allowing the car to balance electric regeneration against traditional assistance. Electronic torque vectoring manages power on the front axle, with Ferrari claiming that the combination of the technologies improves lap times while also allowing “drivers of all kinds” to “have fun behind the wheel”.
The SF90 Stradale will be available in two body styles: the ‘standard’ car and an optional Asseto Fiorano package, swapping day-to-day comfort for track pace. It features a taller rear spoiler for increased downforce, a more stripped-out cabin and bespoke carbonfibre detailing, which results in a further 30kg weight reduction.
Shorter overhangs have created a cab-forward layout said to emphasise the SF90’s mid-engined look and feel.
The cabin area is 20mm lower than those of previous Ferraris, while the bubble-shaped design features larger rear flying buttresses – a classic Ferrari design cue. Slim C-shaped headlights now use matrix LED technology, while the exhaust is mounted centrally and high up on the rear profile.
Ferrari says the SF90 Stradale is “the new benchmark for downforce and efficiency in high-performance road cars”. The claimed headline figure is 390kg of downforce at 155mph – 30kg more than the LaFerrari.
A stand-out bodywork feature, dubbed the ‘shut-off Gurney’, forms part of the rear spoiler. The mobile device is lowered towards the body in high-downforce conditions in order to create a different flow of air over the rear section. As with the rest of the car, the SF90’s cabin is totally new.
The dashboard is dominated by a redesigned interface and a super-sized 16in curved digital instrument cluster. Most functions are controlled from here, with only a handful of touch-sensitive buttons either side of the wheel for climate and drive assist functions.
A head-up display has been added, but it’s the new steering wheel that is most significant. Ferrari says that 80% of the car’s functions can be controlled from here for “eyes-on-the-road, hands-on the-wheel” safety.
First deliveries of the SF90 Stradale will be in Italy are tipped to begin in the first quarter of next year.
OFFICIAL HD PICTURES
Dash features a curved, 16in instrument display SF90’s multi-material chassis contributes to a 1570kg dry weight. Spoiler’s ‘shut-off Gurney’ adjusts downforce at speed.
Q&A MICHAEL HUGO LEITERS, FERRARI TECH CHIEF
Where does the SF90 Stradale sit in Ferrari’s range, and how will its technology influence forthcoming models?
“We describe this as the ‘range supercar’ – this is the top performance model, and we will produce derivations of this architecture lower down the range. There will be other hybrid models, yes, but they will have very different characteristics and powertrain layouts to this.”
This car is named after your Formula 1 car. How much engineering know-how is borrowed from your race programme?
“This car does not use specific parts from the Formula 1 car – it is not technically possible for a road car. But there are many technological learnings taken from it: brake-by-wire, for example, and the MGUK system that provides electric boost and recuperates itself while driving.”
There is a vast array of control and drive systems for this car, but you have not added four-wheel steering. Why is that?
“We looked at it but we do not need it. We already have the same short wheelbase maintained from the F8 Tributo, and short overhangs, so this car is easy to manoeuvre. There is no big advantage of four-wheel steering here, and it adds weight”.