New Ferrari SF90 Stradale: 986bhp plug-in hybrid power for new flagship
The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the brand’s first ever plug-in hybrid, combining Ferrari’s most powerful V8 ever with three electric motors
Ferrari has taken the wraps off the second of five new cars planned for 2019, the new SF90 Stradale. The first ever plug-in hybrid Ferrari is described by CEO Louis Camilleri as “a milestone” in Ferrari history, and is positioned as a new halo model for the current line-up.
The name SF90 Stradale references Ferrari’s 90th anniversary in F1, which the brand celebrates this year, and is taken from the current SF90 Formula One race car, with the ‘Stradale’ appendage meaning street in Italian. Camilleri explained that the brand would use the hybrid aspect of the SF90 Stradale to “attract a new type of customer”.
At the heart of the car lies a mid-mounted turbocharged V8 allied to three electric motors fed by a small 7.9kWh battery located behind the rear bulkhead. Ferrari claims that several new technological innovations other than this plug-in powertrain feature on the newcomer.
The engine is a wholly redeveloped version of the turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 unit used elsewhere in the range. Bore increases to take the total displacement up to 4.0-litres, while the intake and exhaust systems, along with the turbocharger have all been redesigned. On its own, the V8 produces 769bhp.
Alongside its petrol engine, the SF90 Stradale also uses three-electric motors: one runs on the driveshaft from the engine to a brand new, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the other two drive the front axle making the car four-wheel drive.
Top speed, 0-62mph and electric range
New thermal management technology specifically for the battery and motors has been equipped and total electric power stands at 217bhp. Ferrari says it’s possible to drive the SF90 Stradale on battery power only for 15.5 miles when the car is toggled into eDrive via the wheel mounted Manettino switch. 84mph is the top speed when in this electric power only mode but by default, the SF90 Stradale will operate in Hybrid mode, combining electric and petrol power for optimum performance.
Performance and Qualify modes also feature, allowing the driver to access the SF90 Stradale’s headline performance figures. Total combined power stands at 986bhp and there’s 800Nm torque giving rise to what Ferrari claims is a 0-62mph of 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 211mph. We’re also told that SF90 Stradale has been around the brand’s Fiorano test circuit faster than the limited run, V12 hybrid LaFerrari.
While a lot of the performance can be put down to the powertrain, aerodynamics and new, faster shifting gearbox, Ferrari has also used the SF90 Stradale’s electric motors to further develop its traction and dynamic control systems. The car gets a new version of Ferrari’s electronic Slip Slide Control, which includes a traction control system individually controlling all four wheels, and a brake-by-wire system which uses the electric motors to both slow the car and regenerate energy for the battery pack.
Torque vectoring appears at the front axle too, automatically managing power and traction on the inside and outside wheels at corner exits. To save weight the new eight-speed gearbox does not feature a reverse gear, and the car relies on battery power only to go backwards.
Chassis, weight and design
The SF90 Stradale is built around a brand new ‘multi-material’ chassis using a combination of forged aluminium and carbon-fibre. Ferrari claims a kerb-weight of 1,570kg, with 270kg of that weight put down to the integration of the all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain.
The design remains that of a cab-forward mid-engined supercar. The nose is low and sharp and features distinctly thin LED matrix headlights, while the rear three quarter is dominated by floating buttresses. The rear fascia is tall, flat and integral to an aerodynamic set-up also featuring a huge rear diffuser. The active rear spoiler can move up and down on a horizontal axis, unlocking more downforce when required.
Ferrari has also launched a sports-oriented version of the SF90 called Assetto Fiorano. Design wise it features a carbon fibre spoiler, carbon wheels and a distinctive livery, while lightweight carbon fibre doors, titanium springs and exhaust parts contribute to a 30kg weight saving. The SF90 Assetto Fiorano also gets GT racing-derived shock absorbers and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres as standard.
Step inside the Ferrari SF90 Stradale and you’ll find a cabin boasting a significantly more digital driving environment than any Ferrari before it. Every piece of switchgear on the dashboard, with the exception of the Manettino switch, is on touch sensitive panels, with 80 per cent of the car’s controls clustered on the steering wheel. A central infotainment display is not equipped, and instead the SF90 Stradale relies on a new 16-inch fully configurable digital instrument panel and a head-up display. To top it off, Ferrari has introduced a brand new, smaller key too.
Price and on release date
The SF90 Stradale is a series production model and not a limited run car, and around 2,000 potential customers have been earmarked already. Prices have not been communicated but it won’t reach the level of the LaFerrari hypercar in terms of cost, and will instead neatly top the regular Ferrari line-up sitting above the 812 Superfast. As such, a starting price between £350,000-£400,000 seems likely, with deliveries to take place by summer 2020.
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