The Ferrari SF90 Stradale – the new series-production supercar

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale – the new series-production supercar

Ferrari introduces a new chapter in its history with the introduction  of its first series production PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid  Electric Vehicle), the SF90 Stradale. The new model  is extreme on every level and  represents a true  paradigm shift, because it delivers unprecedented performance for a production car.   Figures such  as 1,000 cv, and  a weight-to-power ratio  of 1.57  kg/cv, and  390  kg of downforce at 250 km/h  not only put the SF90 Stradale at the top of its segment, but also  mean  that a V8 is the  top-of-the-range model  for the  first time  in the marque’s history.

The car’s name  encapsulates the true significance of all that has been achieved in terms of performance. The reference  to the 90th  anniversary  of the foundation  of Scuderia Ferrari underscores the strong link that has  always existed between  Ferrari’s track and road  cars.  A brilliant  encapsulation  of the most advanced  technologies developed in Maranello,  the  SF90  Stradale  is  also   the  perfect   demonstration   of  how   Ferrari immediately  transitions  the knowledge   and   skills it  acquires   in  competition to  its production cars.

The SF90 Stradale has a 90°  V8 turbo engine capable of delivering 780 cv, the highest power  output of any 8-cylinder in Ferrari history. The remaining  220  cv is delivered by three electric  motors, one  at the rear,  known as the MGUK (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic)  due  to its  derivation from the Formula  1 application, located  between  the engine and  the new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission on the rear axle, and  two on the front axle. This sophisticated system does  not, however, make for a more  complicated driving experience. Quite the opposite, in fact: the driver simply has to select one of the four power unit modes, and then just concentrate on driving. The sophisticated control logic takes care  of the rest, managing the flow of power between the V8, the electric motors and the batteries.

The SF90 Stradale is also the first Ferrari sports car to be equipped with 4WD, a step necessary to allow the incredible power unleashed by the hybrid powertrain to be fully exploited, ensuring the car has become the new  benchmark for standing starts: 0-100km/h in 2.5 sec and 0-200km/h in just 6.7 seconds.

Ferrari’s engineers  were able  to further broaden the spectrum of dynamic  controls by introducing the full-electric front axle, known as the RAC-e (electronic cornering  set-up regulator). As well as  exclusively providing  propulsion in electric drive, the two front motors independently  control  the torque delivered  to the two wheels,  extending the concept of Torque  Vectoring. Fully integrated into the car’s vehicle dynamics  controls, the RAC-e governs the distribution of torque, making driving on the limit much  simpler and easier.

The introduction of this hybrid architecture was a challenge with regard  to managing the additional weight  which was resolved  by an obsessive  attention to  detail and  the overall optimisation  of the whole  of the car. For maximum  performance in terms of overall  weight, rigidity and centre of  gravity, the chassis and bodyshell of the SF90

Stradale is all new, built using multi-material technology, including, for example, carbon fibre.

The development of a hybrid car of this kind demanded the development of a series of innovative aerodynamic solutions. The significant boost in the power  unit’s performance brought with it an increase in the amount of heat energy to be dissipated and required the development team to carry out an in-depth review of the aerodynamic flows on the radiating masses.  It also demanded new solutions to increase downforce efficiently and guarantee maximum stability at all speeds and in all driving conditions.

Particularly  noteworthy is the innovative  shut-off Gurney, a patented active  system located at the rear of the car which regulates the air flow over the upper body, reducing drag  at high speeds with low lateral dynamics loads  and increasing downforce in corners, under braking and during changes of direction.

The new car is epoch-changing from a stylistic perspective  as it completely  rewrites the mid-rear-engined sports  berlinetta proportions introduced on the 360 Modena twenty years ago, instead taking its inspiration from Ferrari’s recent supercars. A good  example is the cockpit, which has  a smaller  frontal  section  and  is placed  closer to the front  of the car to reduce drag. This was also achieved without impacting on-board comfort.

The track-derived “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” philosophy takes on a truly central  role for the first time too, significantly influencing the ergonomics and  styling of the interior.  The result is an HMI  (Human-Machine  Interface) and interior layout concept that are a complete departure from previous models.

Another major  innovation is the steering wheel which now has a touchpad and a series of haptic buttons that allow the driver to control virtually every aspect of the car using just their thumbs. The central  instrument  cluster is now entirely digital with the first automotive application of a 16″ curved HD screen  which can be fully configured and controlled using the controls on the steering wheel.

On the central tunnel, improved  ergonomics have been combined with an  element from the past: the automatic gearbox controls are now selected by a grille-style feature that references Ferrari’s  legendary manual gear-shift  gate. Thus past and present skilfully merge to point the new Ferrari towards the future.

The SF90 Stradale also sees the debut of the new ignition keywith full keyless technology which will gradually be introduced across  the rest of the range, personalised with the model’s name. Thanks to a special compartment in the central tunnel, it becomes an integral part of the car’s styling.

In addition to the sporty version, which references the shape and colour of the signature rectangular Prancing  badge  sported by Ferrari’s road cars, there will also be a more elegant metal-coloured version.

For the first time on a Ferrari, clients can choose between the standard car and a version with a more sports-oriented specification. The Assetto Fiorano specification includes significant upgrades, including special GT racing-derived Multimatic shock absorbers, extra lightweight features made from high-performance materials such  as carbon-fibre (door panels, underbody) and titanium (springs, entire  exhaust line), resulting in a weight-saving of 30 kg. Another difference is the high downforce carbon- fibre rear spoiler which generates 390  kg of  downforce at 250 km/h. The Assetto Fiorano includes Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres designed specifically to improve performance on the track in the dry. They feature a softer compound and fewer grooves than the tyres provided  as standard.


Internal  combustion engine

Type                                                V8 – 90°  – turbo – dry sump

Total displacement                            3990  cc

Maximum power output*                   574 kW (780  cv) @ 7500  rpm

Max torque                                       800 Nm @ 6000  rpm

Specific power output                        195 cv/l Max. engine speed     8000  rpm

Hybrid system

Maximum power electric motors         162 kW (220  cv)

Battery capacity                                7.9 kWh

Max. range under electric power        25 km

Dimensions and weight

Length                               4710  mm

Width                                 1972  mm

Height                                1186  mm

Wheelbase                          2650  mm

Dry weight**                       1570  kg

Weight distribution               45% front – 55% rear

Boot capacity                        74 l

Rear shelf capacity                 20 l

Fuel tank capacity                  68 l (2 reserve)


Front                                     255/35 ZR 20 J9.5

Rear                                      315/30 ZR 20 J11.5


Front                                     398 x 223 x 38 mm

Rear                                      360 x 233 x 32 mm

Transmission and gearbox    8-speed, F1 dual-clutch transmission

Electronic  controls                  eSSC: E4WD  (eTC,  eDiff3),  SCME-Frs, FDE2.0, EPS, high performance ABS/EBD with energy recovery


Maximum speed                      340 km/h

0-100  km/h                          2.5 s

0-200  km/h                          6.7 s

100-0  km/h                          <29.5 m

Dry weight/power                 1.57 kg/cv



Johann van Tonder is ‘n boorling van George met ‘n groot liefde vir die Suid Kaap, sy natuur en geskiedenis. As redakteur, joernalis, radio persoonlikheid en storieverteller leef hy hom uit in die wêreld van motors en motorfietse en bevind homself gereeld in verskillende dele van die land op die nuutste motor en motorfiets bekendstellings. Onder die vaandel Trailrider Media verskaf hy motor en motorfiets verwante inhoud aan koerante, tydskrifte en verskeie radiostasies. Wanneer hy tuis is verken hy graag die area se agterpaaie op sy ysterperd op soek na nuwe stories en verhale vir sy reis blog en druk-titel Ultimate Lifestyle.

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