Next-Generation Ferrari Rolls to the Starting Line

The SF90 Stradale looks about as breathtaking as any new Ferrari-sparkling, sleek and begging for speed. But it’s actually the car’s on-paper measurables that could inspire a gearhead’s heart to drop to their knees. That’s because the Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the company’s first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

If that’s not enough to earn the storied supercar company a little added publicity, the Stradale is also its first four-wheel capable vehicle.

“The new model is extreme on every level and represents a true paradigm shift, because it delivers unprecedented performance for a production car,” Ferrari stated in a news release.

The car pushes 986 horsepower in part thanks to Ferrari’s most powerful engine ever-”the 90-degree V-8 turbo engine delivering 760 horsepower-”with 217 horsepower provided by three electric motors. The rear electric motor, known as the MGUK (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic) due to its derivation from the Formula 1 application, is located between the engine and the new eight-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, according to the company.

“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 V-8, the electric motors and the batteries,” Ferrari’s news release said.

The car also generates 860 pounds of downforce at 155 mph.

All Wheels Activated

The SF90 Stradale is also the first Ferrari sports car to be equipped with four-wheel drive, 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: zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and zero to 124 mph 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 optimization of the whole of the car, according to Ferrari. For maximum performance in terms of overall weight, rigidity and center of gravity, the chassis and bodyshell of the SF90 Stradale is all new, built using multi-material technology, including, for example, carbon fiber.

Family Innovation

The SF90 Stradale takes 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.

The track-derived “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” philosophy significantly influences the ergonomics and styling of the interior. The result is an Human-Machine Interface (HMI) 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-inch 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.

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

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-fiber (door panels, underbody) and titanium (springs, entire exhaust line), resulting in a weight-saving of 72 pounds. Another difference is the high downforce carbon-fiber rear spoiler which generates 860 pounds of downforce at 155 mph.

The Assetto Fiorano includes Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires designed specifically to improve performance on the track in the dry. They feature a softer compound and fewer grooves than the tires provided as standard.

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