Maranello’s latest nutcase, the Ferrari SF90, has finally gone public. Well, officially, anyway – the invitation to the launch event leaked last week, into the hands of German site Auto Motor und Sport.
Named for the 90th anniversary of the foundation of Scuderia Ferrari, it’s not a bad way to celebrate.
The new machine boasts massive power from two sources – the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 from the 488/F8 Tributo and three electric motors – two in the front wheels and one in the transaxle out back. Together, that’s a power output of 735kW (1000PS) and a stratospheric torque figure.
It’s absolutely not a LaFerrari replacement, though, so don’t get too excited. Partly because it will probably wipe the floor with the hyper-exclusive hypercar and mostly because owners of those cars are quite attached to its resale value.
For the first time, Ferrari is offering a plug-in hybrid in series production, an electric-only mode, all-wheel drive in a mid-engined supercar and three electric motors to go with the trademark V8.
Ferrari says it has completely redesigned the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 for it’s installation in the SF90. Revving to 8000rpm, it produces 574kW (780PS) at 7500rpm. Peak torque of 800Nm arrives at 6000rpm.
The electric system adds a further 162kW (220PS), supplied by a 7.9kW/h battery. Ferrari says you can toddle around under electric power for up to 25km which is most un-Ferrari. I can’t wait to try it and see if anyone notices…
There’s more – when you’re in electric mode, the SF90 is front-wheel drive *gasp*. No, it’s not a big deal, I’m being silly. Reverse gear is also electric-only, meaning the V8 isn’t burning the planet while you negotiate a parallel park. Knocking reverse gear out of the gearbox saves 3kg.
The third motor is jammed in between the engine and gearbox, adding a bit more oomph to the rear wheels. Ferrari says the electric motors help improve the response of the V8, helping close the gap back to the naturally-aspirated V8’s throttle response.
Speaking of the gearbox, Ferrari has upped the gear count to eight. The new gearbox is an eight-speed oil bathed twin-clutch transmission. The overall size of the gearbox is 20
Apparently it can transmit up to 1200Nm. That’s one strong gearbox and is 30
All of that helps explain the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time of 2.5 seconds and 0-200 (124mph) of 6.7 seconds. Top speed is a wild 340km/h.
Chassis and Aero
Naturally, all that oomph needs something that can cope with it. The SF90 has liberal applications of aluminium and carbon fibre, also helping keep weight down.
There is still a lot of 458/488/F8 underneath it, but
The headline downforce figure of 390kg at 250km/h is something of an eye-opener.
An active wing at the rear with the snappy title of “shut-off Gurney” manages drag and downforce at the rear in tandem with a two-piece fixed wing. At speed the, uh SOG, uncovers the fixed wing which generates the high downforce needed for cornering, all based on braking, cornering and driver inputs.
Up front are a series of vortex generators. Ferrari’s engineers lifted the front end by 15mm to accommodate more of these and to optimise the flows. The upper section of the front bumper compresses air flowing over the car and feeds two forward diffusers to generate front downforce.
Even the wheel arches are blown, the force of the air exiting creates a sort of ground effect. Nifty.
The SF90 also features brake by wire, which talks to the hybrid system to balance braking power between energy recovery, engine braking and normal braking. The usual F1 Active Diff is present at the back and the front wheels feature electronic torque vectoring across the two electric motors.
How much and when?
Yeah, it’s going to be a lot, but unlike LaFerrari, this car is a “permanent” feature of the range. Ferrari says it sits above the F8 and below LaFerrari (ok, sure), but in
Some estimates are putting it around €700,000, so that’s not messing about. But we won’t know until Ferrari tells us, so let’s wait and see.
It’s the wildest berlinetta Ferrari has ever produced and it’s going to put a rocket up McLaren. Good. It’ll be fun watching them try and out-do each other.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.