Ferrari SF90 Stradale, road test with 1,000 HP

What more can you want than a red Italian sport car, with the emblem of a pony on the bodywork? Well, perhaps one of the most powerful and technological redheads of all.

The Ferrari SF90 is just that: it represents the maximum that Maranello can offer today, with 1,000 HP of power and three electric motors to support the 4.0 V8 bi-turbo petrol engine. What this car gives you when you drive it revolves around the addition of electricity, precisely because – in a certain sense – it escapes the senses of the driver.

How is it outside
To materialize the essence of such a technological Ferrari, the team of designers led by Flavio Manzoni not only took into account the links that this car has with racing cars (it bears the name of a Formula 1 car), but took inspiration also from the world of boats and spaceships. In addition, in order to define the shapes of the bodywork, we often thought about the subtraction of volumes, like in a sculpture.

But to describe the general approach, you can start, perhaps, from the V shape of the front, which generates a sort of slingshot effect also taken in the tail, almost as if it were a negative. The headlights, LED matrix for the first time on a Ferrari, give expressiveness to the eye with unprecedented horizontal slits and for the effect of two aeronautical-inspired cantilevered flaps. Further down there are other slots, this time for cooling the brakes and – in the lower part of the bumper, in the center – to cool the car’s electrical core, leaving the sockets on the sides that cool the “thermal” mechanics.

Unlike other Ferrari (such as the 360 ​​Modena, for example) the roof and wheel arch line is no longer connected seamlessly with that of the rear window, an area where instead it is now accentuated as the passenger compartment is advanced and very low in the side silhouette, almost to make it disappear from the proportions, thanks also to the paint that practically blends with the color of the glazing.

The rear spoiler is lowered by closing the air passage channel to give more downforce and not to “dirty” the aesthetics of the lines, with the four rear lights on the sides, which is as if they were born by cutting the traditional round shape into slices , generating rings with three-dimensional effect. The side excavations, then, in the rear view resemble a trimaran, also for the contrast with the bodywork generated of the carbon diffuser, as well as for the high position of the terminals, which also gives more efficiency to the exhaust line.

How it is inside

The aeronautical-inspired concepts are also found in the cockpit, with the cockpit surrounding the pilot and featuring a new fully digital human-machine interface technology. With the instrumentation off, the screens are perfectly black, almost not to dirty the design, and then come to life with the various functions when the car is in motion. The display in the dashboard, for the first time on a production car, is a curved 16-inch display that shows the commands given by a steering wheel which is also completely digital, at the level of the keys.

And, in all this modernity, there is the reference to the manual gearbox of historic Ferraris, with the reinterpretation of the metal gear selection grid. In addition, all the elements with a technical function of the passenger compartment are in carbon, covered with upholstery of typical Italian taste, as in the case of seats without a metal structure to save weight and improve ergonomics.

Driving pleasure

The numbers of this super sports car can be found in the table at the bottom of the article, but there is no doubt that thinking that you have 1,000 HP available makes an impression. “driving with the long accelerator” gives the idea of ​​how much reserve of thrust there is under the right foot. Especially keeping high gears, without downshifting.

The torque of the 3 electric motors, in fact, fills the delivery in the lower part of the tachometer, in a formidable combination with the typical feature of the Ferrari bi-turbo V8, which itself puts 780 HP and 800 Nm on the plate. Electronic delivery management, which in low gears imitates an aspirated engine to reduce response delays with the limiter set at 8000 rpm, and at the top makes full use of all the advantages of the boost guaranteed by the turbo.

And the exciting thing is how the two front electric motors work to ground all this goodness, giving more torque on the external wheel and less on the internal one, allowing you to make trajectories that the brain has difficulty imagining.

Even more on the race circuit, where this intelligent all-wheel drive, together with the fine tuning of the electronic controls that support the driver, allow you to exploit the “photonic” performance of the SF90 with surprising naturalness. Even in the wet. One aspect remained impressed on everyone, : the brakes. They are by wire – electrically controlled – and the pedal has an impressive modulation considering how short the stroke is, despite the electrical regeneration.


Modern Ferraris, in terms of absorption of the suspensions, have got used to us very well now. And the SF90 is no exception. Just press the button on the steering wheel to soften the response of the electronic shock absorbers and you can move with great ease even on asphalts that are anything but perfect. In addition, here we are talking about a plug-in hybrid car with 8 kWh of battery, which in full electric mode allows you to cover up to 25 km, for a maximum speed of 135 km / h.

By selecting instead the hybrid driving mode, you travel with the petrol engine turned off more often than you can imagine in normal traffic conditions, in silence. In total in these conditions the rear electric motor reaches a maximum of 220 HP and 266 Nm, while each of the front motors can give up to 134 HP and 85 Nm.

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