In the world of high-performance super cars, there is something of a hierarchy across the history of the car and truck world. Yes, cars like the Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, and even the C8 Corvette are incredible machines that can dominate most cars on Earth, but there is another level of prestige that even these mighty cars can’t touch. The halo car for Ferrari has been essentially automotive royalty since its inception back in the days of the 250 GTO. This lineage has been passed down to some of the most special cars ever produced: the F40, then the F50, on to the Enzo, and then the LaFerrari. But just recently, Ferrari has finally created a successor to their first hybrid and the newest inductee to this iconic lineup is the Ferrari SF90 Stradale.
Where as the F40 was a twin-turbo V8, the F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari all used big naturally aspirated V12 engines. The one caveat that the LaFerrari threw in was that it also became Ferrari’s first hybrid car ever with the addition of an electric motor. The SF90 has taken up where the LaFerrari left off and run with it… quickly.
Going back to the F40-style setup, the SF90 utilizes a bigger 4.0-liter twin-turbo DOHC V8 that makes a sickening 769-horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque… before the electric motors ever even step in to help out. There are three total electric motors the SF90 Stradale uses, two located at each of the front wheels that contribute 97-horsepower each, and one mid-mounted between the gas engine and the transmission that tosses in another 157-hosrepower. For those mathematically challenged, we added it up for you, and the SF90 makes a mind-warping net-total 986-horsepower and 907 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than double what the SF90’s great-great-grandson F40 made.
That power for the Ferrari SF90 Stradale gets routed through a single-speed transmission for the electric motors, while the gas unit benefits from an 8-speed twin-clutch automatic that has a manual-shifting mode (like most modern supercars these days) with paddle shifters located just aft of the steering wheel. Strangely, the SF90 does not have a reverse gear built into that transmission. This decision was made to save valuable weight on what is meant to be a race-ready car for the street and considering the extra 500-pounds or so added from the hybrid system, it seems understandable. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean SF90 owners’ Kryptonite is parking head-on into a space. Instead, engineers made it so that when the Ferrari is put into “reverse”, it simple executes this action by having the front motors run backwards.
Reverse notwithstanding, there are four driving modes to choose from: Electric Drive (eD), Hybrid, Performance, and Qualifying. In electric-only mode, the SF90 can get up to 15 miles of pure electric driving, or up to 85 MPH, whichever comes first. Sure, this may not sound like a lot compared to your average Tesla, but the SF90 wasn’t built to be a long-range e-car. Hybrid mode will default to the electric motors, relying on the gas motor, when necessary, in terms of speed or power demand, whereas Performance flips the script and defaults to gas power, using the extra electric power whenever it deems necessary. Qualifying mode summons all power on deck and keeps things at full-strength to battle down those back straightaways with alacrity. However, after 130 MPH, the front motors are programmed to cut out of the fray, as they cannot spin much beyond that, and any available batter power is channeled solely to the rear motor. So that means that depending on what mode you happen to be in, and at what speed, the SF90 can be either front-wheel, all-wheel, or rear-wheel drive… crazy!
The SF90 Stradale is also crazy fast. Seriously, it’s the fastest Ferrari ever made. 0-60 MPH takes a blistering 2.5 seconds, while 0-100 takes just 4.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile streaks by in an NHRA-level 9.5 seconds at 148 MPH. Top speed is “just” 211 MPH, but any owner that complains past 200 MPH needs to learn how to fly an F16 instead of driving a car.
As the saying goes “if you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it”. Though, compared to the ridiculous $1.4 million price tag of the LaFerrari, the SF90 Stradale’s base price of “only” $511,295 seems downright affordable… at least in terms of hyper-performance luxury supercars. But, there are a litany of options available for the SF90, which, if you’re not careful, can escalate things quickly past the $700,000 mark. But, then again, if you’re in the market for one of these cars, two-hundred grand probably isn’t going to scare you off. Plus, the added bonus of being able to drive the latest addition of Ferrari’s halo car will make you feel just as prestigious and royal as the car is itself… and that feeling is priceless.