Ferrari’s hyper hybrid is out

Our Bureau | Updated on: May 30, 2019
This beast hits 200 kmph in less than seven seconds

This beast hits 200 kmph in less than seven seconds

The sportscar’s interiors

The sportscar’s interiors

Sets historic V8 performance benchmark with new PHEV SF90 Stradale

The day that Ferrari fans had feared has arrived with the House of the Prancing Horse officially introducing its first series production PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the SF90 Stradale. But it is not at all bad news and even hardcore petrol-heads will be thrilled to know that the new model is extreme on every level and represents a paradigm shift delivering 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 kmph put the SF90 Stradale at the top of its segment. But it also means that a V8 is the top-of-the-range model for the first time in the brand’s history.

An official Ferrari statement says that 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 between Ferrari’s track and road cars.

The SF90 Stradale has a 90-degree V8 turbo engine capable of delivering 780 CV, the highest power output of any eight-cylinder in Ferrari history.

Combined force

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 eight-speed dual-clutch transmission on the rear axle, and two on the front axle. The combined torque is 800 Nm. The Ferrari release mentions that this sophisticated system does not, however, make for a more complicated driving experience. Instead, 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.

Ferrari confirmed that 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: 0-100 kmph in 2.5 seconds and 0-200 kmph 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, claims Ferrari.

A noteworthy addition 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.

Ferrari’s statement mentions that the new car is also a huge shift 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 its 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 HMI (Human-Machine Interface) and interior layout concept 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 key with 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. 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.

Published on May 30, 2019
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