Launch of the Ferrari SF90 Stradale

These are changing times for Ferrari. Whenever Ferrari launched their flagship sports car, we could expect a front-engined RWD elegant grand tourer/sports car powered by a V12 engine upfront. However, when the SF90 was launched we were in for a surprise. Gone is the legendary Ferrari V12 engine. Gone is the front-engined RWD setup.

So what do we get instead? Welcome to the brave new modern electrified world. No no, do not yell sacrilege. What the SF90 gets is Ferrari’s award-winning V8 engine from the F8 Tributo and 488 with wait for it…. three electric motors! Yes, this is Ferrari’s first road-going mass-produced PHEV (Plug-in hybrid vehicle).

What do you mean by mass-produced you may be thinking and what about the LaFerrari was that not a hybrid vehicle as well? So let me explain by mass production I mean there will be no cap on production of the SF90. That means it will be available in Ferrari showrooms across the world for the next 3-4 years. The LaFerrari was produced only in limited numbers.

Now let us talk about the oily bits. Like I mentioned earlier, the engine in the SF90 is based on the twin-turbo V8 engine from the F8 Tributo. Now, this is a phenomenal engine and has won The Engine of the Year award multiple times. With the three electric motors, the SF90 produces close to 1000 HP, 780 HP from the engine and the remaining 220 HP from the electric motors. I cannot even fathom what it would be like to drive this car and I have driven some really fast cars. Now thought this might look like a rear-engined setup however it is mid-engined with the engine and batteries mounted just behind the driver. The weight ratio is 45% towards the front and 55% towards the back. This car produces in total 1000 HP making it most powerful V8 road-going Ferrari ever.

The SF90 is a 4WD car. Two of the motors are mounted on the front axle and power the front wheels individually whereas the third engine is mounted at the back between the engine and 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox. A high-performance Li-ion battery provides power to all three motors and guarantees a 25-kilometre range in all-electric eDrive mode, using just the front tires. Also, reverse gear is operated by the electric motors.

Talking about the interiors. The entire centre console has been redesigned, and the driver gets a fully customizable 16 inch curved HD display. The steering wheel also has been completely redesigned. All the buttons have now been replaced by touch screen buttons providing haptic feedback.

Ferraris are known for their looks. People can spot a Ferrari from a mile away; however, this car has created polarized views. Even when I saw the press photos for the first time, I was taken aback and not sure what I felt about the car, especially the rear. However, when I saw it in the flesh, my opinion changed completely. The tail in the photos may look a bit off, but in real life it is seamless, and you can imagine how the aerodynamics would affect the car. It is quite beautiful, this car, quite chic.

After the launch of the SF90, it is highly possible that we may never get to see a V12 road-going mass-produced Ferrari ever again, well except in some sort of special edition.

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