By on May 30, 2019

On Wednesday, Ferrari introduced the SF90 Stradale — the Italian marque’s first plug-in hybrid.

The car, which represents a changing of the guard for exotics, starts with an F154 V8 engine that the company claims has been worked over to a point where it can no longer be directly compared to the exiting architecture. While the twin-turbo V8 produces 769 horsepower by itself, three electric motors lend a further 216 ponies, making for an all-wheel-drive vehicle with a grand total of 986 hp. 

According to Ferrari, the combination makes for a 0-60 mph rush of 2.5 seconds. Meanwhile, 124 mph is said to be doable in a rather lean 6.9 seconds. Top speed is an enviable 212 mph. Electric-only range is rather limited at just 16 miles and requires the vehicle to operate at or below 84 mph. It also shifts power exclusively to the two motors driving the front axle, making the SF90 temporarily front-wheel drive and entirely dependent upon the vehicle’s 7.9-kW battery pack. As the car has no reverse gear to speak of, electric propulsion is also the only way the car can back up.

While the car can be recharged via regenerative braking, Ferrari says it’s confident that customers will utilize the electrical port to recharge vehicles at home. However, the utility of this is questionable due to the vehicle’s exceptionally low electric range.

The SF90 Stradale also does not have perpetual access to peak power. The 3990cc internal-combustion unit, effectively a bored version of Ferrari’s existing 3.9-liter V8 coupled to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, has been optimized in every conceivable way to run cooler and stronger than ever before. However, electricity can be used up while running the car hard. Chief Technical Officer Michael Leiters claimed the SF90 should have sufficient juice to maintain peak performance “for a certain amount of seconds, but enough for a lap on every race circuit.”

The new chassis, which keeps the engine sitting 50 millimeters lower in the bay than before, results in a total curb weight of 3,527 pounds. Ferrari claims the “Assetto Fiorano” version will shave off 66 pounds by implementing more carbon fiber and titanium in its construction.

European deliveries are expected to start in the first half of 2020, with U.S. deliveries to follow a few months later. Pricing has yet to be announced, but should be revealed later this week to preferred customers. Automotive News claims its base MSRP should reside somewhere between the extravagant La Ferrari hypercar and comparatively modest 812 Superfast — which costs about $364,000 in the United States. Volume is only expected to be limited by demand, meaning you should be able to snag one if you’re rich and patient enough.

If you need help rationalizing the price before taking to the comments section, Ferrari is promising all sorts of fancy new torque-vectoring tricks, adaptive drive modes, slick thermal management, and enough active-aerodynamic expertise to create 860 pounds of downforce at 155 mph. Of course, the fact that it cannot run at peak power for more than a few seconds at a time is a little obnoxious.

As much as a high-performance kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) would makes you feel like an F1 driver, it also requires the SF90 Stradale’s output to carry a big, fat asterisk. Yet there was really no other way for the company to pull this off without making the battery compromisingly large.

In truth, we’re impressed the Ferrari managed to keep the vehicle’s weight as low as it did. But we were also impressed by Porsche’s ability to keep down the pounds on the 918, which the SF90 mimics in its overall concept while adding an additional forward gear, one more electric motor, and superior-looking spec sheet. We’d enjoy seeing the pair go toe-to-toe on a track somewhere before the end of next year.

[Images: Ferrari]

 

 

 

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23 Comments on “Ferrari’s First Plug-in Hybrid Makes 986 Horsepower, Sometimes...”


  • avatar
    TimK

    And the really good news — this PEHV gets 12 MPG instead of the usual 8!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Pathetic automatic scum

    • 0 avatar
      4drSedan

      Not sure if that’s real sarcasm or the ironic kind…it’s hard to tell.

      As a lifelong supporter of manuals (I own two), I recently became a believer in the inherent superiority of modern automatics.

      I was sitting at a stoplight next to a BMW M-something. When the light turned the driver stomped on it. Took off like a bullet and hearing it rip through the gears with only a millisecond between was something I’ll not soon forget.

      • 0 avatar
        TimK

        Modern automatics are wonderful machines, thousands of precision-machined parts in a bath of hydraulic fluid, solenoids, valves, pumps, a CPU riding herd, all of it working harmoniously. Then that fateful day arrives when it breaks bad. Mr. Leadfoot in his Beemer probably had a three-year lease, a good idea for cars with modern automatics.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I agree, for a used buyer or someone planning on a 7+year ownership period a manual can be the best choice even if it is slower. That M4 isn’t too fast sitting in the shop needing a big-money transmission repair.

          However Ferraris like this rarely ever depreciate enough to be owned by someone that isn’t super-rich.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          I’ll trust an automatic to be more reliable than a manual gearbox + its user (and limited clutch life no matter what). Modern DCTs might need a clutch change eventually, but probably not due to user error. Automatics don’t even need that.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Consider most Ferrari owners are just rich instead of good drivers, automatic fits them just right, and less likely to break as a result.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Urf. Not sure where you’d use all that power, unless you do track days at Road America. Even then, that’s more than needed.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    I wrote probably the longest comment I’ve ever written but I lost it when trying to insert a €-symbol and screwed my browser up…

    So I’ll just write this sentence: you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about regarding PHEVs, their benefits, their use, or how useful the power boost is.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      I know what you mean about losing comments. If I’m writing out a long, well thought-out…and obviously world-changing ;-)…comment. I often copy/paste it into a Word doc in case something goes wrong with posting it. Which can often be a crap-shoot around here

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Yeah, I haven’t had that happen in years. Not that I’ve written much on forums for years anyway. But now that I finally wrote a well-structured, long post with clear points followed by thorough argumentation then lost it I feel stupid.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Makes 986 hp only SOME of the time!!!! Well, cancel my order. 769 hp, Bah! For $300,000 less I can get a Dodge Demon with almost equal hp.

    *In case anyone thinks I’m serious, lots of sarcasm here*

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      How embarrassing to have only 986 hp. A Rimac Concept 2 has 1,912 hp. Can you even safely merge into traffic with only 986 hp? If it drops to 786, you’re in real trouble. Slow to 60 too. 2.5 seconds isn’t even fast anymore with some cars under 2 seconds.

      again, sarcasm.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Getting on a freeway with this would be interesting, since you’d need some battering ram on the front to clear all the idiots merging at 45mph out of the way!

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Yeah, the insinuation that 1000hp for ‘mere seconds’ is not enough is laughable. Anyone who has driven an even slightly powerful sports car let alone a supercar or powerful motorcycle will know that you simply can’t use anywhere near full throttle more than ‘mere seconds’ at a time anyway. And the Ferrari guy said that it’ll be enough to use full power on all tracks whenever you need.

      _None_ of the article’s author’s criticisms hold water _at all_.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Couple of observations:
    First – Damn this thing looks good! The front looks sinister and the interior finally has a clean, cohesive look.
    Second – Finally a break from crossover hell 24×7!

    Now, let me see how much change has fallen under my driver’s seat and between the couch cushions. Papa needs a brand new Ferrari!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Agreed. There are a few dress up/decorative details they did not have to add, but by the overwrought twenty-teens styling paradigms standards, this thing is clean, lithe, and relatively understated.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    In my city the typical Ferrari owner will use their exotic to drive from their luxury villa in Nymphenburg to Maximilianstraße for a quick half an hour shopping tour. The range provided by the batteries is more than sufficient to get them there and back where they can plug it in and enjoy paying for the highest electricity prices in all of Europe.

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