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Ferrari unveils SF90 Stradale, the brand's new plug-in flagship

by Drew Johnson

The SF90 Stradale is also the most powerful Ferrari ever.


Ferrari has lifted the veil on its latest flagship sports car -- the SF90 Stradale. The SF90 Stradale ushers in a number of firsts for Ferrari, including the brand's first plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Named to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, the SF90 Stradale debuts as the most powerful road-going vehicle in Ferrari's history. Between its twin-turbocharged V8 and trio of electric motors, the SF90 Stradale produces 986 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

That V8 is an updated design that's been punched out to 3,990cc. Other improvements made to the SF90 Stradale's gas engine include new intake and exhaust systems, electronically controlled waste gates and a 350-bar GDI system. On its own the SF90 Stradale's V8 makes 770 horsepower.

Three electric motors supplement the SF90 Stradale's internal combustion engine. One of those motors is sandwiched between the engine and an all-new eight-speed dual clutch gearbox, similar to the F1-style KERS system used in the LaFerrari. The other two motors are located on the SF90 Stradale's front axle. All three electric motors produce a combined 216 horsepower.

Thanks to a 7.9 kWh lithium-ion battery, the SF90 Stradale can travel about 15 miles on electric power alone.

The SF90 Stradale is the first two-seat Ferrari sports car to use all-wheel drive. Ferrari says it was necessary to adopt all-wheel drive in order to harness the car's tremendous power. With the AWD system clawing for traction, the SF90 Stradale can accelerate from 0-60 in less than 2.5 seconds.

In addition to benefiting acceleration, the SF90 Stradale's electric front motors also help with handling. Since each motor operates independently, Ferrari was able to implement a torque vectoring system that automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to improve cornering.

The SF90 Stradale's eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is all new design and includes enhancements like a dry sump lubrication system and an exterior diameter that's been decreased by 20 percent compared to Ferrari's current seven-speed transmission. Interestingly, Ferrari omitted a reverse gear from the transmission, saving an additional 3kg of weight; the car's reverse function is provided exclusively by the car's electric motors.

The interior of the SF90 Stradale is a totally new design and incorporates a 16-inch curved digital gauge display, which Ferrari says is an industry first. The SF90 Stradale's steering wheel has also gone high-tech, with a touchpad and haptic buttons replacing most of Ferrari's usual knobs and buttons. In a nod to the brand's past, controls for the automatic gearbox are housed in a surround that looks like the gates of a manual shifter.

From launch a more sports-oriented version of the SF90 Stradale, known as the Assetto Fiorano, will be available. The Assetto Fiorano spec car includes Multimatic shock absorbers, a higher-downforce rear spoiler and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2. The Assetto Fiorano is also 66 pounds lighter than the standard car thanks to carbon fiber door and underbody panels, along with titanium springs and full exhaust system.

Pricing for the SF90 Stradale, which represents the first Ferrari flagship to use a V8, has not been announced. Ferrari is also keeping mum on production targets for the SF90 Stradale.

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