It’s exciting to see Ferrari build on its work with 2014’s LaFerrari and introduce its first plug-in hybrid vehicle, the SF90 Stradale. With the firm now taking a half-step into the EV game, this car further dispels the notion that plug-ins or electric vehicles can’t be performance cars. A combined power output of 735kW with acceleration figures of 0-100 km/h in 2.5s and 0-200km/h in 6.7 seconds is world beating, and I’d love to see someone do a drag race between this, a Bugatti Chiron and perhaps the Tesla Model S (for context, an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 6.7s is still considered quick by typical hot hatch standards). Of course, neither of those cars would be able to hold a candle to the Stradale on a track.
Perhaps the defining design feature of the SF90 Stradale is the split design of the tail. In Ferrari’s words:
The end section of the engine cover features a suspended wing divided in two sections: one fixed, which incorporates the third brake light, and one mobile with a wedge-shaped front area. The latter has been dubbed the shut-off Gurney and is under patent. It is also the most innovative downforce management device on the car. In urban usage or at maximum speed, the two sections are aligned and suspended above the engine cover, with the mobile wedge acting as an efficient fairing to the fixed element, allowing the air to flow both above and beneath the shut-off Gurney.
In high downforce conditions (such as driving through corners, braking or in abrupt changes of direction), the mobile element is lowered by a pair of electric actuators, closing the lower blown area and uncovering the fixed element, generating a new tail geometry characterised by a broad load surface topped by a powerful nolder.
There’s a brief shot of this in action in Ferrari’s official launch film for the car at the 0:44 mark. In short, the black part between the tail lamps opens depending on factors such as speed and acceleration. Most importantly, it looks freaking awesome. I love that Ferrari has taken the effort to seamlessly integrate this split tail design with the rest of the rear bodywork, rather than taking the easier option of bolting on a massive rear wing or designing a simple rear lip spoiler.
The days of charging more than $4000 just for Apple CarPlay may not be over for Ferrari, but in a sign the company is now trying to keep up technologically, the SF90 Stradale is also the first Ferrari to feature Matrix LED headlights and a completely digital instrument cluster. Finally.
Rumour has it that the Australian allocation of 25 examples has already been sold out at well over $1 million each, so here’s hoping that least some of these owners decide to drive around in their car rather than leaving it locked up in a garage. I’d love to catch a glimpse of one of these on the road someday.