It’s no surprise that Ferrari’s new SF90 Stradale is the most powerful road car ever created in Maranello; there’s not a component, process or system that has not been honed to fulfill its singular mission of ultimate performance. The latest prancing horse is the sixth model in the Italian marque’s decades-long lineage of engineering “moonshots” that began with the 288 GTO and F40 of the 1980s. With a combined 986 hp from its 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 and three electric motor-generators, the Stradale extends the hybrid hypercar genre founded by the 12-cylinder LaFerrari, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918.
Stradale features an all-wheel-drive configuration. One motor-generator sits at the back of the engine, feeding instant electric torque into the latest evolution of the company’s dual-clutch 8-speed gearbox. The other two are mounted up front to constantly and individually adjust power delivered to each front wheel, sharpening steering response when entering corners, maximising traction and propelling the car out of corners with speeds no other Ferrari can equal. Each motor is likely producing a touch more than 100 ft lbs of torque – available at zero rpm – combined with another 590 ft lbs from the V-8 that peaks way up at 6,000 rpm. And thanks to a tiny flywheel, the V-8 revs like mad. The exhaust system is engineered not only to promote deep breathing but also to serve like a musical wind instrument. No matter the turbos and electric motor, Stradale’s voice soars.
All that instant electric torque helps the vehicle hit 60 mph (about 96.56 kmph) in 2.5 seconds. That time is slightly less when the car is in the most radical of its four calibration settings, Qualifying, which discharges the lithium-ion battery’s energy at a rapid rate with virtually no regeneration – maximum performance for one or two laps before the battery is virtually spent. A speed of 124 mph (199.5 kmph) arrives in a shocking 6.7 seconds.
Available at the same time is the Stradale Assetto Fiorano, a track-oriented variant that includes a high-downforce rear spoiler and exotic weight-saving measures (like carbon-fibre door and underbody panels and titanium exhaust and springs) that shave 30 kilogrammes off the curb weight. Basically, it’s the street-legal equivalent of a 1,000 hp Le Mans Prototype hybrid race car. But common to both Stradale versions is the acute convergence of design, aerodynamics, body architecture and Ferrari Formula 1 technology that will serve as a mile marker for sports car evolution.