The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a plug-in hybrid supercar that Ferrari felt also needed a roadster version as well. That would be the car Ferrari unveiled today: The SF90 Spider, for when you want 986 horsepower but also wind in your hair and also want to spend over a half-million dollars.
The powertrain of the SF90 is identical to that of the Stradale, with a V8 making 769 horsepower and three electric motors filling in the rest, for a total output of 986 HP. The Spider will race up to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, Ferrari says; top speed is 211 mph. The power goes through an eight-speed dual-clutch.
The SF90 has electric, hybrid and all-wheel-drive modes, depending on your persuasion. In the electric mode, Ferrari says, the SF90 Spider has a range of 15.5 miles and the internal combustion engine remains off, “which is ideal for city-center driving or any other situation in which the driver wishes to eliminate the sound of the Ferrari V8.”
Maybe the most interesting differences between the SF90 Stradale and the SF90 Spider are how Ferrari has dealt with the changed aerodynamics.
The main features in the SF90 Spider’s aero design include the shut-off Gurney at the rear, an active control system that varies downforce over the rear axle, the front underbody with vortex generator strakes, and forged wheels with wing profiles (blown geometry). The results in terms of performance are impressive indeed: a massive 390 kg of downforce generated in cornering at 250 km/h with the special Assetto Fiorano specification.
To ensure that SF90 Spider drivers enjoy the massive 1,000 cv available to them, efficiently and uncompromisingly without any negative impacts on aerodynamic drag and downforce coefficients, it was essential to focus on the effective management of hot air flows coming from the engine, gearbox, turbochargers, battery pack, electric motors, inverter, charging system, and, of course, brakes.
The engine bay, for example, houses both the usual internal combustion engine that generates temperatures of nearly 900°C, and highly temperature-sensitive electronic components. The RHT compartment radically changes the management of the heat flows in the engine bay: it is essential therefore that the hot air channelled upwards is correctly evacuated, and that the route it takes does not interfere with the temperature-sensitive electronic components.
Given that the RHT compartment would have impeded the functioning of the vents located immediately behind the roof in the SF90 Stradale, transverse louvres have been inserted in the SF90 Spider’s rear screen. These have been very precisely dimensioned to act as an efficient ‘chimney’ without interfering with the car’s aerodynamics at speed.
Specific to the SF90 Spider are two aerodynamic elements in the cockpit to guarantee an excellent level of protection from air flows with the roof down. There is a central trim section between the driver and passenger seats that channels the air flow away from the head and shoulders and into a double layer of trim on the upper part of the tunnel. Both of these solutions are essentially drag neutral and guarantee the same level of comfort as Ferrari’s other mid-rear-engined spiders.
And here’s a bit more on the retractable roof, which has been around in one form or another since 2011.
The retractable hard top (RHT) was again adopted because it guarantees optimal noise insulation and protection from the elements when raised, does not deform at high speeds and provides exceptional occupant space and comfort. The RHT is so compact, simple and light it can be actioned in just 14 seconds and can be deployed when the car is on the move. The key to the success of the Ferrari RHT, which premiered on the 458 Spider in 2011, and which has been constantly evolved in the intervening years, is that it takes up just 100 litres of space rather than the 150-200 litres required by a traditional system. The use of aluminium in its construction also means that it is around 40 kg lighter than a conventional retractable hard top. An adjustable electric rear window guarantees superb occupant comfort even at high speeds when the RHT is lowered.
Just like with the SF90 Stradale, the SF90 Spider is a very busy supercar. At least when you’re stuck in traffic in Monte Carlo you’ll be able to feel the breeze.