735kW Ferrari SF90 Spider revealed

It should come as no surprise that Ferrari has revealed a spider derivative of the SF90 Stradale, featuring the same fearsome 735kW powertrain that includes the ability to roam around on electric power should you wish.

Just as the Stradale was the first plug-in hybrid Ferrari coupe, so this is the first Ferrari spider of its kind. Neither is it likely to be the last.

The SF90 Spider features a retractable hard-top that works on the same principle as that fitted to the F8 Spider, is made from aluminium and weighs in the region of 40kg less than a conventional fabric roof. Although at 1670kg (dry) the SF90 Spider is 100kg heavier than its coupe sibling. Eighty percent of that weight increase is attributed to the car’s roof, with the remaining twenty percent down to the modifications made to the car’s chassis to allow the Spider to have the same level of stiffness as the coupe.

It’s no slower though, with a 2.5-second zero to sixty time and a 340km/h top speed, which is all down to Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain.

At its core is the company’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox driving the rear axle. With 573kW (44kW more than an F8) and 800Nm, in itself the V8 has plenty to be getting on with, not that this stopped Ferrari from developing a pair of electric motors for the front axle and another one for the rear, the latter responsible for the car’s reverse gear. Combined, this trio of motors produces an additional 350kW and 25 kilometres of electric driving range.

Naturally the electric energy can be utilised in a number of ways. Electric mode drives only the front axle, hybrid mode sees the V8 and the electric motor on the rear axle work together, and four-wheel-drive hybrid mode sees the front axle deliver power on demand to enhance traction on corner exit and maximise energy recovery when the driver lifts off and during braking. Energy recuperation for the battery is also achieved through regen braking and via the V8 when the right situation arises. For the Spider the SF90’s traction control, torque vectoring and brake-by-wire systems have all been recalibrated.

Much of the focus on the SF90’s Spider’s development has been on the car’s aerodynamics. Pivotal to this is a bespoke shut-off Gurney flap at the rear, which controls the level of downforce over the rear axle. There are also new vortex generator strakes under the front of the car. The shut-off Gurney is a suspended element that comprises two sections: one fixed and one active to create a wedged shape frontal area. Reacting to speed, acceleration, steering wheel angle and pressure on the brake pedal, its purpose is to manage downforce when and where required, by either reducing drag for high-speed running or increasing downforce where the Romans got bored of building straight roads.

Ferrari’s aerodynamicists have also worked on managing airflow and buffering in the SF90 Spider’s cockpit, with a central piece of trim between the driver and passenger that channels air away from the occupants’ heads and shoulders.

As with the Stradale the SF90 Spider will also be available with Ferrari’s Assetto Fiorano performance pack. Comprising of Multimatic dampers, developed from the units fitted to the company’s GT race cars, and a series of carbonfibre and titanium parts that reduce the car’s weight by 21kg including a new carbon fibre rear spoiler and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres with a unique compound.Bespoke racing inspired liveries are also available. Currently, nearly fifty percent of SF90 Stradale customers have ordered their cars with the Assetto Fiorano pack.

Like the SF90 Stradale, production numbers of the new Spider will not be limited, rather the number built will be restricted by Ferrari’s production capabilities during the car’s model cycle. Deliveries will start in Q2 2021 in European left hand drive markets, with other markets following the month after.

Stuart Gallagher

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