Ferrari SF90 hybrid hypercar: convertible Spider model joins coupe

Published: 12 November 2020

► SF90 Stradale and Spider
► Hybrid, AWD and 986bhp
► Plus new interior technologies

It was inevitable, but Ferrari has confirmed it – the extreme SF90 hypercar now has a convertible Spider version.

Ferrari’s extreme new halo car introduced a wealth of firsts for Ferrari, not least as it was the brand’s first plug-in hybrid car, along with ushering in new chassis construction techniques.

What’s different about the Spider version?

The roof is a retractable hard top, as Ferrari believes this gives the best noise and weather insulation, and it can be opened or closed in 14 seconds. Along with the roof, a small electric rear window can be used as an air vent and give you extra exposure to the SF90’s V8 when the roof is up, or a wind deflector when the roof is down.

SF90 Spider side

Ferrari has tweaked the bodywork to ensure the SF90 Spider is still as aerodynamic as ever with the roof up or down, introducing two humps on the rear deck placed behind the seats and louvres in the rear screen act as a chimney for air flow. The brake cooling ducts have been completely overhauled, too. The Spider is 100kg heavier than the Stradale (1670kg to the Stradale’s 1570kg).

Did you say PHEV? Give me performance specs!

I did. But it is a Ferrari after all. The 4.0-litre V8 from the F8 Tributo has been completely redesigned, according to Chief Technical Officer Michael Leiters at the SF90 Stradale’s original debut; ‘we had to go beyond the best V8 ever’, alluding to Ferrari’s V8 being an International Engine of the Year winner. In the SF90, it alone produces 769bhp and 590lb ft and revs to 8,000rpm.

That is then mated to a 7.9kWh battery and three electric motors – one for each of the front wheels and one between the combustion engine and the gearbox. That means the SF90 is capable of up to 16 miles on electric power alone. The electric drivetrain produces 217bhp.

SF90 stradale rear overhead

Read our review of the SF90 Stradale

So, a total of 986bhp, then. That means the new ultimate Ferrari can sprint to 62mph in 2.5 seconds (the same for both the coupe and Spider), making it the fastest-ever production Ferrari, and a launch to 124mph is possible in just 6.7 seconds for the coupe and 7.0 seconds for the Spider. Top speed is logged at 211mph, again for both the Stradale and Spider.

Ferrari says the SF90 can lap the Fiorano track in 1m 19s, with the Spider clocking in just half a second slower.

The ‘multi-material approach’ for the chassis, according to Leiters, offsets the extra weight hybrid powertrain burdens a car with. It’s a space frame – as always with Ferrari – but uses aluminium and carbonfibre in its construction. A new eight-speed dual-clutch auto has been developed, too.

Electronic torque vectoring (known as RAC-e in Ferrari speak) and electronic Side Slip Control are just some of the handling aids incorporated into the SF90. Brake-by-wire tech blends the physical brakes with e-motor regen, too.

It’s certainly a looker

As quite literally illustrated by Ferrari design boss, Flavio Manzoni, during the Stradale’s reveal event. Before we saw the car in the metal, he sketched out the front, rear and profile live. The SF90 is 8mm longer, 20mm slimmer and 70mm taller than a LaFerrari.

SF90 Spider front

There are blended elements of the F8 Tributo that replaces the 488 but also the J50 Roadster and the SP38. After we poked around up close, we noticed – through the F40-like slatted rear window – that the engine and drivetrain are mounted incredibly low. You can also see some of the orange electrical piping underneath the vents that flank said window.

Ferrari has introduced a ‘shut-off Gurney’ flap for the spoiler. It’s a suspended wing split into two, with one part being fixed and the other movable. The movable part is designed to manage downforce, with its higher position creating less drag and its lower one creating almost whale tail-like aero drag under high-speed cornering.

Tell me about the interior…

Even when the late Sergio Marchionne was still CEO, Ferrari knew its interior layout wasn’t especially known for its ease-of-use. Leiters points it out himself during the car’s reveal event, too; ‘we know it is sometimes difficult to navigate in our cars.’ With the SF90, the team think they’ve cracked it with a brand-new HMI (human-machine interface).

An all-new steering wheel and user interface has been introduced with the brand’s new ultimate supercar. The wheel has illuminated touch pads, with Leiters pointing out that ‘around 80% of all of the car’s functions’ can be controlled through it. The Manettino dial (thankfully) remains analogue, but the starter button has been replaced with another touch-sensitive spot in the lower centre of the wheel.

SF90 interior

Another first for Ferrari is an all-digital instrument display. It’s a 16-inch curved screen, that allows for a central (admittedly digital) rev counter in the centre and three ‘wings’ of information to slide from side-to-side behind it. If you like there are other view options, with a full map view available or a pared-back, more discrete view. A HUD is also included for the first time.

There are four drive modes that are actually separate to those on the Manettino dial, with the digital rev counter changing between them. eDrive is self-explanatory, with Hybrid mode being the default – swapping between the electric motors and combustion engine depending on throttle level and speed. Performance mode keeps the combustion engine on at all times, with the e-motors assisting power flow and the brilliantly-named Qualifying mode that has the electric motors work at maximum attack and prioritises performance over battery charging. The Manettino dial still has Wet, Sport, Race, CT off and ESC off via backlit colours on the wheel, and there is still an LED rev display on the top edge of the steering wheel.

Anything else?

SF90 Fiorano

There’s also a special Assetto Fiorano specification available for both body styles, which shaves 21kg and 30kg off the Spider and Stradale respectively. It makes even better use of carbonfibre in the doors and undertray and a carbonfibre fixed rear wing with a steep angle that generates up to 290kg at speeds of 155mph, has titanium springs and exhaust and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

When and how much?

The SF90 Stradale is already on sale, priced from £376,048 before any of Ferrari’s countless (and sometimes pricey) options. As for the Spider, commercial boss Enrico Galleria says that the convertible will go on sale in the second quarter of 2021 with an expected price tag circling the £400,000 mark.

SF90 Spider Fiorano

Check out our Ferrari reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches