The Ferrari SF90 Stradale claimed a number of Autocar honours when we attached our timing gear to it at MIRA for a road test – a new lap record on our dry handling circuit and a new acceleration record among them. Yet it didn’t receive a five-star verdict.
Those incredible performance gains from this 1000 horsepower (986bhp) car over its mid-engined V8 stablemates came from the addition of hybrid technology for the first time on a series-produced Ferrari. It added plenty of good things (remarkable performance, mind-boggling responses) but at a cost (added weight, electronically manipulated handling). We therefore came away full of admiration for a new performance benchmark and technological showpiece but also a little concerned that the sweet, delicate, free-flowing nature of mid-engined Ferraris would evolve into something a bit less fun in the coming hybrid world.
Then we went and drove the grininducing Ferrari 296 GTB, the Ferrari F8 Tributo’s replacement and itself a hybrid, built around a V6, and stopped worrying. With such an incredible and alivefeeling mid-engined hybrid supercar in the same line-up for considerably less money, where does that leave the SF90 Stradale? It’s a question that a customer who doesn’t only want the most expensive or most powerful (or, less cynically, the most advanced) Ferrari may well pose.