Anyone familiar with modern Ferraris will recognise this car’s manettino drive mode selector, which is used to switch between the usual Wet, Sport, Race, CT off and ESC off settings. Opposite that on the SF90’s steering wheel is a touch-sensitive panel, where you select its powertrain operating modes. The car ‘starts’ in its default Hybrid mode (and so the V8 piston engine doesn’t typically fire when you hit the starter, which seems very odd at first). But it can then be switched to all-electric eDrive mode if you like, or into Performance or Qualify modes.
Dial up Qualify mode and you tee up every shred of power the car can muster and its most aggressive traction and launch control regimes. Warm its tyres first and in that mode, if you find somewhere appropriate to sample it, the SF90 can accelerate phenomenally quickly.
Until this road test, the fastest car to feature in a full Autocar road test – the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, in 2011 – hit 60mph from rest in 2.6sec, 100mph in 5.0sec and a standing quarter mile in 10.1sec. Those numbers have survived for a decade, unbothered by cars such as the Ariel Atom V8, McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder. The SF90 managed 2.5sec, 4.8sec and 9.9sec respectively. The Veyron was quick, but it didn’t record a single 20mph in-gear acceleration increment, in any gear or from any speed, in less than a second; the SF90 did so twice.