Meet the sexiest hybrid you can buy

Published by Cyber Flows on

While Ferrari is pushing back against European environmental regulations and making bold claims it will never go entirely electric, it has just released its most eco-friendly convertible ever.

Well, “eco-friendly” is relative, because the SF90 Spider is still powered by a thumpingly powerful turbo V8, but, like its tin top sibling, the SF90 Stradale, it has a few planet-friendly tricks up its sleeve.

As the Prancing Horse’s first production plug-in hybrid spider, Ferrari says the SF90 Spider “sets new performance and innovation benchmarks not only for the marque’s range, but for the entire sports car sector. “

Like the Stradale, the SF90 Spider uses a plug-in hybrid architecture with the internal combustion engine integrated with two electric motors at the front – which make up Ferrari’s RAC-e (Cornering Angle Regulator, Electric) system, and one at the rear derived from and named after a Formula 1 innovation, the MGUK (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic).

Ferrari says the SF90 Spider’s powertrain consists of a 4.0-litre turbo V8, an 8-speed dual clutch transmission with E-diff, the RAC-e electric front axle with two independent electric motors that also provide all-electric propulsion, the MGUK electric motor located at the rear between the engine and the gearbox, the high voltage battery and electric motor control system.

And what a powertrain it is – the turbo V8 pumps out 574kW of power and 800Nm of torque (making it the most powerful V8 the company has ever produced) but then the electric motors produce a combined power output of 162kW.

This takes the SF90’s total system output to a fairly healthy 736kW, which is enough to propel it to 100kmh from a standing start in just 2.5 seconds and on to 200kmh in a staggering 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 340kmh.

Like the Stradale, the Spider comes with four drive modes selected from the steering wheel eManettino; Hybrid mode is the default setting when the car is turned on, in which the control logic autonomously decides whether to keep the internal combustion engine running or turn it off.

Performance mode, on the other hand, keeps the V8 running because the priority is more on charging the battery than on efficiency, guaranteeing that power is instantly and fully available when required.

Qualify mode cranks everything up to 11 and “allows the system to achieve maximum power output by allowing the electric motors to work at their maximum potential” and prioritises performance everything else.

But then there is eDrive mode that is exactly what it sounds like – a pure-electric drive mode that only uses battery power and the two front axle-mounted electric motors.

Not only does that mean it is a pure electric Ferrari, it is also a front-wheel-drive one. Ferrari says that starting with a fully charged battery the car can cover up to 25km at speeds of up to 135kmh.

Ferrari says this mode is “ideal for city centre driving or any other situation in which the driver wishes to eliminate the sound of the Ferrari V8”. And while we can’t personally think of any situation in which we would voluntarily want to do that, there probably is some reason…

Of course the biggest (well, pretty much only) difference between the Spider and Stradale is the former’s new retractable hard top (RHT)which Ferrari says “guarantees optimal noise insulation and protection from the elements when raised, does not deform at high speeds and provides exceptional occupant space and comfort.”

Ferrari says the roof is so compact, simple and light it can be put up or down in just 14 seconds and can be deployed when the car is on the move.

The Ferrari RHT originally premiered on the 458 Spider in 2011, and the company claims its biggest advantage over traditional retractable roof sytems 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 40kg lighter than a conventional retractable hard top.


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