Where does the SF90 fit in Ferrari's extensive range of cars?
And is it really what it's supposed to be?
Early 2019, Ferrari added yet another car to their catalogue. Set to preview the brand's future in terms of styling, power-train, technologie and driving experience, the SF90 is a true monster with a hybrid propulsion system putting out a total of 1000 horsepower and formula 1 tech to help it cool, accelerate, handle, and stay on the ground better and faster. Mid-mounted is a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 coupled to three electric motors making this a plug-in hybrid which can run on electric power for 15 miles.
Performance-wise, the SF90 has a claimed 0 to 60 mph time of 2.5 seconds, gets up to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds and a crazy top speed of 211 mph. It is also truly beautiful to look at. The lights and creases make it recognisable as a Ferrari, only they are modernised to soot the future theme.
The tail-lights are the perfect example: They capture the Ferrari way of being two separate ovals, only they now look sharper and crisper. The part of the front bodywork connecting the headlights reminds me a lot of the Pininfarina Baptista and the air intake below the B pillar looks similar to the one on the Lotus Evija. However, all these design elements come together to create one beautiful and surprisingly smooth overall design.
The interior, with its controls tilted towards the driver and minimal switches in the centre, resembles the one in the F8 Tributo only sleeker and more modern.
From the driver's seat, Ferrari has also taken it a step further into the future. Most of the steering wheel has gone digital with still, the important red twister remaining and behind it, an entire screen as opposed to actual dials. Although I think the rev counter is kind of a happy medium between analogue and fully digital. And even what is left of the centre console is again, mostly digital and yes, this includes the climate control setting.
And now for the reason I'm writing this article:
On paper at least, the SF90 really gets me going: stunning looks, cool cabin, insane power, and a fantastic sounding engine, this is a proper new benchmark for Ferrari. Or is it?
Because if this is supposed to be their new Benchmark, if it's going to be their new "this is what we're capable of", why doesn't it cost 1, 000, 000 pounds, not £375, 000. Why isn't it more talked-about and why, some say, it doesn't drive as a Ferrari should. When Ferrari unveiled the LaFerrari seven years ago, it blew our minds with it's sharp and pointy design, its clever Curse system, the sound, the price-tag, the power, and the driving experience. A proper successor to the Enzo in true Ferrari tradition. So the SF90 then, it looks good, but no where near stunning enough. It may come with F1 tech but not truly ground-breaking stuff. And then there's the driving experience. According to none other than Chris Harris, the SF90 feels to "digital" to drive and doesn't let you enjoy it in the bends. The systems are always intervening, the steering doesn't give you much communication and trying to control its weight is... a bit humiliating. Of course, you can turn all the systems off, and then... they're off completely. What then remains is a 1000 horsepower machine that sounds as dramatic as it wants to go faster and faster and you in the driver's seat, scared of what's coming next.
The SF90 then, not a true successor to the LaFerrari. It also doesn't belong next to the great driving F8 Tributo, unfairly matched in terms of power, pricing and driving experience, and although it comes close to the price and performance figures of the 812 superfast, it clearly isn't it the same market. The 812 is simply more of a Grand-Tourer and that already has too much power.
I can't figure out how we can claim the SF90 to be a replacement for the LaFerrari, neither where it belongs in Ferrari's extensive range of cars, and if you have any idea or any answer to this complicated problem, then please comment, I am genuinely interested in knowing what other people think of this and as ever, thanks for reading!