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Road Racer

If Ferrari is about anything, it is about making dreams come true – and with the new SF90 XX Stradale and SF90 XX Spider, Ferrari fulfils even the wildest dreams by uniting two ultimate driver-focused ideals in one new concept…
Words: Chris Rees / Images: Nick Ericson

To pilot a car designed for the racetrack on the road is the dream of many. And if Ferrari is about anything, it is about making dreams come true – and with the new SF90 XX Stradale and SF90 XX Spider, Ferrari has fulfilled even the wildest dreams with one new concept. 

These newcomers are the latest in a noble line of Special Series cars that includes the 599 GTO and the 812 Competizione, each designed for peak performance. Each draw from the Ferrari XX Programme – the exclusive, track-focused machines, including the FXX-K Evo, created for the most expert client drivers. As the new models’ names show, they are XX cars with a difference: they’re road-legal.

A new approach to aerodynamics is the result of endless hours of meticulous work in the wind tunnel, alongside Ferrari’s experience in GT racing

The starting point was the SF90 Stradale, now elevated to once-undreamt heights. Already exceptional power is increased, as both the turbo V8 engine and the three electrical motors see power boosts – of 17cv and 13cv respectively – resulting in an extraordinary 1,030cv. Acceleration from rest to 100km/h takes just 2.3 seconds. Coming to a halt is no less impressive, thanks to bigger brake discs and a new ABS EVO system. 

The SF90 XX Stradale recreates “the experience of a racing car and having the confidence to push it to the limit,” Ferrari Head of Development Test Drivers, Raffaele de Simone, explains. “There is no lag and the extra boost function makes a huge difference.” This entirely new control logic feature enables a short boost of power when exiting corners on track.

The cabin's lightweight features include carbon-fibre racing-type seats that offer excellent comfort; the SF90 XX delivers an extraordinary open-air enhanced soundtrack; the fixed-rear-wing and triple air vents on the wheel arches both provide a vital aero role

Housing a new approach to aerodynamics, the SF90 XX Stradale has the highest aero performance of any Ferrari road car, with twice the downforce of the base car. Key to this is the racing-derived rear wing, the first since the iconic Ferrari F50. Delivering huge downforce and balanced with new front S-ducts, these allow the underbody to be sealed for peak aerodynamic performance. New settings for the chassis include Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (2.0), while the steering response has been sharpened for millimetric accuracy. 

Its track-ready shape emphasises aerodynamics and styling: an important component of performance at Ferrari. Integrating aerodynamic ideals into a holistic design was the role of the Styling Centre team, led by Flavio Manzoni. “We have captured the spirit of racing cars in a true meeting of art and science,” he says, “combining innovation, performance and design.”

The SF90 Stradale’s hammerhead front-end design is emphasised on the XX version, with a new sculpted front lid and the side view is dynamic and wedgelike. The rear is completely reshaped: strong, low and elongated, like a racing car’s, with twin central exhausts and a single light bar. “The front S-ducts are split into two elements that are picked out in a contrasting colour,” Manzoni expands. “This distinctive livery is echoed in other areas such as the engine lid, rear wing end plates and cabin highlights.”

Drawing from the Ferrari XX Programme, these purely track-focussed machines are created especially for the most expert client drivers

Another example is the ‘triple-gill’ ducts on the front and rear wings, which offer greater cooling and reference Special Series cars including the F12tdf. Other highlights include full carbon-fibre door panels with concave indentations, trim in Alcantara and the new racing seat. The SF90 Stradale houses the lightest road car seat from Ferrari, incorporating a comfortable rake-adjustable backrest; and for the open-roofed SF90 XX Spider, its retractable hard top is now in carbon fibre.

Even more intense driving emotions come from the open-air feeling and that V8 sound. Just 799 examples of the SF90 XX Stradale will be built, plus a further 599 of the SF90 XX Spiders. Yet, we regret to say you’re too late: every single example has already found a fortunate client.