Ferrari logo



A car like no other, the Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale offers exhilarating, lap record-breaking performance in a road-legal machine. Its host of advanced driving features are put to the test on the Fiorano track and on the roads around Maranello
Words: Chris Rees / Photographs: Stephan Bauer / Video: Rowan Jacobs

This is pressure. All eyes are on the red car hurtling down the long straight at Fiorano, Ferrari’s test track just outside Maranello. The world’s media are gathered beside the track, laser-focused on the Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale, which is attempting to make history by setting the fastest lap ever by a road-legal car. There’s one chance to do this: pressure indeed.

Finally, the display reveals the result: a verified lap time of 1’17.309” – fully 1.4” quicker than that set by the SF90 Stradale Assetto Fiorano. Ferrari’s Head of Development Test Driving, Raffaele de Simone, has definitively proven that the SF90 XX Stradale is the quickest road-legal car ever around Fiorano.

See the Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale in action on Ferrari's Fiorano test track, and out on the public highway

Let’s just reiterate that fact: it’s road-legal. Therein lies the true achievement of this astonishing new model from Ferrari: it is designed for drivers to experience the intensity and exhilaration of a car created not only for the track, but also for regular roads.

Raffaele de Simone emerges from the driver’s seat with a sense of serenity after his exertions. “We could have made this car even faster on the circuit with a pure track set-up,” he says, “but it’s called the SF90 XX Stradale, so it has to have both the ‘XX’ DNA and the ‘Stradale’ element. To me, this is a very important achievement.”

Of course, the development task was made much easier by having such an impressive starting point as the SF90 Stradale, as de Simone asserts: “Most of the capabilities of the SF90 XX Stradale emerged from the deep knowledge and experience we developed with the SF90 Stradale. We have made a great car even better.”

The SF90 XX Stradale, which contains both racing and road-going DNA, is able to exploit its mesmerising performance out on public roads as well as on the track

To achieve this greatness, Ferrari very much took a holistic approach. Every aspect was considered: aerodynamics, hybrid power system, weight reduction, control logic, braking, transmission, sound and more.

Headlining the dynamic advances is the aerodynamic package, which provides twice the downforce of the regular SF90 Stradale. How does this feel from the driver’s seat? “It’s a wonderful experience,” says de Simone. “You really sense that the car is stuck to the ground, but even more impressive is that you can feel the balance of the car better. You notice the fixed rear wing immediately, but every bit as important are the changes at the front, like the new splitter and twin S-Ducts.”

The huge increase in downforce opened up many more development opportunities, such as increasing the stiffness of the springs, which in turn maintains a very consistent ride level. The extra downforce also allowed the braking to be hugely upgraded, with larger rear discs and new pads. Combined with another innovation – ABS EVO – the braking distances are now significantly shorter, allowing the driver to brake later for corners.

From left: the SF90 XX Stradale boasts radical styling, while still retaining the pure lines of the SF90 Stradale; every aspect of the car's exterior has been designed with aerodynamics in mind, while the interior boasts a number of weight saving elements

The enhanced aerodynamics also allow for better cooling, and that in turn helps unleash even greater power from the hybrid power system. With an incredible 1030 cv, the SF90 XX Stradale has 30 cv more than the regular model. But an even greater evolution is how the torque is applied. When you most need it, Ferrari’s new ‘extra boost’ function uses exactly the same strategy as in Formula 1 cars to provide additional power in short bursts. In synergy with the vehicle dynamics control systems, it ensures that peak torque can be fully exploited for lateral acceleration.

Your sensations are even further heightened by the enhanced soundtrack. The V8 engine has a richer, more raucous, more intense sound, both in terms of volume and timbre, while the sound of the new gear shift feels exactly like an XX track car. Additionally, the response time of the steering input has been reduced, which allows the driver to really feel the road through the steering wheel.

The Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale in action on the Fiorano track. The car's state-of-the-art aerodynamic package provides twice the downforce of the regular SF90 Stradale

Although it’s road-legal, make no mistake that the SF90 XX Stradale is also born for the track. Clients will be able to discover for themselves the full capabilities of this extraordinary Ferrari on circuits around the world.

The SF90 XX Stradale is the perfect expression of the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A virtuous circle of technical upgrades has produced a prodigious powerhouse of a car: one that delivers the raw feeling and emotions of a racing car while retaining road car drivability, stability and usability.