Ferrari is on a roll right now — or at least it is when it comes to its road-car operation (we’ll politely draw a veil over the F1 team’s lacklustre performance so far this season). Because having launched its 488 successor, the F8 Tributo, just a couple of months back, and with a V6 mid-engine hybrid and a sort-of-SUV both in the latter stages of development, it’s now gone and whipped the covers off a new halo model that is claimed to be the quickest Ferrari ever built for the road.
Called the SF90 Stradale, a name that, curiously, it shares with another road rocket by Dallara, this latest offering from Maranello is also the company’s first-ever plug-in hybrid, as well as being the first Ferrari flagship with a V8, rather than a V12, under its engine cover. Moreover, it’s the only mid-engine Fezza that’s fettled with all-wheel drive, because, says the company, that’s the only way it can get its highly complex power unit’s 986bhp (or, in metric numbers, a straight 1,000 horses) on to the tarmac without shredding an expensive set of tyres each time you boot the throttle. Of that total output, 769bhp comes from the 4-litre turbo V8; the remaining 217 are supplied by three electric motors, one at the rear and two at the front.
So, you ask, how does it go? Well, with a super-light carbon fibre and aluminium chassis to help offset the heft of those batteries (and which clearly makes a significant contribution to the Stradale’s impressive weight-to-power ratio of 1.57 kg/hp), you could say it’s … fast — pretty damn fast in fact. And that means a barely believable 0–100km/h time of 2.5 seconds — plus a maximum speed that’s more than three times faster than you can legally drive in Hong Kong. Which, of course, is hardly likely to dent its appeal in this overcrowded and overregulated spot on the globe one iota.