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Ferrari has unveiled the SF90 Spider - the convertible version of its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the SF90 Stradale.

14 Nov 2020 | International News : Italy



The spider version of the SF90 Stradale, the SF90 Spider, was unveiled on 12 November during a dedicated digital event. This special online event provided Ferrari fans globally with an exclusive introduction to the car's new features and in-depth information on its development.

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

The engine and gearbox are cooled by two radiators located ahead of the front wheels
The new convertible has the same extreme supercar specification and record-breaking performance as the SF90 Stradale, yet also adds further driving pleasure and versatility to the mix, thanks to Ferrari's Retractable Hard Top (RHT) architecture. This makes the SF90 Spider the ideal car for owners that demand the best of Ferrari technology, but still want the thrill of open-top driving.

The RHT was again adopted because it guarantees optimal noise insulation and protection from the elements when raised, does not deform at high speeds and provides exceptional occupant space and comfort.

The RHT is so compact, simple and light that it can be actioned in just 14 seconds, and can be deployed when the car is on the move. It is also made of aluminium, making it 40kg lighter than a conventional RHT. An adjustable electric rear window provides occupant comfort even at high speeds when the RHT is lowered.

As is the case with the SF90 Stradale, the SF90 Spider is also available with an additional specification option for owners that want to take it to the track. The Assetto Fiorano pack includes a list of exclusive upgrades over the standard car, including Multimatic shock absorbers optimised for track use.

Despite weighing 1,670kg, the RAC-e electric axle helps mitigates the feeling of weight by improving stability and traction in cornering
Other changes include the adoption of lightweight materials that have shaved 21kg off the car's weight, a carbon-fibre rear spoiler and road-homologated Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres designed to improve track performance in the dry. Lastly, the Assetto Fiorano offers an optional two-tone livery that further underscores the car's racing vocation.

In a first for a Ferrari production spider, the SF90 Spider has a plug-in hybrid architecture in which the internal combustion engine is integrated with two electric motors at the front, which comprise the RAC-e (Cornering Angle Regulator, Electric) system, and one at the rear derived from and named after a Prancing Horse Formula 1 innovation, the MGUK (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic).

The SF90 Spider's powertrain architecture features a turbocharged V8 engine, an eight-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. Total system output is 985bhp.

Under normal braking conditions, energy recovery using the electric motors is the priority, with the hydraulic braking system intervening to support the electric one in all sharp deceleration conditions. At high speeds and in high gears, the combined contribution of the electric motors in high grip conditions helps lower the engine's response times, thus significantly improving longitudinal acceleration and thus performance.

The retractable hard top on the SF90 Spider takes up just 100 litres of space rather than the 150 to 200 litres required by a traditional system
The traditional Manettino is now flanked by an additional steering wheel-mounted selector, dubbed the eManettino, which manages the power flows from and to the high voltage battery and the wheels. It offers the driver a choice of four modes.

In eDrive, the internal combustion engine remains off and the car is powered by the electric front axle. Starting with a fully charged battery, the car can cover up to 25km in this mode. Top speed is limited to 135km/h in eDrive mode.

The Hybrid setting optimises the system's overall efficiency. The control logic autonomously decides whether to keep the internal combustion engine running or turn it off. Power flow from the electric motors is limited to conserve battery power.

Performance mode keeps the engine running because the priority is more on charging the battery than on efficiency. This guarantees that power is instantly and fully available when required. This mode is best suited to situations in which driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel are the main focus.

The cooling circuit for the brakes was completely redesigned for the SF90 Spider, with a new and more efficient calliper developed for the front
Qualify mode allows the system to achieve maximum power output by letting the electric motors work at their maximum potential. The control logic prioritises maximum performance over battery charging.

To make full use of the powertrain unit's power, the engineers developed vehicle dynamics systems that guarantee improvement not just in terms of pure performance and lap times, but also simultaneously ensure that drivers of all kinds can fully enjoy the car's potential and have fun behind the wheel.

The new hybrid architecture required extensive integration work on the car's many different control logics, including the high-voltage system controls, the powertrain, and vehicle dynamics controls. The chassis was completely redesigned to deal with the extra stresses associated with the electric power unit and the introduction of AWD. A number of leading-edge technologies and innovations have been introduced, not least an all-carbon-fibre bulkhead between the cabin and the engine.

The SF90 Spider chassis also boasts 30% higher torsional rigidity than previous platforms without any increase in weight, a fact that has significantly influences the car's dynamic prowess.

Controls for the Manettino switch, head light control, windscreen wipers and indicators are all mounted on the SF90 Spider's steering wheel
The main features in the SF90 Spider's aero design include the shut-off Gurney at the rear, an active control system that varies downforce over the rear axle, the front underbody with vortex generator strakes, and forged wheels with wing profiles. 

Inside the car, the central instrument cluster comprises a single 16-inch HD screen, which is curved towards the driver to make it easier to read and emphasise the wraparound cockpit effect. In the default screen, everything is dominated by a large circular rev counter, framed by the battery charge indicator.

Thanks to the introduction of the head-up display, the main information can be projected onto the section of windscreen within the driver's field of vision. This means less distraction for the driver and more concentration of the road ahead.

The SF90 Spider's steering wheel completes that transfer process from the competition world and also ushers in a new era by introducing a series of touch commands that allow the driver to control virtually every aspect of the car without ever taking their hands off the wheel.

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