Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

Ferrari has officially introduced the open-top version of the SF90 Stradale, a year and a half after the coupe made its debut. The SF90 Spider rolls in as the automaker’s first series-production plug-in hybrid convertible, and while the F173A is very much the same car technically as its hard-top sibling, design changes as a result of the aperta theme have brought about some revisions.

Those concerning styling have arguably made it the prettier looking of the two. Generally, the design retains the fidelity of the coupe and presents the same silhouette, but there are some minor differences in dimensions – the Spider measures in at 4,704 mm long, 1,973 mm wide and 1,191 mm tall, making it a shade shorter and a whisker wider and higher than the Stradale (4,710 mm / 1,972 mm / 1,186 mm).

It’s effectively the same car at the front, and it isn’t until you get to the windscreen that changes come about – the cockpit has been shifted forward, the roof is 20 mm lower, while the A-pillars have been made more slender and more rake has been introduced to the windscreen.

The party piece is the retractable hard top (RHT), a design that has continued to evolve since it first appeared on the 458 Spider back in 2011. Made of aluminium, the unit can be deployed or stowed in just 14 seconds, and is operable on the move at up to 45 km/h. Of note is its footprint of the unit, which despite having to manage the bulk of the roof, has been kept small enough to preserve the view of the V8 engine through the rear panel at all times.

Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

Some design alterations brought about by necessity have come about. The location of the shark-fin antenna has been changed – on the coupe, it sits on the roof, but has been shifted rearwards on the Spider to maintain functionality. The two section, rear shut-off Gurney active control system from the Stradale has also been revised slightly for the application on the Spider, as has heat management coming off the engine bay.

The RHT compartment effectively sits over the engine bay, and that placement means the functioning of the vents as seen on the SF90 Stradale, which are located immediately behind the roof, would be impeded. To preserve management of the heat flow from the engine bay, transverse louvres have been inserted in the SF90 Spider’s rear screen. These act as an efficient ‘chimney’ to help evacuate hot air without interfering with the car’s aerodynamics at speed.

Elsewhere, attention has been given to minimising aerodynamic turbulence and noise with the RHT retracted, and the SF90 Spider features two aerodynamic elements in the cockpit to reduce the effects of these on occupants with the roof down.

This is accomplished with the incorporation of a central trim section between the driver and passenger seats, which channels the air flow away from the head and shoulders into a double layer of trim on the upper part of the tunnel, providing the SF90 Spider with the same level of comfort as the company’s other mid-rear-engined spiders.

Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

An important aspect of open-top motoring is the soundtrack provided by the engine growl and exhaust note, and this is ramped up on the Spider with the help of a “hot tube system,” which is the company’s way of describing a resonator tube that channels sound from the exhaust to the cockpit, providing for more aural – and emotional – involvement.

As for the hybrid powertrain, it’s identical to the coupe, combining a turbocharged V8 engine integrated with three electric motors, two of which are independent and located on a RAC-e electric front axle, with a third MGUK (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic) unit housed between the engine and the gearbox at the rear. Likewise, the eight-speed, wet dual-clutch transmission, which debuted on the Stradale, is also to be found.

Output numbers are similar too. The V8 mill develops 780 PS at 7,500 rpm and 800 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm, while the three electric motors offer a total of 220 PS (or 162 kW), making for 1,000 PS (or 986 hp) in total.

Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

Like the coupe, a SK Innovations lithium-ion 7.9 kWh battery pack – housed behind the seats – provides the Spider with a 25 km all-electric operating range, with pure electric operation utilising just the two independent motors on the front axle. All-electric operation is available up to 135 km/h.

The SF90 Spider tips the scales at 1,670 kg, which is 100 kg heavier than the coupe, but the additional ballast hardly makes a dent in the SF90 Spider’s performance for the most part. The 0-100 km/h sprint is accomplished in exactly the same time, which is 2.5 seconds, and while it’s a fraction slower into the 0-200 km/h zone at 7.0 seconds to the Stradale’s 6.7 seconds, it’s unlikely that anyone would notice that particular sliver. Top speed is identical at 340 km/h, which is not electronically-governed.

As it is on the coupe, four drive modes are available, selected via the eManettino controller. The first is eDrive, which provides all-electric operation, followed by Hybrid, which is the default setting when the car is turned on and autonomously decides whether to keep the internal combustion engine running or switch it off.

The third mode is Performance, which keeps the engine running and prioritises charging the battery than on efficiency, and finally, there’s Qualify, which prioritises performance over battery charging and provides maximum power output by allowing the electric motors to work at their maximum output.

Inside, the Spider’s cabin mirrors that of the Stradale. Highlights include a single 16-inch curved high-definition digital instrument screen, with the display being fully configurable and controlled via the steering wheel control buttons.

Elsewhere, you’ll find the same items as seen on the coupe – a steering wheel with a touchpad and an assortment of haptic buttons, a head-up display, a new navigation system, the retro-styled but digital gearshift grille and the automaker’s new ignition key.

Ferrari SF90 Spider – hybrid’s drop-top version debuts

Like the coupe, the SF90 Spider can also be specified with an optional Assetto Fiorano pack. The specification contains pretty much the same elements seen on the Stradale, in this case a two-tone livery, carbon-fibre door panels and underbody as well as titanium springs and exhaust.

Additionally, there’s a carbon-fibre rear spoiler, GT racing-derived Multimatic shock absorbers that are optimised for track use and softer compound, road-homologated Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres. All these trim aid performance in the dry and takes 21 kg off the car’s dry weight, nine kg less than on the Stradale equipped with the same pack.

According to chief marketing and commercial officer Enrico Galliera, the first deliveries of the SF90 Spider will start in the second quarter of next year for left-hand drive markets. As for its price, the car will go for 473,000 euros (RM2.30 million) in Italy, which makes it around 10% pricier than the coupe.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.




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