Meet Ferrari’s first XX-rated road car. Until now the double-X designation has been reserved for the company’s road car-based racers. None of them have been road legal.
The new SF90 XX Stradale is different. This is a track-ready version of Ferrari’s top sports car, but one that’s fit to wear registration plates.
“Basically a racing car, road legal,” is how Ferrari marketing chief Enrico Galliera sums it up.
It’s also the first road-going Ferrari in almost 30 years – since the mid-90s era of the F50 – to have a rear wing. It works in conjunction with an active aero device built into the rear bodywork. Called a “cut-off Gurney”, this deflects air towards the wing above.
The wing and Gurney are key elements in a package of redesigned body parts that deliver racer-rivalling levels of high-speed aerodynamic downforce. As in more than 500kg of pressure at 250km/h.
In a development program that began three years ago, Ferrari engineers and test drivers also made changes to the suspension, steering and braking systems.
From the beginning, Ferrari’s aim for the XX was simple; quicker lap times than the regular SF90 Stradale. But there’s one surprising thing that chief test driver Raffaele De Simone didn’t think they needed more of …
“Honestly, it was not in my idea to have more power,” he says. “Truly.”
With a rev-happy twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 and three electric motors, plus all-wheel drive, the plug-in hybrid SF90 Stradale was already a brutally fast car. Exactly 1000 European horsepower, the equivalent of 735kW, will do that. The SF90 XX Stradale has only a little extra.
“It is not just a matter of 30 horsepower more,” says De Simone, “because you feel a lot more when you drive the car.” This is because the car’s electric motors have been tuned for instant throttle response, especially driving out of corners.
De Simone understands that “pushing at the limit such a fast car” can cause anxiety. So he’s worked to reduce XX driver discomfort by making the steering and braking systems feel totally trustworthy and perfectly predictable.
“You see F1 drivers talking in the box (pit garage) in a relatively relaxed situation, he says. “I wanted to recreate this feeling while driving the car.”
Like the standard SF90 Stradale, the XX will be capable of around 25km of electric-only driving, powered only by its front wheels. It’s something owners say they appreciate, apparently.
But the new model adds an Extra Boost function, available only in the all-out Qualifying drive mode. This system delivers bigger bursts of electric boost, precisely where it’ll do the most to shave fractions of a second from lap times.
“The gearshifting is fantastic,” De Simone promises. The control logic of the eight-speed double-clutch transmission has been developed to create the crackling exhaust note of a race engine when it changes gears.
“Steering and sound are the two main differences” SF90 XX Stradale drivers familiar with the standard supercar will notice. “And then braking and aerodynamics,” which are best explored on a circuit, De Simone says.
But few will be able to experience what the quietly spoken test driver describes.
Ferrari will produce only 799 examples of the SF90 XX Stradale coupe and 599 of the convertible SF90 XX Spider.
The closed XX is scheduled to begin rolling out of the company’s Maranello factory in the second quarter of 2024. It will reach Australia late in the year as left-hand drive markets have production-line priority. The XX Spider will arrive around six months later, sometime in the first half of 2025.
Though Ferrari is famously choosy about who it sells its quickest and most costly cars to, marketing boss Enrico Galliera says every SF90 XX has already been allocated to a customer.
In Italy the SF90 XX Stradale costs roughly 80 per cent more than the regular SF90 Stradale. The price for Australia is yet to be announced, but applying the same extra-cost factor points to a number north of $1.5 million.
FERRARI SF90 XX STRADALE
PRICE $1.5 million-plus (est)
SAFETY Not rated
ENGINE 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo plug-in hybrid with 3 electric motors; 758kW/804Nm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed DSG; eAWD
THIRST Not available
0-100KM/H 2.3 secs
Originally published as 2023 Ferrari SF90 Stradale XX revealed
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