Automotive

Published on November 13th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Ferrari Loses The Roof To Create The SF90 Spider

Ferrari have been hard at work on their current product offensive. Halfway through last year, they presented one of the most powerful road cars ever – the SF90 Stradale. Now, they’ve come up with a convertible version of that car with the SF90 Spider.

For the SF90 Spider, Ferrari have deployed a retractable hard top or RHT. The RHT was chosen over a soft top as it would offer noise insulation and won’t deform at higher speeds. The RHT on the SF90 Spider takes just 14 seconds to deploy.

The first time Ferrari used an RHT was on the 458 Spider back in 2011. On this SF90 Spider, they’ve managed to shrink down the package to occupy just 100 litres of volume when stowed away. And because they’ve used loads of aluminium in its construction, it’s actually 40kg lighter than a conventional hard top. There’s even an integrated rear window that can be wound down electrically.

What’s really amazing is how similarly it performs versus the coupé model. With the same power output from the petrol and electric motor, the SF90 Spider it completes a lap at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit just half a second slower than before.

Most performance look unchanged despite the car weighing 100kg more in its Spider form. The only real drop is in its 0-200km/h time which now takes 7 seconds versus 6.7 seconds on the SF90 Stradale.

For more on the SF90 Spider, check out the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

The spider version of the SF90 Stradale, the Ferrari SF90 Spider, was unveiled during a dedicated digital event. This special online event provided Ferraristi from all over the world with an exclusive introduction to the car’s innovative features and in-depth information on its development.

As the Prancing Horse’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 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 latest iteration of Ferrari’s signature retractable hard top architecture. This makes the SF90 Spider the ideal car for owners that demand the very pinnacle of Ferrari technology, but still want the thrill of open-top driving.

The retractable hard top (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 it can be actioned in just 14 seconds and can be deployed when the car is on the move. The key to the success of the Ferrari RHT, which premiered on the 458 Spider in 2011, and which has been constantly evolved in the intervening years, is that it takes up just 100 litres of space rather than the 150-200 litres required by a traditional system. The use of aluminium in its construction also means that it is around 40 kg lighter than a conventional retractable hard top. An adjustable electric rear window guarantees superb occupant comfort even at high speeds when the RHT is lowered.

As is the case with the SF90 Stradale, the Ferrari SF90 Spider is also available with an additional specification option for owners that want to push its track car vocation to the extreme. The Assetto Fiorano pack includes a list of exclusive upgrades that set it apart from the standard car, not least Multimatic shock absorbers derived from the Ferrari’s GT racing experience and optimised for track use. Others include the adoption of high performance materials (such as carbon-fibre and titanium) that have shaved 21 kg 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, thanks to a softer compound and fewer grooves. Lastly, the Assetto Fiorano offers an optional two-tone livery that further underscores the car’s racing vocation.

POWERTRAIN

In a first for a Ferrari production spider, the SF90 Spider has 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 synergy between the internal combustion engine and the electric motors allow the car to unleash a maximum of 1,000 cv and put the SF90 Spider not only at the very top of the Ferrari range of road cars, but also its category.

AERODYNAMICS

Given that the RHT compartment would have impeded the functioning of the vents located immediately behind the roof in the SF90 Stradale, transverse louvres have been inserted in the SF90 Spider’s rear screen. These have been very precisely dimensioned to act as an efficient ‘chimney’ without interfering with the car’s aerodynamics at speed.

The downforce generated by the SF90 Spider is largely determined by the patented aero device on the car’s tail: the shut-off Gurney. In order to guarantee the same performance as the coupé, the Ferrari team had to work on the volumes and surfaces of the roof to manage the direction of the aerodynamic flow towards the car’s tail. The shut-off Gurney is a suspended element comprising two sections: one fixed and one mobile with a wedge-shaped front area. The system is controlled by a sophisticated logic that controls parameters such as speed, acceleration, steering wheel angle and pressure on the brake pedal, hundreds of times a second in order to identify dynamic conditions requiring more downforce and then promptly activates the system, which can adopt either of two configurations:

Specific to the SF90 Spider are two aerodynamic elements in the cockpit to guarantee an excellent level of protection from air flows with the roof down. There is a central trim section between the driver and passenger seats that channels the air flow away from the head and shoulders and into a double layer of trim on the upper part of the tunnel. Both of these solutions are essentially drag neutral and guarantee the same level of comfort as Ferrari’s other mid-rear-engined spiders.

EXTERIOR

The crafting of the Ferrari SF90 Spider’s exterior forms was inspired by same principle as influenced the development of the SF90 Stradale: to create a futuristic, innovative design that communicates both the car’s racing vocation and the series production supercar concept.

When the RHT is deployed, the sides, front and tail of the SF90 Spider have the same distinctive styling as the SF90Stradale. This is no small achievement given that the architecture incorporates stowage for the RHT, which is moved by a complex lever system, but also that it was vital to maintain the same chassis rigidity levels. This was achieved by re-sculpting the car’s surfaces so that the tonneau cover seamlessly integrates with the B-pillars of the coupé, preserving the original styling theme. Even the buttresses behind the passengers’ head rests, which are a signature of all Ferrari spiders, integrate harmoniously as if they were emerging from a structure beneath the car’s skin.

The result is that the proportions of the SF90 Stradale transfer easily to the SF90 Spider even when the RHT is stowed and without any formal concessions. This is even more surprising given that the engine is just as visible through the rear window despite the bulk of the roof. As the jewel in the car’s crown, the V8 is clearly visible both when the RHT is deployed and retracted. Seen from above, it is clear that the buttresses also line up with the seats, which improves rear visibility when the RHT is stowed, in addition to further underscoring the car’s two-seater configuration.

The greenhouse area and roof feature stylistic solutions from the coupé that reduce drag and underscore its fiery temperament without impacting on on-board comfort. The cockpit has been shifted forwards, the roof is 20 mm lower, the A-posts are more slender and the windscreen is more raked.

Aside from having the same silhouette as the SF90 Stradale, the SF90 Spider has a unique dynamic allure when its top is down: the absence of the roof seems to visually lower the car’s centre of gravity, an impression further strengthened by the difference in colour of the trim on the roll-hoops that give rise to the buttresses.

The front of the car is dominated by a very pronounced profile which underscores its extremely aggressive character. The three air intakes in this area cool the electric motors (front) and the internal combustion engine (sides). The SF90 Spider also uses matrix LED headlight technology to improve visibility in all driving conditions thanks to active beam control.

The rear of the car is dominated by high exhaust pipes, which are the result of optimisation of the exhaust line layout. Their competition car vibe has been cleverly exploited to underscore the SF90 Spider’s track-inspired personality. This effect is further enhanced by the low tail area. More elongated luminous rings create a more horizontal perception of the tail lights, which are a radical break from the iconic round shape normally used on Ferrari’s mid-rear-engined berlinettas.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE 
    • Type: V8 – 90° – turbo – dry sump
    • Overall displacement: 3990 cc
    • Bore and stroke: 88 mm x 82 mm
    • Max. power output: 780 cv at 7500 rpm
    • Max. torque: 800 Nm at 6000 rpm
    • Max. engine speed: 8000 rpm
    • Compression ratio: 9.4:1 (vs 9.5:1)
  • ELECTRIC MOTORS 
    • eDrive max. power output: 162 kW
    • eDrive max. range: 25 km
    • Battery capacity: 7.9 kWh
  • DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 
    • Length: 4704 mm
    • Width: 1973 mm
    • Height: 1191 mm
    • Wheelbase: 2649 mm
    • Front track: 1679 mm
    • Rear track: 1652 mm
    • Dry weight: 1670 kg (vs 1570kg)
    • Dry weight/power: 1.67 kg/cv
    • Weight distribution: 45% front / 55% rear
    • Boot capacity: 74 litres
    • Fuel tank capacity: 68 litres (11 reserve)
  • TYRES AND WHEELS 
    • Front: 255/35 ZR 20 J9.5
    • Rear: 315/30 ZR 20 J11.5
  • BRAKES 
    • Front: 398 x 223 x 38 mm
    • Rear: 360 x 233 x 32 mm
  • TRANSMISSION AND GEARBOX 
    • F1 eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, AWD, electric front axle
    • Electronic controls: eSSC: E4WD (eTC, e-Diff3), SCME-Frs, FDE 2.0, EPS; high performance ABS/EBD with energy recovery
  • PERFORMANCE 
    • Max. combined power output: 1000 cv (735 kW)
    • 0-100 km/h: 2.5 s
    • 0-200 km/h: 7.0 s (vs 6.7s)
    • 100-0 km/h: < 29.5 m
    • Max. speed: 340 km/h
    • Lap time at Fiorano: 79.5 s (vs 79s)

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About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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