The new Ferrari SF90 Stradale is their fastest ever road car

Ferrari has revealed its fastest ever road car – and the first Ferrari that can glide along on electricity alone.

The SF90 Stradale – the name celebrates 90 years of Scuderia Ferrari, the race team known for its Formula 1 success –promises to set new performance benchmarks while delivering Prius-like levels of fuel efficiency.

It is the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) from Ferrari, meaning that it can be recharged from a household powerpoint.

Laced with F1-inspired tech, it is powered by a new 4.0-litre V8 engine and three electric motors.

The mid-engined two-seater SF90 Stradale produces 736kW of power and a monstrous 900Nm of torque.

Powering up beyond F1

That makes it the most powerful road car ever produced by Ferrari, comfortably eclipsing the 588kW produced by the V12-powered 812 Superfast - and even the 708kW of the LaFerrari that was never sold in Australia.

While F1 teams don't make specific power claims, it's also similar to the output of a modern F1 car.

The SF90 Stradale is a gamechanger that shows what is possible with electricity.

The addition of electric motors has easily allowed Ferrari to step up outputs to beyond that of any of its V12 cars - while using only a V8 engine.

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It makes about 40 per cent more power than the 488 that also uses a V8 twin-turbo. That equation opens up enormous possibilities for upcoming Ferrari V12s.

Ferrari has previously committed to continuing with a V12 engine, although all from now on are expected to benefit from a hybrid electric system, further boosting outputs.

If the V12 makes a similar performance jump, it opens the possibility that a Ferrari V12 could soon make around 900kW of power – comfortably more than an F1 car.

Silent performer

Yet while it can burn lots of fuel making plenty of power, the SF90 Stradale is also about electric-only running, the first Ferrari that can be driven purely on electricity.

It has three electric motors, two driving each of the front wheels and one working with the V8 engine to drive the rear wheels. Between them they produce 162kW of power, adding to the V8 engine's 574kW.

The rear motor is referred to as the Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic (MGUK), mimicking the name given to similar systems in Formula 1. That rear motor only operates when the V8 is running.

However, the two front motors can run independently and drive the SF90 Stradale for up to 25km on electricity alone.

They are powered by a 7.9kWh battery that can be recharged independently, allowing owners to slip out of the garage silently before unleashing the V8.

Being able to run only on electricity also helps the Ferrari meet the zero emissions requirements of some European cities.

While performance is significantly diminished when running only on electricity, Ferrari says the car can travel up to 135km/h using just those front motors.

Heavy lifting

The SF90 Stradale is no featherweight, its official dry weight (without fluids such as radiator fluid, oil and petrol) at 1570kg courtesy of the 270kg electrical system.

By the time you add those necessary fluids it will weigh comfortably upwards of 1.6 tonnes.

To keep weight down Ferrari used carbon-fibre on some components, including the rear wing, door panels and underbody. Other components use various metals, including titanium and aluminium.

Still, there's so much power that the extra kilos don't slow things much, according to the official figures.

Super car

Unleash everything and the SF90 Stradale performs like any Ferrari - or even better.

It's claimed to hit 100km/h in 2.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 340km/h.

The dash to 200km/h takes just 6.7 seconds, faster than any garden variety supercar - and many hypercars.

No fuel consumption figures have been released yet, but expect them to be less than any other Ferrari to date.

The ability to drive for 25km on only electricity means some people could conceivably perform their commute using no fuel, with the hybrid system combining to reduced fuel use one the battery is depleted.

Style conscious

The SF90 Stradale doesn't disappoint on the styling front, either, with a futuristic take on the mid-engined supercar look Ferrari does so well.

Revised headlights and quad tail lights give the hybrid Ferrari a unique look, while retaining plenty of the Ferrari DNA.

There's also some world first active aerodynamics that Ferrari calls a shut off Gurney, which basically means the rear wing can lower into the body of the car, in turn reducing drag (similar to the DRS "drag reduction systems" in F1).

Inside, there is no traditional tachometer, a customisable 16-inch curved instrument cluster instead providing all information to the driver.

The screen is also designed to create 3D effects.

Hybrid take 2

The SF90 Stradale is not the first time Ferrari has produced a hybrid.

In 2013 the company unleashed the LaFerrari, at the time Ferrari's fastest car.

Pairing a 6.3-litre V12 with an F1-inspired KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) electric motor, it was claimed to make 708kW and 900Nm.

The LaFerrari had a top speed of about 350km/h and could accelerate to 100km/h in 2.4 seconds and to 200km/h in "less than seven seconds".

It was never sold in Australia because it was only ever produced with the steering wheel on the left.

Ferrari considers the LaFerrari a special edition - just 499 were produced.

Coming soon...

The SF90 Stradale is very different because it's a mainstream model with no fixed volume limits; thousands are expected to be built over the coming years.

And the good news is the SF90 Stradale is coming to Australia, expected to arrive in 2020.

Already would-be Ferrari owners have been rushing to place orders.

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