If you were to ask a serious car enthusiast what they’d spend the best part of half a million pounds on, we’re guessing they probably wouldn’t name a convertible. Evocative of teenage girls in high school comedies and men suddenly realising they’re on the wrong side of 40, the open-top car isn’t often considered a ‘serious’ piece of engineering by those with in-depth knowledge of torque and horsepower.
Well Ferrari is here to change all that. The Italian marque recently launched the SF90 Spider, its second hybrid convertible following 2017’s LaFerrari Aperta, and it’s not to be toyed with. Based on the SF90 Stradale that was unveiled 18 months ago, Ferrari has promised its new convertible delivers all the performance of its hard-top counterpart with added aesthetics to boot.
So what’s under the hood? The SF90 Spider features the same four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Stradale, combining a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 with two electric motors to produce an astonishing 986bhp and 664lb ft of torque. In layman’s term this means the Spider lives up to the Stradale’s 2.5 second 0-62mph record and reaches a top speed of 211mph. All of which, according to Ferrari, make it the most powerful series-production convertible in the world – stealing the title from its own 812 GTS.
If you’re more concerned about saving the planet than breaking the sound barrier, the SF90 Spider is also capable of running on electric-only. However, you’re only going to get 15.5 miles out of its 7.9kWh battery so plan those eco-friendly trips carefully.
But, as with any convertible, the handsome looks of the SF90 Spider are also particularly noteworthy. Featuring the same aluminium retractable hard-top as seen on other modern Ferrari convertibles, the roof opens and closes in 14 seconds and is claimed by the brand to shave off 40kg of weight and require 50 litres less storage space than more conventional systems on the market.
A number of stylistic choices have also been made to reduce noise and performance loss when the roof is down. These include a retractable rear window, the forged wheel designs seen on the Stradale, aerodynamic structures on the front end shaped to allow for air channelling and new trim in the cockpit designed to move air away from driver and passenger.
Ferrari has, however, worked hard to retain the overall look and feel of the Stradale – keeping in place all the curved body design and bold sporty elements that enthralled supercar enthusiasts the first time around. Inside, the cockpit remains virtually unchanged. The 16-inch wraparound digital display stays, as does a heads-up display and racing-style steering wheel, so there’s much for the gadget-lover to like here.
First deliveries are expected to begin in spring 2021 and, if you’re already looking ahead to cruising down the Croisette next summer, start saving now. The Ferrari SF90 is going to set you back a cool £425,000. But, for a car that combines all the good locks of a convertible with the power of a great supercar, it might just be worth it.
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.