Hybrid Ferrari SF90 Spider drops its top to let the sun shine in at speed

Hailed as the world’s most powerful series-production convertible supercar, the new £425,000 Ferrari SF90 Spider also has the distinction of being the Maranello manufacturer’s first hybrid stallion with a retractable hard top (RHT).

Essentially a SF90 Stradale with a host of tweaks to accommodate the RHT, the 986bhp Spider (due in Q2, 2021) concedes little in the way of performance to its sibling. Not really so surprising given that re-engineering the car for a drop-top has added a mere 100kg to its weight, thanks to the extensive use of aluminium alloy.

That means the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 / 162kW electric motor combo will still propel the Spider to zero to 200km/h (124mph) in 7 seconds, a piffling 0.3 seconds slower than the £376,000 Stradale. Working the eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox to get it from 0-62mph, meanwhile, will take just 2.5 seconds, exactly the same as the fixed top version.

The £425,000 Ferrari SF90 Spider has the distinction of being the first hybrid stallion with a retractable hard top…

Getting some sole into the cabin is pretty swift, too – we’re told the top opens and retracts in 14 seconds, quick enough to react to the most unexpected of showers. An adjustable electric rear window prevents significant wind buffeting at speed.

Exterior styling remains pretty much unchanged (i.e. deeply gorgeous), bar some extra ventilation to keep the engine bay better cooled when the roof is stowed, a 20mm lower roofline and a marginally sharper rake to the windscreen. Interior aesthetics are largely identical too, although Ferrari says it has added a ‘hot tube system’, to efficiently transfer more of their engine’s throaty harmonics into the cabin as the revs climb. 

Cutting off a roof always weakens a car’s structural integrity so, to strengthen the cockpit, a pair of extra buttresses have been added at the rear of the cabin. These are hidden behind the seats and topped by roll-hoops that are neatly sculpted to match the profile of the headrests, in order to better preserve rearwards visibility.

The cockpit has been reinforced

As with the Stradale, those who fancy themselves as track-day heroes get the option to invest an additional £40,000 in the race-oriented ‘Assetto Fiorano’ specification pack. Multimatic shock absorbers, carbon-fibre components (including a rear spoiler) and softer, homologated Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres lead to better performance in the dry as well as an overall 21kg weight saving.

It’s always slightly incongruous to be talking about a supercar’s eco credentials but it’s worth noting that the AWD car’s trio of electric motors – one at each end of the front axle plus one at the rear – generate 217 of the car’s 986 horses. What’s more its 7.9kWh battery will power the car on its own for around 15-16 miles (limited to 84mph) if you’ve forgotten to fill the 68-litre fuel tank.

In fact, if your round-trip commute was short enough you could theoretically go to work and back without ever firing up the V8.

 Well, at least until you were sectioned…

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An experienced PR professional who’s represented some of the world’s best-known technology brands, Kulwinder began his career as a journalist and then editor, with stints on legendary British car magazines Supercar Classics and Fast Lane.

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