Ferrari SF90 XX draws its name from the marque’s series of track-only specials
Track-focused variant of plug-in hybrid supercar ups power and introduces aggressive aerodynamic package
The new 2024 Ferrari SF90 XX is among the marque’s most extreme road-going models to date, evolving the flagship supercar with a host of technologies honed on the series of track-day specials from which it takes its name.
Available in Stradale (coupé) and Spider forms, the SF90 XX is intended to “push the car on the edge” of its potential, according to development boss Gianmaria Fulgenzi.
The brief was to drastically enhance performance but also to “give the confidence to the driver to push the car at its limit”, said chief test driver Raffaele de Simone.
The car features the first fixed rear spoiler mounted to a road-going Ferrari since the F50 of 1995 and it has been added as part of an aggressive aerodynamic overhaul. This is capable of generating 315kg of downforce at 155mph, thanks in part to a trick Gurney flap system that lowers the rear deck to deflect air into the wing’s path.
To balance the aerodynamic load from front to rear and improve drivability, the SF90’s floor has been sealed off under the bonnet, into which new S-ducts have been integrated to channel hot air over the car. These vents alone contribute a 20% improvement to frontal downforce, which totals 325kg at the SF90 XX’s top speed of 199mph.
The changes make the SF90 XX the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari road car yet. De Simone added that the car’s stability is further aided by a stiffer spring set-up – reducing the body roll rate by 10% – and lowered rear ride height.
In addition to boosting downforce, the aerodynamic overhaul also improves the flow of cold air into the redesigned radiators, whose improved cooling performance have allowed Ferrari to unlock an additional 30bhp compared with the regular SF90. This improvement is split between a 17bhp uplift from the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and 13bhp on the electric motors, giving combined outputs of 1016bhp and 593lb ft.
The motors feature a new ‘extra boost’ system derived from Ferrari’s Formula 1 programme, providing their full output for short bursts of acceleration.
Activated in the car’s Qualifying mode, it provides additional power from the electric motors at corner exit.
This system is split into 30 ‘tokens’ representing the charge remaining in the 7.9kWh battery. Deploying it around Fiorano shaves 0.25sec off the SF90 XX’s lap time, using seven of the 30 tokens in the process.
In this Qualifying mode, the SF90 XX can reach 62mph from a standstill in just 2.3sec and hit double that speed 4.2sec later.
Redesigned front brakes and bigger (390mm) rear discs work with the ABS-Evo system that made its debut on the Ferrari 296 GTB to improve the XX’s stopping power: it decelerates from 124mph to a standstill in 108.1m, and from 62-0mph in 29.2m.
The exhaust system has also been reworked to produce a “fuller, richer sound”, helped by new gearbox software claimed to improve the overrun noise made when lifting off the throttle at high revs.
“All the technical features we normally use for a [track-only] XX car” were integrated into the plug-in hybrid flagship, said marketing and commercial head Enrico Galliera. These include the lightest seats fitted to a Ferrari to date, contributing to a 10kg overall saving compared with the conventional SF90 Stradale (which weighs 1570kg with every lightweighting option fitted). The XX Spider weighs 1660kg.
Ferrari has yet to disclose the lap time the SF90 XX achieved around Fiorano, but Galliera was bullish in telling Autocar that the gap to the regular SF90 is “significant” – so much so that the brand deems it worthy of a dedicated announcement event later this year. The existing SF90 is the current record holder for road cars at the circuit, having lapped it in 1:19.00 (to the nearest second).
Prices for the SF90 XX started from €770,000 (£660,000) for the Stradale coupé and rose to €850,000 (£730,000) for the Spider. ‘Started’, past tense, is the operative word: all 1398 examples (799 Stradales and 599 Spiders) are already accounted for, having been sold as a “reward” for “our most loyal clients”, according to Galliera. Deliveries of the Stradale begin in the second quarter of 2024, with the Spider following in the final quarter of next year.
SF90 XX was not in Ferrari’s original product plan
Ferrari did not originally intend to develop a more focused version of the SF90, believing it had reached the limit of what was possible with the technology available during its development. Galliera told Autocar: “Normally when we develop a new product, it takes at least a year. The same happened with this car.
“I would say the project was even more complex than a normal project, simply because when we thought of the SF90, we didn’t think about having an evolution of it. That’s why we call it a supercar. And normally a supercar is really something that is trying to achieve the maximum possible in terms of technology at that moment. So further improving the SF90 – with the existing performance of the SF90 – was not an easy job. So basically, the time was the same; the effort was really a lot.”