Sometimes funny things happen in the car market where you least expect them to, as is currently the case with one of the greatest cars of them all – none less than the tremendous Ferrari SF90. The somewhat unexpected situation I’m referring to is that there’s unusually many of them for sale. This is unusual both as the SF90 is very much still a new car (although you can’t order a new one anymore), but also since it’s rare to see any kind of supercar at this level being offered in current numbers. This doesn’t mean that they’ve dropped massively in price, but of course a large supply tends to reduce the price in the long run (and vice versa, as the energy market is reminding us of). So what’s going on? Have so many fallen out of love with one of the greatest supercars of all time, and in that case why? And what is the Ferrari SF90 really about? That’s what we’ll look at this week.
Presented in 2019 and boasting a total of 1000 hp of which 220 are electric, the SF90 name is a tribute to the 90 years of the Ferrari racing team. The extreme creation is however not the first super-Ferrari that uses hybrid technology – that was the LaFerrari, although that was a simpler, non-chargeable hybrid system and total power output was “only” 950 hp. The SF90 is a plug-in hybrid with two tank caps on the aisles just like on the F40, it’s just that in one of them, nothing but a cable should go in. Design wise the SF90 goes its own way, which is not to everyone’s taste. The headlights are different in shape to all other cars from Maranello and the square rear lights will probably have some Ferraristi rub their eyes. Whatever the form of the lights though, in terms of speed there’s little reason for concern. The SF90 hits 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds and 200 km/h in 6.7 seconds, and then goes on all the way to 340 km/h. That’s the take-off speed of an Airbus passenger plane… In terms of acceleration it’s even more impressive when you consider that at around 1600 kg, the SF90 is around 200 kg heavier than LaFerrari was, and still manages to be faster.
The secret of course lies in the engine package. Firstly the combustion, 4-litre, twin turbo V8, putting out 195 hp per litre and being buried so deep in the car that the cylinder heads barely reach the middle of the rear wheels. This is unlike most Ferraris where the engine sits right under the bonnet, but of course does wonders to how the car handles. Complementing this tremendous machine are a total of three electrical motors, one centrally placed and the other two close to the front wheels, adding up to another 220 hp. The motors would be capable of more than twice that power, but the relatively small 8 KwH battery sets the limit. It’s also responsible for the SF90 not doing more than a max of 25 km in electrical mode, then again that’s probably not your main concern when you develop a new Ferrari supercar. It doesn’t change the fact though that the SF90 is the first Ferrari that can be driven fully electrically and thereby silently, which is quite useful when you want to sneak out of the neighborhood early in the morning!
The aerodynamic features of the car are too many to go into in any greater detail, but at a speed of 250 km/h they add almost 400 kg of additional downforce, a pretty impressive number. And of course, the four engines in different places help the car in the area of dynamics. It basically gives the car an informal four-wheel drive system, hereby making it the first 8-cylinder Ferrari driving on more than two wheels. On the inside you sit low in the driver seat and look out over a total of 9 digital displays, the largest of which is almost Tesla-esque in size and is complemented by quite an advanced head-up display above it (also a first for Ferrari). Luckily the manettino is still there, helping you switch between driving programs.
There’s thus no doubt that the SF90 is quite a compelling package and a modern supercar in the true sense of the word – so what’s with all the cars in the market? It’s indeed quite odd, but as I write this there are 105 SF90’s for sale in Germany, and as many as 22 in small Switzerland. No other comparable supercar is close to those numbers. Contrary to the LaFerrari of which only 500 coupes were built, production of the SF90 wasn’t limited, although it’s gone out of production now, and there’s was never any conditions tied to buying one, such as owning other Ferraris. Price-wise, having initially climbed to about 20% above the price as new, cars have now come back to roughly the new price between EUR 500-600’ with as said many cars hitting the market.
My guess is that one reason for the number of cars in the market is exactly that, I.e. that the SF90 could be bought by anyone, and a number of cars probably were in the good economic years we now have behind us, during which it was produced. With the benefit of hindsight many may then have changed their mind, so what’s been going on is a kind of cleansing of the market. Where it goes from here is probably anyone’s guess. In the coming five years the car can certainly lose 20% or EUR 100’, or on the other hand start appreciating, notably now that production has stopped. Given we are after all talking about a 1000 hp Ferrari, I’d put my chips on the latter scenario. As always though, if your considering one, don’t by an SF90 to speculate. Buy it to enjoy what is one of the greatest supercars ever built, and enjoy it all you can!