Why the Brakes Are the Most Impressive Thing About the Ferrari SF90 Stradale


Why the Brakes Are the Most Impressive Thing About the Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Of all the mind-blowing things about the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, it’s the brakes that got me. Or to be more accurate, the braking system, because being a hybrid, regenerative braking from the electric motors helps slow the car down in concert with pad and disc. Of course, this sort of “blended” braking is nothing new in the world of hybrids, but the way Ferrari manages it is astonishing.

This summer I had the extremely unique opportunity of driving an SF90 with the optional Assetto Fiorano pack around Ferrari’s private test track, which of course is the circuit it’s named for. Around the tight, fast circuit, the SF90 is stupendously fast and far easier to drive than a 986-hp mid-engine car should be. The dual front motors give the SF90 almost supernatural cornering ability as each wheel can be over- or underdriven to change the car’s cornering line. To be fast in an SF90, get on throttle early and often and let the systems sort everything out.

Those front motors disengage above 124 mph because that’s as quick as they can spin, and they wouldn’t contribute much to cornering at these speeds. At Fiorano, Ferrari had us come off throttle for a few hundred feet each lap for some combination of safety and noise regulations. But there was still enough runway to hit 140 before braking into Turn 1. Raffaele de Simone, Ferrari’s chief test driver, says he’s seeing close to 170 there on really fast laps.

For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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