All posts in “Ferrari”

New Ferrari SF90 Spider puts a 211-mph hurricane of wind in your hair

The new Ferrari SF90 Spider has been unveiled as the open-top sibling to the Prancing Horse’s SF90 Stradale. The SF90 Spider thus becomes Ferrari’s first plug-in-hybrid roadster, and with nearly 1000 horsepower on tap and four driven wheels, performance is solidly in the supercar realm. The new Spider maintains the Stradale’s  211-mph top speed, and it rockets from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds.

Like other Ferrari Spiders dating back to the 458, the SF90 is a retractable hardtop. The top is made of aluminum, which saves a claimed 88 pounds over more traditional materials, although the Spider’s stated dry weight (3,682 pounds) is still 220 more than the Stradale. The retractable roof can be lowered or raised in 14 seconds and can even be operated when the car is moving at low speeds. A power rear window that can be raised even when the top is stowed provides a measure of wind-buffetting protection for the cockpit. Additionally, the center section of the cockpit has been redesigned to help manage airflow: A central trim piece between the seats channels air away from the occupants’ heads and shoulders and into a double-layered trim piece at the top of the tunnel. The rest of the cabin mirrors that of the SF90 Stradale, with a 16-inch curved display screen, a head-up display, and a steering wheel with haptic-touch switches on the spokes.

The SF90’s plug-in-hybrid powertrain is unchanged from that of the SF90, which means a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (which alone makes 769 horsepower), supplemented by a trio of electric motors fed by a 7.9-kWh battery pack. One motor, located between the engine and the gearbox and making 157 horsepower, directly bolsters engine output, while two other 97-hp units each power one front wheel, giving the SF90 all-wheel drive as well as torque vectoring across the front axle. Total output stands at 986 horsepower, and the engine’s grunt is dispatched via Ferrari’s latest 8-speed DCT transmission.

Because the Spider’s roof stows where the engine-heat vents are in the Stradale, Ferrari engineers had to redesign the heat-management system for the powertrain. They introduced transverse louvers in the rear screen to exhaust engine heat. Compared to the coupe, the Spider also has a specially designed rear spoiler with both a fixed and a movable element, which allows it to either minimize drag or maximize downforce.

Impressively, the engine remains visible in the SF90 Spider even when the top is retracted. Ferrari designers also reworked the car’s B-pillars to seamlessly integrate the removable top. 

The Spider, like the SF90 Stradale, can be had with the optional Assetto Fiorano track pack, which includes Multimatic shock absorbers, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, other lightweight carbon fiber and titanium elements that shave 46 pounds, ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and, most critically, an available two-tone livery “that further underscores the car’s racing vocation.”

U.S. pricing has not been announced, but we’re told the Spider command a tariff about 10 percent more than the Stradale, currently $507,300. Besides a shopping bag full of money — or, perhaps, bitcoin — SF90 Spider buyers will also need a good bit of patience. U.S. deliveries aren’t set to begin until about a year from now, at the end of the third quarter 2021.

Spy photos reveal mystery Ferrari prototype

European spies caught a mystery Ferrari hypercar mule testing on public roads this week. This prototype, which is based on a LaFerrari, seems to indicate that Ferrari is working on a successor.

Though it may not seem like that long ago, it has been two years since Ferrari closed the books on the LaFerrari halo car with its run of open-top Aperta models. Though all LaFerrari models were said to be pre-sold, it technically remained in production through 2018. We have no reason to believe Ferrari is planning to produce continuation variants of the LaFerrari, which leads us to suspect that this is a powertrain mule for what might be a next-generation, range-topping hypercar. 

There are quite a few visible differences between the production LaFerrari and this mule, though some of them could be products of its extensive disguise. The front fascia appears to be different, with narrower side intakes and a missing winglet on the lower lip. The rear glass is smaller on this prototype too, stretching only about halfway to the end of the rear deck, with what appears to be an air intake sitting where the glass would have extended toward the tail. The intakes on the flanks also appear smaller than on the production LaFerrari. 

A few things can be pinned down as more than mere vinyl-induced hallucinations, including the conventional five-lug wheels (rather than the LaFerrari’s center-locks). The blue triangle aft of the driver’s side window indicates that this is an electrified model, which would point to this being yet another high-performance hybrid

It remains to be seen what Ferrari has in store for this early prototype, but a new hypercar introduction in 2022 or 2023 would match the company’s typical 10-year gap between halo car introductions, so we probably won’t have to wait too much longer to find out more. 

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Ferrari SP1 and SP2 get faster with Novitec exhaust and tune

Finally, the poor saps who own the Ferrari SP1 and SP2 have an aftermarket solution for more horsepower. The car was just a total dog with the 809-horse 6.5-liter V12 it came with from the factory. 

We jest.

But for real, Novitec just released a tuning and performance package compatible with the SP1 and SP2 that ups the performance to an even higher bug crushing (with your face) 844 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. That’s 34 horsepower and 45 pound-feet more than normal, reducing the 0-62 mph run from 2.9 seconds to 2.8 seconds. Top speed is simply said to be above 186 mph, at which point the bugs and your face become one.

The extra power comes thanks to a full Novitec exhaust system (headers on back) and a Novitec tune. You can select between stainless steel or Inconel (lightweight material used for Formula 1 car exhaust systems) pipes. Additionally, you can have the exhaust plated with fine gold for better heat dissipation — plus you get to say that your exhaust is plated in gold. You’ll be able to choose between a system with electronically controlled exhaust flaps, or a standard one-noise system. Novitec says the one with exhaust flaps can go especially quiet.

If the power isn’t enough, Novitec also offers aftermarket springs that lower the ride height by 1.4 inches to give the car a lower center of gravity. Aftermarket wheels developed with Vossen are also available. They’re wrapped by 275-section-width rubber in front and 335-section-width rubber in back.

And lastly, if the Ferrari interior you chose wasn’t exactly what you wanted (but why wasn’t it?) Novitec will also customize the interior to “any desired color.” Pick your leather and Alcantara, and have at it.

Novitec didn’t release prices, but Ferrari didn’t either when it revealed the SP1 and SP2 originally. Just know that many zeros are involved. For the 500 folks who own an SP1 or SP2, it very likely won’t matter what the price is.

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One-of-a-kind Ferrari Omologata took over two years to complete

Ferrari has introduced the Omologata, a client-commissioned one-off based on the 812 Superfast. It’s a heritage-laced tribute to the firm’s historic race cars, but its designers chose not to venture too far into retro territory.

Finished in Rosso Magma, the Omologata is the 10th front-engined, V12-powered one-of-a-kind car that Ferrari has built since 2009. Visually, it shares only its windshield and its headlights with the model it’s based on, though its proportions are inevitably similar. Its pure, muscular design is characterized by subtle references to the Prancing Horse’s past models, like vents below the hood that echo the hugely successful 250 GTO race car. It was also inspired by science fiction and modern architecture, according to the Italian company.

Ferrari created a new shade of red for the 7 emblems on both doors and on the hood, and for the stripe that runs beneath the windshield as it connects the rocker panels. Why 7? We don’t know, but we highly doubt it was chosen randomly. Its owner may sooner or later shed light on its relevance. Here’s another interesting number: two. That’s the number of years it took to create the Omologata, from the moment a designer completed the first sketch to its unveiling in September 2020. It wears a hand-made aluminum body, after all.

Electric blue seats with four-point harnesses add a touch of color to a mostly black interior. Ferrari notes the metal parts on the dashboard and on the steering wheel are finished with a crackled paint effect, while the door handles and the center console wear a coat of hammered paint. Both connect the Omologata to decades-old race cars.

The sculpted hood hides a V12, but technical specifications haven’t been published. For context, the 812 Superfast easily lives up to its name with a naturally-aspirated, 6.5-liter V12 tuned to develop 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. It spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Ferrari hasn’t revealed the identity of the customer who commissioned the Omologata; all we know is that it was made for “a discerning European client.” Pricing remains under wraps, too, but we suppose it came with a seven-digit price tag. Keep in mind it’s a coachbuilt supercar based on a model whose base price hovers around $340,000, and it’s made with numerous components developed and manufactured specifically for it.

Ferrari stressed its aim wasn’t to create a museum piece. The Omologata meets the same quality and drivability standards as a regular-production model, hence its name, which means “homologated” in Italian. Time will tell if its owner will take advantage of the street-legal status to use the car on a regular basis, or if it will be kept hidden until it’s displayed in front of the champagne-soaked crowd at the 2073 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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Ferrari 812 Superfast variant spied, could be a GTO

The chance to buy a new, naturally aspirated V12-powered Ferrari is closing, and the camouflaged 812 Superfast we’re looking at here is likely going to be one of the last. Our spy photographer caught two 812s running around, but the changes are similar (not identical) among the two.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a potential 812 variant, either. Ferrari is rumored to be producing some special editions of the 812 before it goes out of production, and this one looks like it has the potential to be the most potent version. The changes we spy on these two prototypes suggest that Ferrari is prepping an 812 GTO, or if we use the F12 as perspective, a tdf. Either way, this car will likely have even more power and better handling than the current 812 Superfast.

Ferrari manages 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque from the 6.5-liter V12 today, so we fully expect to see a number north of 800 horsepower for this special edition. The crude, mesh front grille and gaggle of wires coming from the engine bay suggest some powertrain development is underway. How much power Ferrari ends up with is anybody’s guess, but a redline over 9,000 rpm sounds pretty good to us — the current 812 stops at 8,900 rpm.

There’s some camouflage along the side sills, reaching up into the front fenders. Ferrari is very obviously doing some work with the rear aero, as we see two different designs on the two test cars. They both look unfinished, but one is filled in with venting, while the other is wide open on the edges. Whatever secrets Ferrari is trying to keep, it has kept for the time being. The looks of these camouflaged prototypes are obviously in an unfinished state of business. Ferrari managed to differentiate the standard F12 from the F12 tdf substantially, and we expect its next front-engine masterpiece to receive the same treatment for production.

Just like the tdf, we’ll expect this version of the 812 to be made in limited quantities and cost a small fortune. As for timing, Ferrari could very well reveal the car this year as it continues its new product offensive.

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2020 Ferrari F8 Spider First Drive | Al fresco driving without compromise

LOS ANGELES — Humanity may be hermetically sealed off by facemasks and lockdowns, but the 2020 Ferrari F8 Spider is ferociously gulping gallons of atmosphere into the cabin as I dice through Malibu’s canyon roads. At least the al fresco exotic can button up in a pinch: Give it 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph, and the two-piece hardtop envelops the cockpit, shielding the Giallo Modena two-seater from breathy bystanders.

Microbes were the last thing on my mind while piloting Maranello’s roadster du jour, especially in the remote confines of the coastal Santa Monica mountain range. With a 710-horsepower twin-turbo V8 tucked behind me, it’s easy to see why: this $396,994 prancing horse absolutely rips, ticking off a claimed 62-mph time of 2.9 seconds (figure around 2.7 clicks to 60 mph). With a long enough leash, it should whisk to 211 mph.

Ferrari says Spider customers are more likely to have a passenger and less likely to visit a race track. Sounds about right. In this application, emotion does hold more sway than outright performance stats, especially when you’re traversing the perfect road with sunlight kissing you and your co-pilot. When behind the Spider’s steering wheel —  which, like an F1 car, crams buttons, switches and dials for turn signals, wipers, high beams into a concentrated space — the sense of occasion is palpable. The Spider still manages 0-60 mph and top speed numbers identical to the coupe (though .4 seconds are sacrificed on the sprint to 124 mph). But some stats still matter: The open-air model is 154 pounds heavier (though 44 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the 488 Spider), and any convertible is inevitably flexier and less responsive than its closed-roof counterpart. For those keeping score at home, there are also some nitpicky stylistic concessions that come with the cabrio. For instance, the juncture of the C-pillar to the rooftop isn’t quite as fluid, and the gorgeous, red-headed engine isn’t on display like it is in the coupe, but rather is relegated to visual anonymity.

At least the powerplant is still raucous, though its acoustic imprint is less clear in this form since the folding hardtop mechanism is nestled above it like baffled layer cake. Though the 3.9-liter V8’s thrum is still loud enough to broadcast its presence for miles, the effect is incrementally less intoxicating within the cockpit. However, the mill does become more vocal when the centrally positioned tachometer gets within sneezing distance of the 8,000-rpm redline. In both coupe and convertible form, the F8’s twin-turbo power is inarguably engaging, even if you miss the wonderfully aural experience of the late, great 458’s naturally aspirated V8. While the old model had a sensory advantage, it can’t compete with the F8’s power production, which peaks with 710 hp at 8,000 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,250 rpm. Not bad for its relatively diminutive, 3.9-liter displacement.

Clicking the small, steering wheel-mounted manettino alters your driving experience dramatically. Sport, the mildest setting next to Wet, curtails power quite a bit, and keeps the F8’s tail tucked in through corners. While straight-line acceleration is breathtaking — especially when the tires are warm enough to properly hook up — in Sport mode, one could quickly forget that the mid-mounted V8 churns over 700 horsepower. It’s even easier to be deceived in the corners since the electronic aids subtly curtail engine output in order to keep things tidy. But dial the clicker up to Race, or especially TC Off (which disables traction control), and the powerplant’s furious energy unleashes with tire-spinning gusto. Despite the considerable 58.5% of weight over the rear axle, the drivetrain is simply more tenacious than the rubber, yielding easily modulated slides when the throttle is goosed. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports are exceptionally sticky, but they’re simply no match for the monster power of the blown V8.

But it’s not all mechanical grip and rear-drive brawn: this Ferrari has a few electronic tricks up its sleeve, among them a brake vectoring system that was first introduced in the 488 Pista. By braking individual wheels when necessary, the F8 feels light on its feet, ready to juke its way through the twistiest of corners with eye-opening agility. Surprisingly little of my tester’s $94,494 worth of optional equipment is dedicated to performance, though the carbon fiber steering wheel (part of a $7,593 package) does impart a feeling of steering precision by reducing rotational inertia, and the optional carbon racing buckets ($9,112) convey a more direct link between my seat-of-the-pants and the road. These are incremental (and arguably aesthetic) improvements. But hey, if you’re already window shopping a sports car that starts at $297,250 (before the $3,950 destination fee and $1,300 gas guzzler tax), what’s another $100k for bits and baubles?

Getting into a high-speed rhythm proves surprisingly easy once you’ve acclimated to the F8’s sense of athleticism and immediacy. Though not quite as manic as special performance variants like the 488 Pista (or dialed-to-11 spinoffs like the F12 TDF), you’re best off managing this bad boy with a heightened attitude of mindfulness. Velocity accumulates nearly instantaneously, especially since the tachometer needle seems to find the 8,000-rpm redline quicker than you expect. The rev limiter feels surprisingly soft, but if you’ve decided the smooth, quick-shifting, dual-clutch seven-speed transmission isn’t for you, you’d better keep an eye open for those rapidly approaching revs. At least the LED-equipped steering wheel (part of the aforementioned $7,593 package) flashes red and blue to alert you of the impending power crescendo — and perhaps a subtle nod to law enforcement eventualities? Every Ferrari on the market comes equipped with standard carbon ceramic brakes, and the Spider’s operate with a bit of pedal effort, but outstanding feel and stopping power. At least they feel easier to modulate once they’re properly warmed up. And speaking of temperature, my F8 was spec’d without creature comforts like cooled/heated seats, though it did, thankfully, come with a $4,219 (!) Apple CarPlay option, which displays phone mirroring on the small dashboard-mounted screen next to the big, yellow tach.

If you’re obsessing over the skimpy standard equipment list and moaning about the real estate-like cost of entry, allow me to state the painfully obvious: The Ferrari F8 Spider probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a zealous (and spendy) driver with a hunger for stunning Italians, meandering roads, and healthy doses of Vitamin D, this open-air Ferrari just might be what the doctor ordered.

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2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Road Test | Finding joy

There is a Ferrari F8 Tributo sitting in my driveway, casting the unmistakable silhouette of a mid-engine supercar. There’s no mistaking the lightness of a hood, nor the fecund swell of the aft. This is no ordinary car.

Not to frame everything around this super-weird era, but things are super weird, right? Irony doesn’t hold up in a world where even a basic connection makes you want to break down and cry.

So what do you hope when you drive a new Ferrari? The answer is joy. Unadulterated, unmitigated, unjaded joy. And if a brand-new Ferrari can’t bring it, I’m pretty sure I’m a zombie inside.

The F8 has a twin-turbocharged V8 making 710 hp and 569 pound-feet of torque, the same powerplant found in the 488 Pista. It replaces the 488GTB in Ferrari’s line of “regular” mid-engine V8s. Price? It starts at $270,530, and as tested comes in at $360,796.

This is hardly my first Ferrari foray, and the mid-engine, V8 configuration is the formula that most tickles my fancy. Keep your Superfasts and Romas and Californias: I’ll have the nimblest of Prancing Horses, thanks.

But a worry nips at me. When the 458 line sunsetted out of showrooms and into the garages of collectors, so too did the halcyon days of the naturally-aspirated V8. The 488 was quicker than the 458, but it was not necessarily better. A measure of that Ferrari joy was diluted when it lost its natural-breathing soundtrack.

Another generation along, can the Tributo bring it back?

My first experience in a mid-engine Ferrari was at the wheel of an F430, experienced at Lime Rock racetrack and the local roads in Connecticut. It was me and another wet-behind-the-ears journalist, and when the 4.3-liter V8 opened up behind our heads, all previous personal expectations about sports cars shattered. I simply didn’t know a car could move along a two-lane road with such motivation and élan. That it did so making that sound from back there? Even better.

We switched seats, and my colleague wound up getting nailed by a local cop as we neared the gates of Lime Rock. I sincerely suggested that he frame the ticket. It’s not every day you get pulled over in a Ferrari.

Later I drove the lighter, livelier version of the F430 on the racetrack — the 430 Scuderia. It set a high mark for me when it comes to track-focused road cars. It went wherever you looked without hesitation, a car linked to your optic nerves. 

Then, the 458 Italia. I tested an early model in Italy, driving it out of factory gates in Maranello. I posited afterward that few mortal, regular drivers could handle a car that transported you so far down the road with a sudden shove of the accelerator. Too fast, maybe. A few years after that, I raced in the Ferrari Challenge series at Watkins Glen in a 458 Challenge car. Add in racing slicks and an even-further-stiffened body and you find yourself testing the limits of both traction and your own bravery.

And finally came the 488. The first forced-induction version of the Platonian ideal. It was faster, colleagues insisted, and they were right. But the noise, no matter how hard the engineers tried (and they did, they told me in that deep and non-ironic Italian sincerity), just wasn’t the same. It was a bridge to a whole new world; one I wasn’t sure I wanted to cross.  

And so, today, finally, the F8 Tributo.

Just sitting inside, you are surprised by the overt simplicity, the low dash, the 1970s-throwback starkness. We’ve become accustomed to the rampant proliferation of digital screens, bulky central tunnels, and cockpit-style seating. By contrast, the Tributo’s sport buckets are low and flat, the area separating driver and passenger uncluttered. It’s an open and even friendly space.

This level of simplicity began in the 458 and continued into the 488, but in the F8, it feels like the interior designers have decluttered even more. All the frippery is gone and it’s just dead simple and gorgeous — a clarion declaration that focus should be paid to what’s happening outside of the vehicle. 

Out onto the network of two-lane byroads that thread throughout the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, the Tributo is pliant enough to skim over pitted asphalt and even — at low speeds, with nose raised — gravel roads. The “bumpy road” suspension setting is brilliant when you’re feeling speedy on less than pristine tarmac.

As befitting its layout, there’s no Normal mode: just Wet and Sport and further ludicrous notches up the Manettino dial. Still, even in Sport, the F8 is surprisingly relaxed when you’re not trying to trammel the pavement. A thumb and two fingers on both hands is enough pressure on the new and smaller steering wheel to guide the F8 along at both around-town and extra-legal speeds.

There’s no induced heaviness, and the twitchiness of the 458 is gone. Turn the wheel too much in the Italia and the Ferrari would take a hard set and jar you in that direction, like an irrepressible hound after a rabbit. By contrast, the F8’s steering is a fine-tuned thing — perfection.

The bated breath of the 488 is gone, too. Engineers of the era worked hard to mimic the gradual build of a naturally aspirated engine, but there was still a moment when the GTB would experience a wallop of power — often more than you expected, and perhaps more than needed, and you’d have to catch up to the steering. 

The intervening years have allowed the minds at Maranello to better integrate the turbo and the suspension. Everyone is playing together beautifully, a reintegrated orchestra. The sound isn’t the thing of old, but it’s a new and vibrant thing, and after about an hour’s drive, I let my previous reservations go. This thing is a mid-engine V8 Ferrari, and it is a joy.

And with that began days and days of driving and giving rides. There’s a bridge out of town that’s been shut down, leaving a long section of road without traffic. That’s the place for launch control and hard braking. The 2.9-second rush to 62 mph is a thing to be experienced, and any long and sustained sprint easily allows you to believe the claimed 211-mph top speed.

Straight-line speed isn’t the F8’s reason for being, though. Rather, it’s the road that coils up a mountain ridge, with decreasing-radius turns and followed by a set of downhill sweepers. There is nothing artificial feeling about this car. There are lines of code running in the background, handling wheel spin and yaw control, of course, but they never pop up their heads from the digital ground to bother you.

There are even days of rain that force me to turn the dial to Wet. I take the Ferrari out anyway, just for the feel of the steering wheel in my hand.

And, lastly, even when it’s just parked in the driveway, I sit on my front steps with a coffee, enjoying the way the light plays on the exterior bodywork. The design is simplified, undiluted.

In all of the heaviness of the world and its recent enforced stillness, the F8 allowed me to reconnect. To be part of the outside world again. That’s as much as you could ask of any car.

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Prototype Ferrari 812 Superfast caught making awesome noises at Fiorano

In January, spy photographers snapped an 812 Superfast prototype testing around Maranello. Bodywork revisions included an open front intake, smoothed-out bumpers, taped-up side sills, covered air extractors behind the rear wheels, and new bodywork around the exhaust outlets with what appeared to be additional venting. The Supercar Blog suspected the prototype was a hardcore version of the 812, possibly earning the hallowed “GTO” appellation. Autoevolution went further with the speculation, writing that a reworked 6.5-liter V12 would produce 850 horsepower, a 61-hp jump over the standard 812, and would rev beyond the 9,000-rpm limit in the Ferrari LaFerrari.

At least one more of these testers has been caught on video around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, giving us a chance to hear what’s going on underneath the patchwork skin. YouTube user Varryx got the footage, doing us the favor of including a regular 812 lapping the circuit for comparison. The differences are clear. The 812 is already praised for its glorious exhaust note. The prototype, which looks to have put on a more finished rear valance, snarls more during downshifts and bellows with a lower, angrier pitch on the flyby. 

We’re still not sure what it is, but perusing Ferrari Chat forums reveals members having a conversation about an “812 VS” for nearly two years now. VS is Italian for Versione Speciale, the thrust here being a track-focused and lighter 812. The Speciale cars began with the one-off 1955 375 MM Berlinetta Speciale — “MM” representing Mille Miglia, another name mooted for the special 812. The denomination has returned a few times throughout the decades, used most recently on the one-off 458 MM Speciale commission shows in 2016.

Keeping in mind that this is all speculation until Ferrari reveals the real thing, one Ferrari Chat poster wrote we’ll get “a somehow more powerful blistering naturally aspirated large V-12 track oriented version of the prodigious 812 Superfast. As one of, if not the last of, its kind this will be a high-priced limited edition. Likely limited to 799 pieces. Probably priced at $750,000 or more and approaching $1 million for Tailor Made cars. Prospective launch date 2020. Confidence level 80%.” That production figure matches the number of F12 TDF units Ferrari built. Another forum member said the 812 VS will make 860 metric horsepower, which comes to 848 of our horsepower.

Supposedly, Ferrari had planned the debut the car at the Geneva Motor Show. As of now, suspicions have settled on Ferrari showing an SF90 Spider in September, and this hardcore 812 VS with “organic and pure” bodywork in October or November. We’re also waiting on the mid-engined hybrid supercar spotted all over Maranello of late, so it could be an especially flouncy year for prancing horses.

Ferrari mule lapping Fiorano could house V6 hybrid

Ferrari spoke of plans to add a V6 to its lineup two years ago, without dropping its two other trademark motors. The brand’s SVP of commercial and marketing, Enrico Galliera, told Australia’s WhichCar last year, “So the technology we are going to have, V12, V8, V6 turbo. Hybrid will give us the possibility to have a platform that we can mix to achieve emissions targets.” There’s been much chatter around when and where the V6 in turbo and/or hybrid form would show. We still don’t know, but it’s possible that we’ve had our first sound check for it, thanks to four brief videos on Instagram.

Instagram user simonemasetti_photography, a regular around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in Maranello, captured the vids, while Instagrammer cochespias uploaded them. The camouflaged 488 mules lapping the circuit wear camo similar to that on a 488 mule spotted on Maranello roads with an electricity warning sticker on its frunk.

We can’t be certain of what engine lurks behind the cabin of the test cars, but all the cars are much quieter than one would expect Ferrari’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 to be. In the first video, the coupe accelerates so hard that a long lick of fire shoots out the exhaust, with only a gentle ‘whoosh’ — no wail or roar — to accompany it. The third vid makes the best comparison, the one that opens on two 488-looking coupes in the far distance, one black and one camo’d. When the camo’d car takes off, moving away from the camera, we hear the sound we’d expect from a charging Ferrari V8. However, when the car we suspect is a hybrid V6 passes right in front of the camera, even under acceleration it makes hardly any noise compared to the car in the distance.

These cars, in fact, sound just like the car Masetti caught testing at Fiorano last September, which he believes is the V6 hybrid.

No matter what’s being tested, we know little about Maranello’s V6. One origin story says the mill has been developed from the 2.9-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which itself is suspected to be derived from the 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 in the F8 Tributo. Another origin story figures the V6 is a brand new engine. No matter where it began, consensus is that the hybrid unit will enter production around 2022 and produce more than 720 horsepower.

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Ferrari to gradually restart operations from Monday

MILAN — Luxury carmaker Ferrari said on Thursday it would restart operations at its Maranello and Modena plants on May 4, when Italy is set to start lifting coronavirus lockdown measures.

The two facilities, both located in Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region, have been closed since mid-March when Rome imposed curbs on people’s movements and froze manufacturing activities deemed as non essential, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The sites will resume operations “gradually” and return to full production on Friday May 8, Ferrari said.

Ferrari said that before resuming operations it was organizing training sessions for workers — focused on precautionary measures they must take — as part of its “Back on Track” program, unveiled earlier this month and aimed at preparing for a safe working environment at the sites.

Under this program, Ferrari staff, families and suppliers will first take blood tests and will then be given an app which will alert them if they’ve been in close contact with any of the people taking part in the scheme who had contracted COVID-19.

During the closure period Ferrari has produced parts to convert snorkel masks into respirators for treating patients with coronavirus and to protect medical workers, using its 3D printing technology at its Maranello plant.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Giulia Segreti and Susan Fenton)

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Ferrari SF90 Stradale Spider spied out testing for the first time

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the most powerful and most tech-forward road car to come out of Maranello ever. It’s a plug-in hybrid that puts out a combined 986 horsepower between the boosted V8 and three electric motors. So, of course it’s getting a convertible variant.

These spy shots are our first look at what is likely the SF90 Spider. It’s not exactly clear that this heavily covered up Ferrari is a convertible at a glance. However, the shark fin antenna has been moved from the roof to the rear deck, indicating to us that it might not work on the roof anymore. The bump for the new location is around where we’d expect the engine cover to be. As for the rest of the car, Ferrari does a hell of a job making this supercar look like a shapeless blob. The dual exhaust exits in the same place as the coupe, mounted high up on the rear fascia. Its big, scalloped side air intakes are also semi-visible.

We can’t see the taillights, but Ferrari has left part of the headlight element uncovered. These closely resemble the look of the standard SF90 Stradale. They’re relatively small, horizontal in shape and have small, powerful-looking LED beams.

Expect the Spider to be nearly as quick as the coupe that’s rated to go 0-62 mph in just 2.5 seconds. The all-wheel drive Ferrari is equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Ferrari estimates an electric range of 15.5 miles when the battery is fully charged, so it’ll only be useful for short trips. Deliveries for the coupe are expected to begin this year. We haven’t heard any hard timing for a convertible yet, but expect a reveal sometime in the next year or two.

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Ferrari SF90 Stradale shows how it was made in new video

Supercar geeks! Stop what you’re doing and watch this, preferably somewhere quiet where you can listen to the ambient, ethereal music. It’s a nearly 10-minute video Ferrari released titled “Manufacturing the SF90 Stradale,” and it offers a dream-like look at the production of its first-ever plug-in hybrid ahead of its launch this year.

What we see isn’t exactly sequential — 3D digital modeling and virtual reality are shown at the end, after we’ve seen the physical car being built — but it’s nonetheless an interesting look at the artistry side and painstakingly detailed preparation of manufacturing a 986-horsepower Italian supercar.

The video opens with a visit to the foundry, where molten aluminum is poured into molds and we see gloved hands and robots assembling parts for the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, its most powerful V8 yet at 769 hp. Ferrari says its engineers increased the capacity on the F154-heritage engine to 3,990 cc from 3,902 cc via a larger, 88-millimeter bore. There’s also a new, narrower cylinder head with a central injector, a Ferrari V8-first 350-bar GDI and a larger intake and redesigned exhaust system.

From there, there’s lots more eye candy, as we’re taken through body assembly, the paint shop, digital and clay modeling, interior parts assembly, and so forth. It finishes with a shot of the completed car in red against a dark background.

Other notables in the SF90 include four powertrain modes controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, including up to 15 miles in all-electric with front-wheel drive relying on the two front electric motors. The hybrid modes activate a third e-motor located at the rear axle, between the engine and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The SF90 is also the first Ferrari to use all-wheel drive, which the company says was necessary to fully exploit the hybrid power.

The video can only mean that we’re getting close to launch, and it’s sure to whet the appetites of those privileged enough to afford one.

1995 Ferrari F50 Berlinetta Prototipo heads to auction

We’ve seen our fair share of classic and exotic cars head to auction, but it’s rare to see something as special as this 1995 Ferrari F50 Berlinetta Prototipo on offer to the general public. 

Prototipo, of course, is Italian for “prototype,” indicating this example’s status as the very first example of the F40 successor ever built. It saw duty as a development vehicle, auto show star, and media evaluation tool. That’s right: if you ever read a “first drive” review of the 1995 Ferrari F50, chances are this is the car your favorite auto scribe was driving. 

Per the listing, it was also the model for Shin Yoshikawa’s cut-away illustration and several scale models (including those sold by Burago, Maisto and Tamiya) and its likeness was even depicted on postage stamps. 

After this world tour, the Prototipo returned to the Ferrari factory for a complete rebuild, after which it was sold (as promised ahead of time) to Jacques Swaters, a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari. It remained in the Swaters collection until 2007, when it was sold to a Ferrari collector in Burbank, California. It has since changed hands several times.

While it may have lacked the raw, angular aggression of its F40 predecessor, the F50 was no less stunning (or less special) as a result. Its ferocious 4.7L V12 made more than 510 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque, which is still plenty respectable even today, especially considering it weighed just a little over 2,700 pounds. That combination was good for a 0-60 run of just 3.7 seconds on the way to a 202-mph top speed. 

As CassicCars.com points out, fewer than 350 examples of the F50 Berlinetta were ever produced. 

The F50 Berlinetta Prototipo will cross the block Wednesday, Jan. 15th, 2020, at the Worldwide Auctioneers event in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ferrari Roma platform to underpin Purosangue SUV, as product roadmap takes shape

To create the Roma, Ferrari started with the platform used for the Portofino convertible. Engineers strengthened and lightened the architecture and made it modular, so that it will support the company’s range of front-engined vehicles included in CEO Louis Camilleri’s near-term product roadmap of 15 new vehicles over the next three years. Auto Express reports one of those products will be the Purosangue SUV – or FUV, Ferrari Utility Vehicle if you heed the carmaker’s marketers – expected to debut in 2021 before going on sale in 2022 or 2023. The breadth of possibility built into the platform means it can swallow Ferrari’s range of V8 and V12 engines, as well as the coming V6, plus plug-in hybrid equipment and all-wheel drive mechanicals. 

Although observers figure a V12 Purosangue will grace the lineup eventually, models with smaller engines braced with hybrid assistance are expected first. The V12, in fact, is unlikely to get a hybrid form if Ferrari can help it, the brand’s marketing manager saying, “To be honest, electrifying a V12 means creating, very probably, a heavy and big car. So electrification ideally should be coupled with smaller engines.” Absent Ferrari’s righteous 6.5-liter V12, Ferrari’s head of technology says there will be other ways the vehicle codenamed “175” distinguishes itself from V8-powered super-SUV competition, but wouldn’t clarify what those ways are.

We’ll guess the people-hauler slots into the company’s GT vehicle classification alongside the GTC4Lusso, Portofino, and Roma. In the next decade, the GT category grows with a new supercar that marks “the return of an elegant model” cued off classic, mid-20th-century Ferrari Gran Turismos, as well as a battery-electric car after 2025. The Sport Range includes the 812Superfast and 812 GTS, 488 and 488 Pista, and SF90 Stradale. The Icona line kicked off with the Monza SP1 and SP2, and will expand with “timeless design[s] of iconic Ferraris reinterpreted with innovative materials and state of the art technologies.” One-offs like the F12 TRS, SP12 EC and SP38 form the Special Series. The carmaker’s entire range will be split across two modular platforms, one for front-engined placement, one mid-engined.

At the pointy end of the product roadmap, it’s thought Ferrari’s already begun development of its LaFerrari successor. Said to use a naturally-aspirated V12 without electric help, it will produce less output than found in the 986-horsepower, hybrid-V8-powered SF90, while at the same time Ferrari says the new model will be faster than the hybrid-V12-powered LaFerrari. Due sometime after 2022, the new small-run screamer will focus on lightness, controllability and aerodynamics. 

Lego Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo and 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1 are 25% bigger

During a week when auto manufacturers are at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show debuting real, drivable cars, Lego has debuted two new toy car kits modeled after the 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1 and the Ferrari F8 Tributo. The new models also show off an improvement to the Lego Speed Champions series: the kits are now 25 percent bigger.

Lego is expanding its Speed Champions line of blocky car kits with two high-performance rides with very different purposes from very different times. One is a modern supercar, the other is a classic Group B rally car.

The F8 Tributo is an inch high, five inches long, and three inches wide. It wears a clean red color scheme with a black splitter and black diffuser, and the only stickers are the headlights and the badges. The toy design carries over features of the F8 such as the hood and side body scoops, and the tiered taillights. and the rear engine cover.

The S1, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, has a much busier design. The main body of the car is white and yellow with retrolicious yellow body graphics. Black, gray and red striping add to the scheme, and “Audi,” “Audi Sport,” “Audi Team” and “quattro” stickers are seen on the body, the windshield, the hood and the rear wing. Clustered front rally lights, wheel flares, angular aerodynamic pieces and two sets of wheel designs help make the quattro look as authentic as possible. The car also comes with a miniature racer who can sit in the car and grip the stick shift.

Both the Ferrari and the Audi will be released for January 2020. Each model is listed at $19.99, plus tax.