Watching Ferrari build its new SF90 flagship hybrid is highly dramatic
The production methods used at Ferrari’s legendary factory may be more high-tech than ever, but at the end of the day, they still create V-8s and V-12s by pouring molten aluminum into molds, and then machining away most of the metal in the name of ultimate performance. There’s also a group of dedicated experts who hand-assemble all those lightweight parts, and in the case of the hybrid SF90 flagship, all their work translates to a combined output of 968 horsepower, 679 of which comes from the combustion side of the powertrain. Not bad from a 4.0-liter!
Electrification is the future, so the SF90 comes with a trio of electric motors. Yet Ferrari is far from giving up on its explosive side, especially when it comes to naturally-aspirated V-12s revving to the moon. Its V-8s also got twin-turbocharged in recent years, but that’s one way of keeping them legal for years to come—while improving daily usability at the same time.
With a bore of 88mm, the engine in question here is the 3990cc version of the Tipo F154. Compared to the previous 3.9-liter, this V-8 comes with a narrower cylinder head featuring a central injector operating at over 5000 psi. Larger diameter intake valves, a lower turbo assembly, a raised exhaust line, and electronically-controlled wastegates complete the list of modifications, all made to improve response and power while speeding up catalyzer heating in the name of cold start emissions.
While the engines take shape in one building, welding robots get into action in another so that metal, carbon fiber, glass, plastic, leather, rubber, and fluids can all merge into a 968-horsepower pack of excitement further down the line. Of course, before those parts can do their jobs, Ferrari goes through a lot of modelling, both in clay and in the digital space.
As dramatic and visually satisfying the following video may be, I must say it’s a shame they forgot to film the part where the SF90 starts up for the first time. That also happens to be an item on Maranello’s checklist.