Hair-raising Ferrari

hits 212mph

Ferrari SF 90 Spider, top static
Ferrari SF 90 Spider, front action
Ferrari SF 90 Spider, side static
Ferrari SF 90 Spider, rear static
Ferrari SF 90 Spider, full rear
Ferrari SF 90 Spider, dashboard

FERRARI has taken the roof off its 1,000 horsepower SF 90 Stradale to produce the firm's fastest open-top car ever and one that will travel about 15 miles in almost total silence, powered only by electricity.

For the new ST 90 Spider combines three electric motors and a 4.0 litre V8 petrol engine to provide all-wheel drive and the possibility of hitting an extraordinary 212mph flat out - and passing 60mph in a mere 2.5 seconds on the way.

The new Spider is extravagant in other directions too - no price has been indicated for UK-bound cars but in its native Italy it will cost around £425,000 before you start adding expensive extras, like carbon wheels at more than £19,000.

The Assetto Fiorano pack (around £39,000) includes a list of exclusive upgrades that set it apart from the standard car, not least Multimatic shock absorbers derived from the Ferrari's GT racing experience and optimised for track use.

Others include the adoption of high performance materials (such as carbon-fibre and titanium) that have shaved 21 kg off the car's weight, a carbon-fibre rear spoiler and road-homologated Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres designed to improve track performance in the dry, thanks to a softer compound and fewer grooves.

Lastly, the Assetto Fiorano offers an optional two-tone livery that further underscores the car's racing vocation - yours for a little over £39,000.

On a more prosaic, but practical level, the newcomer offers the same extended seven-year maintenance programme offered with all new Ferraris.

The Spider's aluminium retractable hard top was adopted because it guarantees optimal noise insulation and protection from the elements when raised, does not deform at high speeds and provides exceptional occupant space and comfort, says Ferrari.

It is so compact, simple and light it can be actioned in just 14 seconds and can be deployed when the car is on the move.

It takes up just 100 litres of space rather than the 150-200 litres required by a traditional system and the use of aluminium in its construction also means that it is around 40 kg lighter than a conventional retractable hard top.

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