Designing a model’s open-air variant has always been a complex challenge for designers. It’s not simply a question of making the upper part of the bodywork disappear, but new stylistic, aerodynamic and technical factors also become part of the equation.

First open top hybrid Ferrari

And when it comes to Ferrari, the game gets even more interesting. “In designing the SF90, the first hybrid Ferrari in history, we knew we would have to consider two variants, coupé and spider”, explains Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s design chief.

Visible engine

Styling and engineering worked in synergy to achieve a beautiful, high-performance car. One of the Style Centre’s aims was to be able to show the engine, a 4.0 V8 capable of developing 1,000 horsepower considering the overall power of the hybrid system: “We managed to leave the engine, by creating a mechanism that allows the roof to be tucked in between the cabin and the rear engine”.

Tripartite front

The layout of the three-part front meets the need to find an air inlet for each radiator, two lateral ones for the combustion engine and a central one for the electric motor. A different new layout resulting from the hybrid nature of the project. The upper part of the SF90 Spider expresses one of its strongest architectural themes: “The flying bridge between the rear wings lends a forward tension to the body of the car that creates a slingshot effect. We then recreated the same thrust in the arrow-shaped front end”.

Two rear aerodynamic channels

The design of the rear was driven by aerodynamics. To break the airflow, the designers conceived two vertical channels, while the new design of the high-relief, four-element lights presents a rounded shape of great modernity. The SF90 Spider interior marks a decided digital leap forward compared to previous models.

Digital Interiors

The steering wheel controls are now all capacitive, “Manettino” aside. Moving towards the centre we find two more displays, a small tablet on the dashboard and a screen in front of the passenger seat. The SF90 represents a new step forward in Ferrari design, paving the way for a new styling direction and containing tiny secrets we will find on tomorrow’s models: “It’s a spaceship travelling fast into the future”.

(Full article in A&D no. 246)