Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid supercar – the SF90 Stradale, powered by three electric motors and a twin turbo V8 – has already sold out even before the final price is known.
A group of about 25 Australian VIP customers attended the unveiling earlier this week at a lavish event in Ferrari’s home town of Maranello, Italy. It’s believed they all signed up for a car on the spot, selling out the entire allocation for Australia.
It is yet to be confirmed how many Ferrari SF90 Stradales are coming to Australia over the next few years – and who the buyers are – but CarAdvice has been told each example will sell for in excess of $1 million once on-road costs are calculated.
Luxury Car Tax alone is estimated to account for more than $300,000 of its price; buyers in Victoria and Queensland will pay even more after those states announced an additional tax on every dollar above $100,000.
In an unprecedented move – even for Ferrari – the entire production run was snapped up by loyal enthusiasts who anticipated the arrival of the company's first hybrid supercar and believe it will become a future classic.
Ferrari is yet to reveal the claimed fuel consumption because tests are still being done, but it will likely be deemed an “eco car” according to Australia’s Green Vehicle Guide criteria – despite being capable of reaching 340km/h and having close to 1000 horsepower.
To save fuel, the hybrid Ferrari can only reverse using its electric motors.
With a claimed 0 to 100km/h time of 2.5 seconds, the SF90 Stradale is almost as quick as a Formula One car. It can eclipse 200km/h in about the same time it takes most performance cars to reach half that speed.
While few Australians will be able to afford one, electric car experts believe the arrival of Ferrari’s first petrol-electric supercar will help reverse perceptions of the technology.
“The halo effect of having a company like Ferrari introduce a plug-in hybrid vehicle is definitely going to benefit the rest of the electric-car industry,” says Tim Washington, the founder and CEO of Jet Charge, Australia’s largest installer of vehicle recharging stations.
“To have Ferrari say this technology is a way to provide our customers with the most performance and the most fun is a signal to the rest of the market that electric vehicles are about more than just the environment, they are the future of motoring,” he said.
Mr Washington added that as more performance and luxury cars switch to electric power “it will encourage more electric vehicle adoption by consumers”. “This just shows how capable electric cars really are,” he said.
There is only a handful of plug-in hybrids on sale in Australia. The cheapest are the Hyundai Ioniq hatch and Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, both of which cost from $46,000.
BMW, Mercedes and Porsche also have a selection of petrol-electric sedans and SUVs. However, they all sell in relatively modest numbers.
Seen as a stepping stone between petrol cars and pure electric vehicles, in normal conditions plug-in hybrids typically can travel up to 30km on battery power alone before the petrol engine takes over.
The Ferrari plug-in hybrid has an electric-only range of 25km before the V8 roars to life.
Of course, Ferrari owners need not wait for the battery to run out before the V8 kicks in. Drivers who want to exploit its performance potential merely need to floor the throttle to prompt the V8 take over.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling