The word "progress" means different things to different people in the automotive realm. Some companies brag about horsepower while others praise aerodynamics, lightweight construction, and reliability. This week at Ferrari headquarters, it's all about lap times. The SF90 XX Stradale has become the fastest road-legal Ferrari to ever lap the company-owned Fiorano circuit, located near Maranello where the Prancing Horses roam free.
With a lap time of 1 minute 17.3 seconds, the hardcore plug-in hybrid V8 supercar managed to shave off 1.4 seconds compared to the regular SF90 fitted with the optional Assetto Fiorano package. Behind the wheel of the track-focused Italian beast with its carbon fiber wheels and Michelin Cup 2 R tires was Raffaele de Simone, Ferrari Head of Development Test Driving. The record was officially sanctioned on October 16 during the SF90 XX Stradale's media event at which members of the press were invited to drive the 1,016-horsepower machine.
Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale sets fastest lap for road cars at Fiorano track
It's now the fastest road-legal Ferrari to lap Fiorano, besting the mighty LaFerrari's time by a whopping 2.4 seconds. To put the new achievement in perspective, the SF90 XX Stradale is 7.6 seconds faster than the Enzo, the previous flagship. Going back in time even more, the F50 was 9.7 seconds slower while the F40 trailed behind by 12.3 seconds. As for the original range-topper from Maranello, the 288 GTO, that one needed an extra 18.7 seconds compared to the new track-focused hybrid.
Yes, we're comparing a 2023 car to older ones built several decades ago, but we're doing it to highlight the progress achieved by Ferrari over the years. In the grand scheme of things, the SF90 XX Stradale is technically not even a flagship since it's positioned below the LaFerrari, Enzo, F50, F40, and 288 GTO. We'll have to wait until next year to see the new halo car, one that has been spotted repeatedly in recent months.
Improving the lap time at Fiorano is particularly tricky because it's a rather short track, measuring 1.86 miles (2.99 kilometers) and having only 12 turns. As to which car holds the outright record, it's the V10-powered Ferrari F2004 piloted by none other than Michael Schumacher. The seven-time Formula 1 champion needed only 55.9 seconds back in 2004.