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Comparing our 2022 Type-S to a Ferrari SF90 on a recent test drive....

Joined
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Let us first preface this post by saying, yes we know it's really not fair to compare a $600k+ car to a $200k+ car. We also agree most people buying a SF90 will not even consider the Type-S since they are in drastically different price categories and performance output.

However it cannot be denied the SF90 has a similar power train to the Type-S as both cars use a turbocharged ICE (V6 vs. V8) and both cars use 3 electric motors with the front motors being the AWD factory as neither car has a transmission connected to their ICE motor otherwise.

here's our review on the Type-S from a year ago and we also mentioned the SF90 as a competitor:



When it comes to looks and sound, these are very subjective areas as it basically comes down to opinions. The Type-S was facelift from Acura and we love the overall look of the car. There are no visual complaints besides owners wishing the car had power folding mirrors and a front lifter. Both are which is offered on the Ferrari SF90.

We had a unique opportunity to test drive the SF90 and after reading tons of reviews (like many here) we were not sure what to expect. The car is supposed to be quite similar to the NC1 NSX with the hybrid configuration. We will say right up front this car with the V8 (twin turbo) sounds pretty good, not 458 good but it's pretty deep throaty sound instead of the high pitched whine which is what most are used to. Compared to the stock Type-S however it's no comparison as the Ferrari simply sounds better. However we would like to argue with the proper aftermarket setup such as what we did below, we think the sound is on par:



The SF90 builds speed very quickly as you would expect, it seems to have endless torque in any gear. I was cruising in 6th gear and it still pulls very hard from 75-120'ish. I will say the Type-S sounds better with the downpipes and exhaust and seems to have better fit and finish. Not sure if it was just our car but the car had this plastic "hum" rattle at certain RPM's that would bug the heck out of me! It's hard to say which tranny shifts faster so we will have to take both cars to the track to find out but call us crazy but we actually like how the paddle shifter feels in the Type-S more!

At MSRP it's really not a fair comparison since the Type-S is around $190k and the SF90 is roughly $600k. Look for a side by side comparion video next year as we have seat time in both cars and drive them back to back!
🙂


After driving the SF90 here are some of our takes:

I'll start with some negatives:
  • Engine "frunk" is super tiny, I was expecting a huge frunk such as in the 458 (both my kids can seat in there) and now you get this shallow trunk since the electric motors and batteries take up most of the space!
  • (too many GEARS!) 8-speed auto gets a bit confusing how many gears to shift through but basically you only use the first 5 gears
  • Passenger leg room is impeded by a shallow footwell and the car's shape which is a bad thing for anyone taller than 5'10. Wife was ok with it but honestly I would not be comfortable for any long road trips on the passenger side.
  • You lose the cool horn buttons embedded in the steering wheel, it's back to the conventional center airbag location

Positives:
  • Gone are the traditional sticky buttons that plagued pretty much all of the older models!
  • Amazing view from 3/4 aerial shot, the car is well proportioned with a clear view out the back (unlike the F8 problems)
  • Whereas the Acura has a center mode selector (Sport, Sport+, Track), the Ferrari does it all from the steering wheel bottom left side to select between Electric only, Race, or Qualifying modes (the latter 2 keeps the gas motor running similar to the NSX Sport+ and Track modes)
  • The SF90 has a separate knob on the bottom right that controls the suspension firmness by turning the dial. I do like the ability to depress the knob for bumpy roads to temporarily soften the ride!
  • Although you lose "frunk" space, Ferrari decided to display the EV portion under clear glass which is a nice touch, see picture!
  • Car has no reverse gear to save weight on the transmission! The car uses electric motors to back up.
  • Hard to complain with almost 1000hp!
  • 3461 lbs for the SF90, 3878 lbs for the Type-S
  • New gauge cluster is completely digital and has all the modern comforts you would expect on a luxury car. One nice touch is you can change the gauge color from yellow to red or other colors!
  • SF90 has the power folding mirrors and front lifter, both are which are lacking in the Type-S

Is the car worth nearly triple the price? I don't think so...Ferrari builds some beautiful cars and for owners who plan to spend this kind of money they won't care but if it was my money, I'd rather buy 2-3 cars instead of this single SF90. Dealer had a white one in the showroom brand new which was sexy as heck though!


Some pics, enjoy!

Frunk is now super shallow and lose about 10" up top since Ferarri decided to show-off their EV system under glass (looks super cool!)



SF90 Center panel: (stock)


Type-S Center panel: (full EuroBoutique carbon fiber interior, bespoke steering wheel, extended paddles, relocated START button to center):




SF90 Steering wheel:


Type-S steering wheel upgraded by with our bespoke setup:




SF90 Gauge cluster:


Type-S doesn't have replicated controls but it locates everything in the middle for easy access:




SF90 door panel touches:


Type-S door panel touches:




SF90 styling in white is so sexy but we have heard many people compare the SF90 to a Prius front end! True or false?


Type-S is a stunning example and when you add our CF hood vents, side skirts, and door handles it really makes the car complete:





Interior design side by side, the Ferrari has gotten rid of all their sticky button issues and went to premium touch materials and carbon fiber / alcantara everywhere! The new smaller steering wheel is a masterpiece with all controls on the wheel itself where as Acura still uses a mode dial in the center console. We know looks are subjective so what would you pick?


Hope you enjoy this review, we will be doing a side by side comparison of the SF90 / Type-S in a future video and also the 992 GT3 vs Type-S so subscribe and you will be notified when new video posts.


thanks and happy holidays!

EB staff
 
All your remarks are on point and most reviews say the 296 is much more sophisticated in its hybrid / ICE synergy than the SF90. NC1 synergy is spot on! Must say though that in my eyes the SF90 is much more aesthetically pleasing than the NC1 standard or type S. But certainly not worth another 400K. I’ll take an MC20 with 2000K miles for $200K any day.
 
The 296 needs Houdini if and when the 12 V dies....and it can go quickly...the 296 feels just as quick on the street.
 
All your remarks are on point and most reviews say the 296 is much more sophisticated in its hybrid / ICE synergy than the SF90. NC1 synergy is spot on! Must say though that in my eyes the SF90 is much more aesthetically pleasing than the NC1 standard or type S. But certainly not worth another 400K. I’ll take an MC20 with 2000K miles for $200K any day.

You make an interesting statement and strange as it may seem, the SF90 feels a bit "dated" in terms of the car even though it's a brand new 2023 with all the creature comforts of any modern super car.

We know it will seem we are super biased saying we prefer the Type-S over the SF90 but going between the two cars, a properly "modified" Type-S feels more tight and comfortable in terms of seating position and overall feel. The Ferrari does feel a bit sharper in steering/turn-in speed. But is the extra cost of entry worth that money? We do not think so. For the savings of nearly $400k you can easily buy 2 more lightly driven super cars such as an MC20 and a Huracan or you can buy one more extreme car such as a Huracan STO or Porsche GT3RS.

The 296 does feel more modern and seamless in power delivery. The RWD configuration is preferred in our eyes for this particular sports car layout. The car also feels lighter when pushed hard and easier to turn.

When we first shot the video of our Type-S comparison, the 296 was not out yet but that would be the comparable sports car to the NSX Type-S being both cars are V6 power plants and hybrid.


P.S. We have driven the Mclaren Arturo and on paper this car is 3443 lbs and has one electric motor within the drivetrain so the car is only RWD. Looks we know is subjective but we think the Mclaren looks the most bland, similar to their base model 570 so not a great looker. But if you enjoy showing off while parked with doors UP, then this is the car for you. MSRP of the Mclaren is closer to the Type-S as the Ferrari is always the most expensive car of the 3.

Both the 295 and Type-S are far better choices so in the top 3 cars we would rank:

1) Ferrari 296
2) Type-S
3) Artura
 
We know it will seem we are super biased saying we prefer the Type-S over the SF90 but going between the two cars, a properly "modified" Type-S feels more tight and comfortable in terms of seating position and overall feel. The Ferrari does feel a bit sharper in steering/turn-in speed. But is the extra cost of entry worth that money? We do not think so. For the savings of nearly $400k you can easily buy 2 more lightly driven super cars such as an MC20 and a Huracan or you can buy one more extreme car such as a Huracan STO or Porsche GT3RS.
Great review! To your point, I have also toyed with the idea of an SF90 but I'd have to give up all three cars in my stable to own one and that doesn't make sense. My Plaid is quicker/faster that the SF90 in a straight line. My Turbo S (1 of 500 built) is more exclusive and a better collector piece that the SF90. Finally, my NC1 has exactly the same technology as the SF90. I understand why the SF90 may be the "It" car for someone but for about the same money, I'd rather have and enjoy all three of mine.
 
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