Editor’s Letter: Everyday Parade


From the April 2023 issue of Car and Driver.

Driving a Ferrari is like being in a sleeker, faster-moving home parade. But what if the parade happened every day? Just like peacocks live outside the zoo, Ferrari owners run to Trader Joe’s for frozen hash browns and Japanese lilies, right? How is that, I thought as I tossed my carrier bag onto the passenger seat of the SF90 Spider.

First, expect attention and questions. Even in jaded LA, there is curiosity about the ordinary: how much, how fast, why me? How much? That’s $577,870. But that’s just for the steak; sides add $81,231. How fast? Ferrari asked that we not link our gear to the low-mileage Spider, so we don’t have the numbers, but the coupe version of the SF90 is the fastest car we’ve ever tested, with a 2.0-second 60 mph. time.

Part plug-in hybrid and part supercar, the SF90 is the right beast for LA, where eco-consciousness is as important as who you wear. In electric mode, the SF90 is pulled around by its front motors. With the top down, you can hear the sci-fi siren it emits to alert the few people walking in LA. If a theremin-playing front-drive Ferrari offends you, switch to Hybrid or Performance mode, and the 769-hp 4.0-liter V -8 screams itself awake as if awakened from a nightmare.

can i get a ride Strangers, friends and neighbors all ask. Of course, I oblige. Each passenger lets out a combination of screams and whines in response to the Qualify mode’s 986 horses. More seasoned riders, like the PR guy who wanted a go, kept their cool in the moment. The Nixonian expletives came later.


What do you do for a living? LA is for dreamers, and the Ferrari speaks to them. The SF90 became the center of social media photoshoots, but it also inspired better souls. At a Starbucks (by the way, the SF90’s cup holder is terrible and will crush any paper cup), a father and his seven-year-old daughter were posing when I walked up. “Work hard at tennis and you can own one one day, Anaia,” he said after she slumped behind the wheel.

Do you want to race? Like the biggest guy in a bar, the SF90 attracts unwanted challenges. You might lose, but only because the automatic mode doesn’t downshift at highway speeds, so be sure to grab the paddles if you want to meet the challenge of every Dodge Challenger.

Did you take the 101 to the 405? In the stop-and-go, the SF90 turns along without any thermal drama. Even after hours in traffic you will be free from pain, fatigue or agitation. Ride comfort is excellent thanks to the MagneRide dampers. Think $600K Corvette, get me a new respect for the Corvette.

why me I wanted to look at daily life with a hypercar to give consumer advice, which is: Get the nose lifted. Each command has a parking lot, and the lift raises the front end enough to avoid expensive scratches. Speaking of errands, the SF90 does have what I needed from Home Depot to do a tile job. But, distracted by what might happen to it in the Trader Joe’s parking lot, I forgot the hash browns.

Header from Tony Quiroga

Chief Editor

Tony Quiroga is an 18-year veteran Car and Driver editor, writer and car critic and the 19th editor-in-chief for the magazine since its inception in 1955. He subscribed to Car and Driver since age six. “When I was growing up, I read every issue of Car and Driver cover to cover, sometimes three or more times. This is the place where I wanted to work since I could read,” says Quiroga. He moved Motor Magazine to an associate editor position at Car and Driver in 2004. Over the years he has held almost every editorial position in print and digital, edited several special issues and also helped produce C/D’‘s early YouTube efforts. He is also the longest-running Lightning Lap test driver, having driven Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course more than 2,000 times over 12 years.