Extreme performance and exhilarating drop-top driving pleasure: that’s the new Ferrari 488 Spider. The latest addition to the Prancing Horse range combines theextraordinary prowess of the 488 GTB’s mid-rear turbo-charged V8 and the thrill of open-air motoring with the added excitement that comes from hearing the unmistakable soundtrack of that engine.
Pictured here in the new Blu Corsa livery, the 488 Spider sports the most technologically advanced retractable hard top on the market. Ferrari was the first marque in the world to use this kind of RHT on a car with mid-rear-engined architecture. Offering a much lighter construction (- 25 kg) and superior noise and wind protection to a traditional soft-top, this solution is now available on the most high-performance and technologically-advanced Ferrari spider ever built by Maranello.
Beneath the engine cover throbs the 3902 cc turbo-charged V8 that debuted just a few months ago on the 488 GTB. Its performance levels are nothing short of extraordinary: a maximum power output of 670 CV combined with maximum torque of 760 Nm at 3000 rpm send the 488 Spider sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7. It is also not only 100 CV more powerful than the previous naturally-aspirated V8 but has lower CO2 emissions.
The turbo V8 has a unique character too, delivering increasing levels of power right across the rev range, and completely eliminating the traditional turbo lag with a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds.
In line with Ferrari tradition, this model has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack. It is seductive, but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing as the car accelerates and revs rise, reinforcing the sensation of massive performance.
This is also the most aerodynamically efficient spider in Ferrari history. Maranello’s engineers managed to achieve two normally mutually-exclusive objectives – optimal downforce and reduced drag – simultaneously by introducing innovative devices including a blown spoiler and an aerodynamic underbody incorporating vortex generators.
The air flow studies also took into account factors relating to in-car comfort. The electric glass rear wind stop can be adjusted to one of three positions to reduce turbulence when the top is lowered.
Designed around the retractable hard top concept, the 488 Spider has a spaceframe chassis made of 11 different aluminium alloys combined with other noble metals, such as magnesium, each one used in a highly specific way. This yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the coupé version, improving the chassis’ performance by 23% over that of its predecessor.
The RHT folds backwards very smoothly in two overlapping sections to rest flush on the engine, making it much more compact, and it takes just 14 seconds for the top to fully retract or deploy.
Every detail has been meticulously sculpted to express the technical excellence of the project through beauty: flying buttresses that optimally channel air flows to the engine cover, ribbing on the engine cover and air intakes with sculpted mesh grilles which lend that area of the car a sense of incredible dynamism. To achieve this result the Ferrari Styling Centre completely reworked the aesthetics compared to the 488 GTB.
The introduction of a sophisticated simulator similar to the one used by the Formula 1 Scuderia gave the engineers instant feedback from the test-drivers and vice-versa long before the first 488 prototype was physically built.
The electronic systems are now fully integrated with the SSC2 Side Slip Angle Control System, resulting in 12% faster acceleration out of corners than the 458 Spider.
Over all, response times are 9% more rapid than the previous Spider without any compromise whatsoever being made on comfort. The car’s design was adapted to efficiently meet the typical the demands of spider driving and use. The Spider’s dynamic behaviour is effortless on even the most challenging routes. It is remarkably easy to drive on the limit thanks to flawless handling even on the most demanding of roads.