Only a few months after the announcement of the 488 GTB, Ferrari have shown us its drop top counterpart – the 488 Spider. Of course it comes as no surprise as the 488’s predecessor, the 458, also had a Spider variant.
What makes the 488 different/better than the 458 is that Ferrari claims it’s 23 percent stiffer than the car it replaces. Not to mention the higher power output. As with the GTB, the new Spider ditches the naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 and is powered by a new 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s good for 661bhp/486kW and 760NM of torque. Cor!
The performance figures are pretty spectacular in true Ferrari fashion. 0-100 km/h is done in 3 seconds flat, identical to the GTB despite having 50kgs extra. 0-200 km/h is done in 8.7 seconds, or around the same time most family cars get to 100 and top speed is on the right side of 320, easily making the 488 Spider one of the fastest drop-tops in the world.
As with the GTB, the 488 Spider also gets Ferrari’s new Side Slip Angle Control. Don’t let the mind numbing name fool you, this programme will apparently give 12 percent better acceleration out of corners and will let even the most novice driver slide the car like a superhero. Though I do fear this might give some people out there false pretences of their driving ability, resulting in a surge of “488 crashed” videos online.
Working with all the electronic wizardry we’ve become accustomed with modern Ferraris, aerodynamics play a huge part in the car’s handling and design. Ah yes, the design. The 458 Spider’s retractable hardtop roof is carried over and takes 14 seconds to operate, possibly the slowest thing about the car.
The 488 GTB is, to my eyes, a successful evolution of the already perfect 458 Italia. The Spider, the model I’ve always preferred, is no different. It looks fantastic. I’m not sure, maybe it’s the blue, but it looks a world away from the old 458. Those Italian curves are more evident and the new side intake that harks back to mid-engine Ferraris of old is a great little detail.
I think it’s safe to say the 488 Spider could easily be one of the most desirable cars to come out next year, which is when right-hand drive versions will hit showrooms. We’ll see and find out more at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.