Ferrari announced the unveiling of the 488 Spider on Tuesday 28 July – the Italian high-performance sports car manufacturers most powerful mid-rear-engined V8 to date, to feature the Retractable Hard Top (RHT).
Like the 488 GTB Coupe, the new Spider features a 3.9 litre turbo-charged V8. A maximum power output of 670 hp combined with 560 lb ft at 5,000 rpm catapult the 488 Spider from 0 to 62 mph in three seconds flat.
Although the new engine is fitted with turbo chargers, the power is delivered in a linear fashion across the rev range, without a hint of turbo lag. Maranello’s leading-edge facilities ensure that race-derived technology is transferred to Ferrari’s road cars.
Forced induction usually means a decrease in decibels. However, the new 488 Spider has its own soundtrack to maximise that distinctive Ferrari sound. The usual flat-plane crank is combined with exhaust headers with longer, equal length piping. An in-depth study of harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds has resulted in an emotional pitch, but never invasive with the roof lowered.
Right from the very beginning, the human touch has been involved with the development of the 488 – retaining purity of the driving experience.
The second iteration of the Slide Slip Angle Control System (SSC2) has been honed, in tandem with the mechanical set up, resulting in significantly faster acceleration out of corners than 458 Spider. Response times are down without any compromise in comfort and the Spider’s dynamic behaviour is effortless, even on the most challenging of roads.
Structural rigidity is not compromised, either. The 488, like the 458 Spider, is designed around the concept of the RHT, comprising of a spaceframe chassis, made up of 11 different alloys, combined with other stiff, lightweight metals. The effect that this has is an identical torsional rigidity and beam stiffness as the 488 GTB, a chassis performance up 23% from the predecessor.