The latest chapter in Maranello’s ongoing, open-top V8 supercar saga has made its official debut at Frankfurt.
Being the most performance oriented and capable Spider ever built by Ferrari, the 488 raises the bar with its 3.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V8, capable of developing 661 horses and a humongous 760 Nm (560 lb-ft) torque figure at 3,000 rpm.
Given the specs, the performance claims aren’t bad either, with the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) happening in 3.0 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.7.
What’s more significant – given the turbo layout – is the 0.8 seconds throttle response, which essentially eliminates turbo lag typical to this kind of engine – or that’s what Ferrari says and we believe them.
The automobile’s light, high performance spaceframe chassis (made out of 11 different 6000 series aluminum alloys) was produced at the Scaglietti centre of excellence and yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness as the coupe variant – in which the roof makes part of the structural integrity of the car.
The 488 comes equipped with a Retractable Hard Top – debuted on the 458 Spider as a world first for such a solution on a mid-rear engined supercar. According to the Prancing Horse company, the harden canopy renders the soft-top obsolete as it is 25 kilograms lighter and also provides better protection from the outside world. Moreover, the whole rig can be raised and lowered in 14 seconds, even on the go.
Unlike its predecessor, the 488 was designed in-house, at Ferrari’s own Styling Center. Still, the final result is nothing short of astonishing, transforming an already beautiful form in something more aggressive and planted, able to accommodate the Retractable Hard Top and meet the aerodynamics demands of the car. Every bit and bob on the 488 Spider’s body has an aerodynamic responsibility, from the flying buttresses which optimally channel air flows to the engine cover, to the air intakes with sculpted mesh grilles.
Along with the 488 Spider’s unveiling, Ferrari premiered the Blu Corsa color, designed to enhance the car’s forms. Nevertheless, Frankfurt also provides the venue for another major announcement: the extension of the Apple CarPlay system to the entire Ferrari range, including the gorgeous 488 Spider.