When Ferrari rolled out the 488 GTB to replace the 458 Italia, some were expecting the convertible version to bring back the GTS moniker due to the arrangement of the folding hard top. But it didn’t. Instead it was labeled the 488 Spider, carrying on the nomenclature of its predecessors.
However, a recent patent application suggests a new Targa could be in the works. According to AutoGuide, Ferrari has applied for a patent on a new open roof design. Contrary to some of Maranello’s more unusual and complicated opening roof mechanisms, this one calls for a simpler “coupe body with a rigid roof that is removable and is supported at the front by the upright of the windshield and at the rear by a robust full-width roll bar.”
Now Porsche may take exception to its arch-rival using the Targa moniker, keen as it is to protect it for its own use. But Zuffenhausen’s latest Targa models have also gone for a more complex design, even if the end result is an open top with a moving roof panel. In any case, though, Maranello could always revive the GTS badge, or go for something entirely new.
The patent drawings are clearly based on the F430, a model which has long since been replaced by the 458 and today’s 488 in turn. But its use would seem to suggest a mid-engined V8 model.
Whether that ultimately proves to be the 488, we can’t say for sure. It could very well be used on a limited-production model, or even a one-off commissioned by an esteemed customer. But if it is put into series production, we could be looking at a new 488 GTS to slot between the 488 GTB and the 488 Spider.
The last time the Prancing Horse marque offered such a model was with the F355 GTS, which was offered alongside the GTB coupe and Spider convertible – and its production run ended in 1999. Well, technically, the LaFerrari Aperta also uses a targa top, but Ferrari has chosen a different nomenclature.