The 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider has been revealed, becoming the brand’s most powerful ever mid-rear-engined V8 car to get the retractable hardtop.

ESSENTIALLY A DROP TOP version of the 488 GTB, the 488 Spider with its ‘patented’ retractable hardtop apparently ensures a weight saving (by 25kg) and better cockpit comfort than a classic soft top. Compared to the hardtop 488 GTB, which launched in Australia this week, the Spider is for those buyers that like to feel the wind in their hair and hear the engine note… can’t blame them, on the second part of that statement, anyway.

Ferrrari claims the car set technological benchmarks for open top super cars… From the press guff: “Every area of the car has been designed to set new technological benchmarks for the sector: from the aluminium spaceframe chassis and bodyshell to the new turbo-charged V8, aerodynamics that reconcile the need for greater downforce with reduced drag along with the specific cabin air flow demands of an open-top car, and vehicle dynamics that render it fast, agile and instantly responsive”.

The Spider gets the same 492kW/760Nm breathing turbocharged V8 that runs in the 488 GTB, and while the drop top is heavier than the hard top GTB it’ll still run to 100km/h in just 3.0 seconds and will hit hit 200km/h in 8.7 seconds.

Ferrari claims this is the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever built, “thanks to a series of complex aero solutions designed to guarantee optimal downforce whilst reducing drag, two normally mutually-exclusive objectives. Maranello’s engineers managed to achieve both goals simultaneously by introducing several innovative devices, including a blown spoiler and an aerodynamic underbody incorporating vortex generators”.

Despite being a drop top, the 488 Spider is every bit as rigid as its hard top sibling, hence the reason it’s a little heavier. It’s also 23% more torsionally rigid than its predecessor. The retractable roof folds backwards in two overlapping sections to rest flush on the engine in a very compact solution. The mechanism is exceptionally smooth and takes just 14 seconds for the top to fully retract or deploy.


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