Designed around the concept of the retractable hard top (RHT), the 488 Spider has a spaceframe chassis made of 11 different aluminium alloys combined with other noble metals, such as magnesium. This yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the coupe, improving the chassis’ performance by 23 per cent over that of its predecessor. That is an extraordinary result, given that the roof is structural.
The RHT 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.
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.
Beneath the engine cover throbs the 3902cc turbo-charged V8 that debuted a few months ago on the 488 GTB. A maximum power output of 670CV combined with maximum torque of 760Nm at 3,000rpm send the 488 Spider sprinting from 0 to 100kmh in 3 seconds and from 0 to 200 kmh in 8.7 seconds.
In line with Ferrari tradition, this model has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack created using solutions such as exhaust headers with longer, equallength piping and a flat-plane crankshaft. The sound is seductive but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing as the engine instantly responds to the accelerator pedal and revs rise.
This is also the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari Spider ever built, thanks to a series of complex aero solutions designed to guarantee optimal downforce whilst reducing drag.
Over all, response times are 9 per cent more rapid than the previous Spider without any compromise to comfort. The car’s design was adapted to efficiently meet the typical demands of open-top driving and use. In fact, the Spider’s dynamic behaviour is effortless on even the most challenging routes.