Ferrari has taken the opportunity to unveil the open top (or Spider) version of their hardcore 488 Pista - which means ‘circuit’ in Italian - at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concourse in Monterey, California. In this white finish with go-fast blue stripe exterior, it looks decidedly more tame than when the Berlinetta version made its debut.
The lightweight, track-focused, and more powerful 488 Pista Spider is otherwise unchanged from its hardtop sibling, receiving the same performance-enhancing upgrades such as its uprated 3.9-litre bi-turbo V8 which is now producing a staggering 528kW and 770Nm.
As useful as power may be, Ferrari is much more keen on touting the lengths it has gone through to ensure the car doesn’t weigh any more than it needs to. To this end, nearly all but basic creature comforts have exorcised, all manner of leather and soft touch material removed, the carpets replaced with aluminium plates, and straps for door handles. All that shedding has yielded in a kerb weight of roughly 100kg less than the standard 488 Spider.
However, as is the case with all convertible versions of any sports car, there’s always a price to pay for the added drama of open top motoring. While the Pista Spider is indeed very lightweight for what it is, the coupe is lighter still without needing a foldable roof assembly and is a tad more rigid thanks to that roof being an important structural component.
That said, the car’s liberal use of carbon fibre construction means that there’s much less lost in the way of shell integrity compared to vehicles made of steel and aluminium. With the Spider quoted as being just as quick as the 488 Pista berlinetta, boasting the same 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.85 seconds and a top speed of 340km/h, this fancier convertible version is hardly suffering.
Unlike Lamborghini, who also quite recently rolled out a ‘Spyder’ version of their equally single-minded Huracan Performante, Ferrari has express little to zero interest in pursuing lap time records, preferring instead to let the 488 Pista be a very fast and mind-splittingly fun supercar to drive. Only now, you’ll get to experience the elements as well as sound of that Maranello-built engine much more viscerally.
Given the highbrow audience at the Pebble Beach Concourse, Ferrari must’ve thought it imprudent to disclose any kind of pricing information on the 488 Pista Spider. Though, as with all convertible variants, expect to pay a not insignificant premium.