Over the weekend, Ferrari has unveiled a new open-top berlinetta; and so the torch is passed from its predecessor the 488 Spider in much the way the 488 GTB did to the still rather recent F8 Tributo.
From a distance, you might not even be able to distinguish the newer car from the slightly older one, which is due to the F8 Spider retaining nearly the exact same profile and roof mechanism as its forebear. Like the coupe, the rear end is where the visual changes are most concentrated.
Ferrari’s own literature describes the new Spider as raising the game quite a bit, adopting many of the attributes first observed and admired in the more hardcore 488 Pista, presenting it in a more accessible, somewhat friendlier package.
In fact, the company says some 20kg has been shaved over the 488 Spider while adopting a significant amount of the active aerodynamic tech of other high-end Ferraris for extra downforce at speed while its body also inherently presents a reduced drag coefficient.
Unsurprisingly, the Tributo lends its formidable and unaltered powertrain to the Spider to grant it the same 530kW and 770Nm from a 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 mounted amidship, propelling drive via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to the wide rear tyres for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds.
The two-seater is capable of reaching a top speed of 340km/h provided the metal roof has been folded into place, which takes just 14 seconds either way at speeds up to 45km/h.
The engineers have essentially gifted the output and more aggressive characteristics of the limited run 488 Pista’s upgraded engine to all cars of the F8 generation, achieved through, among other measures, a new intake line derived from the 488 Challenge track car, repositioned induction inlets at the rear just before the spoiler, and lighter Inconel exhaust manifolds.
It’s no secret the F8 Spider will butt heads with the venerable McLaren 720S Spider, what with their trading jabs on price, dimensions, output, and claimed performance. On paper, they’re so evenly matched that choosing between them might purely come down to preference between Woking and Maranello.