Arguably the “people’s choice” of the 2015 Frankfurt Show, the Ferrari 488 Spider drew huge throngs throughout the extravaganza and on the public days you could hardly even get a glimpse of the new beauty from Maranello.
Amazingly, for a car as exotic and curvaceous as the essential Ferrari 488, the Spider version announced at Frankfurt has a retractable hard-top. It’s the first time such a solution has been used for a supercar and it has been achieved by adding, rather than retracting from the beauty of the basic 488 template.
Ferrari claims that the system is also lighter than a traditional soft-top. And when the top is lowered a glass wind-stop prevents the traditional reverse buffeting one gets in an open- topped car as the vortex of air that results as it passes over the wind screen gives your neck and head a good blast from the rear, so it appears as if you are reversing as your hair gets blown forward!
No such problems in this super elegant Ferrari then, according to its designers. Even better, the top can be lowered or raised
in 14 seconds, stationary or on the move.
To make the Spider special-looking and accommodate the re- tractable top, Ferrari crafted special buttresses at the rear which channel air flow to the engine cover-mounted intakes for the engine.
For the new model, Ferrari also introduced a particularly alluring colour, known as BluCorsa, which can be seen in the accompanying photographs. The paint has metallic particles in suspension to give a slight gloss,
Far from making the Spider design bulky, the retractable hard top solution has given the Spider serious gravitas, thanks to the pronounced buttresses at the rear.
Of course the 488 is a very special car, possibly one of the best Ferraris ever made. It uses a 3,8-litre twin turbo V8, to produce 492kW and 760Nm of torque without creating a typical metallic finish.
Of course the 488 is a very special car, possibly one of the best Ferraris ever made. It uses a 3,8-litre twin turbo V8, to produce 492kW and 760Nm of torque. Acceleration sees 0-100km/h come up in 3,0 seconds and 0-1 200km/h achieved in 8,7 seconds.
The spaceframe chassis uses 11 different types of aluminium alloys containing various degrees of magnesium. Ferrari says that the Spider thus enjoys the same torsional rigidity as the 488 Coupe. The first 488s are due in South Africa early next year in coupe form, and we expect the Spider to follow quite soon after.