As a testament to Ferrari’s ongoing commitment to drop-top performance, the 488 Pista Spider marks the first time a convertible weighs less than its hardtop counterpart. You see, back in the day, transforming a coupe into a droptop required so much bracing and stiffening that the resulting product always carried with it an extra stone. Or 15. But with today’s great materials and manufacturing advancements, open-roof driving no longer means taking second-place to the hardtops. And Ferrari’s achievement is even more impressive when you consider that the Pista was already 90 kg lighter than the GTB.
No Sacrifices Required
Mechanically, the Pista Spider drives almost identically to the standard Pista. Which is exactly what Ferrari intended – no trade-offs here. And that includes the top-up driving experience. With a retractable hardtop instead of a canvas unit, the Spider even keeps occupants just as insulated from the elements when needed. Speaking of the roof, the twin-panel hardtop is capable of retracting in 14 seconds, at speeds up to 35 mph. Of course, that’s where the driving experience begins to transform. Now the sun is on your skin and the brutal exhaust is infiltrating your ear canals.
Okay, Maybe a Couple of Sacrifices
So, clearly, the main benefits of Ferrari Pista ownership have been left intact. But there are in fact a couple of minor inconveniences to consider. For one, don’t expect to pack too heavily. The standard 488 Spider includes a small luggage compartment up front. But in the 488 Pista Spider, with its S-Duct cutting through the front bonnet, that space has been made even smaller. You might get a couple of small bags in there – very small bags – but don’t expect to pack for the whole week.
The other downside is the fact that the retractable roof covers the area where the hardtop Pista proudly displays its 3.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. Taking into account those compromises, it should be clear which Pista appeals most to you. Unfortunately, all of them have been sold, with the 488 Pista Spider requiring a £252,000 commitment from its new owners. So, start perusing the auction boards, and don’t expect to pay less than £300k for a used version.