Many people view the convertible versions of sports cars as the soft, flashy version of the car, not for the hardcore drivers. Ferrari is making this a hard position to take, with the 488 Spider. The 488 GTB proved that the carmaker isn’t messing around with this new turbocharged version of its mid-engined supercar, and they continued in that vein as they designed the top-down version as well.

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As in the GTB, the heart and soul of the 488 Spider is a 3.9 litre V8 twin turbo pumping out 661 bhp and 760 Nm of torque. Now, the engine and exhaust sound is of supreme importance for every Ferrari, but even more so for the open-air versions. Ferrari took great care to engineer the forced-induction V8 with as much sonorous noise as possible, knowing this would be a huge point of concern for natural aspiration enthusiasts. The result is a guttural, fierce-sounding engine that should please even the most strident of aural enthusiasts.
Moving from the GTB to the Spider entails a 50 kg penalty, mostly due to the rood folding mechanism and some underfloor bracing. About that top: the 488 Spider uses a metal hardtop that folds its two parts flat within 14 seconds, and at speeds of up to 25 mph. When up, the car is as quiet and serene as the coupe version. Lower it, and the effect is somewhere between a Targa and a full-on convertible, while the car’s structure remains commendably stable. It’s clear that Ferrari put a great deal of engineering effort into this top, and it has paid off.
Suspension-wise, the springs and dampers are the same units used in the GTB. This isn’t a result of Ferrari being lazy. No, the carmaker found, after much research and testing, that the GTB’s suspension setup was also the optimal arrangement for the Spider, a testament to the system’s flexibility. All of Ferrari’s efforts to keep the Spider’s performance on par with that of the GTB resulted in some impressive performance measures: the 0 – 100 km/h time remains the same (3.0 seconds), while the Fiorano lap time has dropped by less than a second. These are remarkable feats, considering the huge weight and stiffness disadvantage most other convertibles are forced to deal with.

Andy’s thoughts

There was a time when even Ferrari Spiders were considered hairdressers cars, and if you wanted a serious Ferrari, it had to be the best for the track. Ferrari have proved that you can have your cake and eat it with a Spider, as 9/10th of us will not be able to push the GTB hard enough to be faster anyway.

We recently did a Podcast interview with a multi Ferrari owner, who among other cars owned a 488 GTB and a 488 Spider. On thing he mentioned as a huge advantage over the coupe, was that in the Spider you could lower the rear window to bring in that engine noise into the cabin. A huge advantage over the closed version.

It’s a great interview, and you can check it out here:

Episode 13 – Ferrari 458 Vs 488 Vs F12 Vs Gtc4lusso – Owners Experience


However, there is the elephant in the room, which must be mentioned. Whilst driving a 488 Spider might be great, it could be a huge disadvantage for pedestrians if you don’t look like Brad Pitt. After all the driver will be seen, and that may not always be a good thing!

To Learn more about the 488 Spider, check out our Model section: Here