Having had extensive seat time in a 458 Spider, I can assure you that driving a Ferrari without a roof is a religious experience. The sensations you get from the blowing wind, beaming sun, and glorious engine combine together to make one indescribable phenomenon.
The 488 GTB is Ferrari’s successor to the perfection that is the 458 Italia. It packs a 3.9L, flat-plane V8 that is, wait for it, turbo-charged. Specifically, twin-turbo charged. What this equates to is 660 HP and 560 lb/ft, good enough to get up to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat.
Now, when the 458 was released, a few years later the 458 Spider came into this world. It was the first mid-engine, hard-top convertible…ever. Without getting to into it (yet), let me just say that the 458 Spider is a brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT machine. It also sold very well, which is why Ferrari just revealed the 488 Spider.
Basically, the 488 Spider is a 458 Spider but with the turbo engine and the 488 body bits. This explains why it took Ferrari no time at all to get it production ready. The 458 was an entirely new platform, and the 458 Spider’s roof mechanism needed to be engineered from scratch. Since the 488 is based heavily of the 458, much of the stuff needed for a Spider version was ready to go.
The roof mechanism in the 488 Spider, like the 458 Spider, is a hard-top. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the same piece of kit. It takes only 14 seconds to open/close, which is quite impressive. Since the roof can’t be relied on completely for air management, the 488 Spider has massive side intakes. These intakes will assist in delivering air to the now closed off engine. But, with the roof off you will definitely be able to hear the engine…well at least more off it.
As of now, we only have these renders from Ferrari to look at. The 488 Spider will be revealed, in the flesh, at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Pricing hasn’t been announced, yet, but I would expect them to be higher than the regular coupe.