We knew it was only a matter of time before the Ferrari 488 GTB got a Spider version, and that time has officially arrived. The all-new 488 Spider opens the roof on Ferrari's 660-hp turbocharged V8 two-door, and one of the world's favorite exotic cars gets that much better yet again.
The 488 combines the fresh, exhilarating feel of open-top driving with coupe-like performance using Ferrari's retractable hard top. This solution cuts weight by about 55 lb (25 kg) when compared to a folding soft top and helps the 488 Spider zip to 62 mph (100 km/h) in the same 3.0 seconds as the hard-topped 488. The Spider is a bit slower to 124 mph (200 km/h) than the GTB, but with an 8.7-second time, the difference is less than half a second. Its top speed is 2 mph behind the GTB at 203 mph (325 km/h).
The 488 Spider's space frame was designed around the retractable hard top, using a blend of magnesium, 11 aluminum alloys and other noble metals to ensure torsional rigidity and beam stiffness equal to the 488 GTB coupe. Ferrari says that the performance of the new chassis is 23 percent improved over the 458 Spider. As in the predecessor, the folding top takes 14 seconds to retract or deploy.
Ferrari identifies the new drop-top 488 as its most aerodynamically efficient spider ever. As it did with the 488 coupe, Maranello has simultaneously optimized downforce while trimming unwanted drag by using aerodynamic solutions including a blown spoiler and underbody vortex generators.
In terms of body structure and styling, the addition of a retractable hard top entailed a few very notable changes from the 488 GTB. The Spider wears a set of flying buttresses that serve to channel airflow through to the ribbed engine cover, while the three-position electric glass wind stop adjusts to increase driver and passenger comfort when the top is down. The Spider gains 110 lb (50 kg) in dry weight over the GTB, scaling in at 3,131 lb (1,420 kg).
Ferrari also tweaked the mechanical and electronics systems, saying the new Spider accelerates 12 percent faster out of corners than its predecessor.
Under its revised engine cover, the 488 Spider shares the GTB's mid-rear turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine. Tuned to deliver increasing levels of power across the rev range, that engine drops 660 hp (492 kW) at 8,000 rpm and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm) of torque at 3,000 rpm. It works in concert with a seven-speed F1-style dual-clutch transmission.
Ferrari will stage the official world debut of the 488 Spider at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and Gizmag will be there to bring you closer look. In the meantime, proceed to our gallery to see how the drop-top looks from all angles when brushed in Blu Corsa paint.