Car of the week: Ferrari 488 Spider

It will blow away cobwebs at 203mph

Car of the week: Ferrari 488 Spider

IT IS one of the fastest-accelerating roadsters that money can buy, but waiting for delivery of the new Ferrari 488 Spider will be agonisingly slow.

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The two-seat, open-topped version of the 488 GTB won’t go on sale in the UK, at an estimated price of £200,000, until next spring. No matter, for Ferrari lovers the car should be worth the wait. It features an electrically operated, two-piece folding roof that can turn things al fresco in 14 seconds.

As with the coupé model, the roadster has power to spare. Its twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 develops 659bhp, which should be sufficient to blow the cobwebs away along the French Riviera.

Car of the week: Ferrari 488 Spider

Ferrari says that its new plaything will accelerate from 0-62mph in 3 seconds and has a top speed of 203mph — although, if YouTube clips of the 488 GTB in action are anything to go by, that’s a conservative figure.

Rather thoughtfully, and perhaps in an effort to silence those critics who maintain that the new generation of turbocharged V8 engines lack the thunderous sound of the the naturally aspirated motor that powered the 458 Spider, Ferrari’s engineers have come up with a back window that can be lowered at the touch of a button, increasing the noise of the V8.

Car of the week: Ferrari 488 Spider

Best of all, Ferrari says it works regardless of whether the roof is lowered or raised, and when the roof is down, it doubles as a windbreak to save an expensive coiffure from an unsympathetic restyling.

The downside to choosing a Spider over a GTB? Well, it’s 50kg heavier, but if anyone can notice what is the equivalent of a slimline passenger sitting in the passenger seat, then their name must be Sebastian Vettel.

 Ferrari 488 Spider specifications
  • Engine 3902cc, V8 twin turbo
  • Power 659bhp @ 8000rpm
  • Torque 560 lb ft @ 3000rpm
  • Performance 0-62mph: 3sec
  • Top Speed 203mph
  • CO2 260g/km
  • Price £200,000 (estimated)
  • Release date  September, for deliveries next spring

Watch James May review the Ferrari 488 GTB exclusively for Sunday Times Driving


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