SEPTEMBER may seem an odd time to launch a Ferrari convertible but the 488 Spider won’t reach the UK until next spring. The sister car to the 488 GTB coupé and the replacement for the 458 Spider features a folding hard top that can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds.
The most eye-catching feature is the flying buttresses behind the driver and the passenger, under which the roof folds neatly away on top of the engine. Arguments rage about whether the 488 is as delectable as the outgoing 458, but it’s undeniably a dramatic shape, especially in the lurid blue of the show car. For what it’s worth, we reckon the Spider is better-looking than the coupé.
The 660bhp 3.9-litre turbo V8 is retained from the coupé, and the Spider is only 50kg heavier, so the extraordinary 0-62mph sprint time of three seconds dead is unchanged. Ferrari also claims the Spider is as rigid as the coupé. The suspension has been subtly retuned, though — an acknowledgment that Spiders are more likely to spend time on the road than the track.
There are some lovely details, such as the electric glass rear window. It serves as a windbreak with the roof down and it can be lowered if the roof’s up to give greater voice to the V8 soundtrack. As we head into winter, we’re already looking at one of the stars of summer 2016.
Prices have yet to be announced, but the 488 Spider is likely to cost around £20,000 more than the coupé, so expect to pay upwards of £200,000.