Ferrari F8 Spider drops the top, raises the drama

Published: 09 September 2019

► First pics of new Ferrari V8
► F8 Spider joins Tributo coupe
► Convertible roof, 0-62mph 2.9sec

As sure as night follows day, a red-hot Ferrari coupe has been decapitated, doubling the choice of V8 supercar buyers. Meet the new Ferrari F8 Spider in yellow-melt finery, unveiled to coincide with the 2019 Frankfurt motor show – even though Maranello is not actually attending.

It replaces the 488 Spider, and the 458 Spider before that – and in some regards is therefore almost quite predictable. The very Ronseal-sounding Retractable Hard Top (RHT in Ferrari-speak) is retained and opens or closes in 14 seconds; drivers can flip the top around town at speeds of up to 28mph – perfect if you’re caught in a shower or topping up the tan at the traffic lights.

Forget how fast the roof is… how quick is the car?

The new F8 Spider keeps the same 3902cc dry-sump V8 as the tin-top F8 Tributo. It’s the engine we first enjoyed in the 488 Pista special, and has some startling performance creds including outputs of 710bhp and 568lb ft, which is enough to guarantee 0-62mph in 2.9sec and a top speed claimed to surpass 211mph. Better hold on to your hats, as they say.

Ferrari F8 Spider

Those outputs are 50bhp up on the outgoing 488 Spider, thanks to new breathing apparatus and inlet tracts developed on the Challenge race cars. Despite all this extra tech, the new Ferrari F8 Spider weighs 20kg less than its predecessor.

Make no mistake, while the F8 is designed to be a little more comfortable and broader in appeal than the Pista that sired its mechanicals, it is still rabidly fast. Or, as Maranello says: ‘It is less extreme than the 488 Pista Spider, but sportier than the 488 Spider which it replaces in the range.’

Our Ferrari F8 Tributo review

Inside the Ferrari F8 Spider interior

Ferrari F8 Spider interior

Just two seats here, obviously, for this is the junior Ferrari V8 in the range. The Spider’s cabin will be familiar to Ferrari watchers, with nearly all driving controls clustered on to the updated steering wheel and a focus on lightweight minimalism elsewhere.

We’ll be driving the new Ferrari F8 Spider in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for our full review.

No prices have been issued yet. We’ll update this story in due course as we get more intel.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet