From Ferrari’s blu period: the 488 GTB Spider, CAR+ September 2015

Published: 01 September 2015

► Blue livery overtakes red
► Topless Ferrari 488 GTB
► Debuts at Frankfurt 2015 

Prancing horse gives way to prancing spider as new 488 swaps tin top for, err, folding tin top… and forgets to put its red coat on.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new 488 Spider is Ferrari’s choice of a nuovo Blu Corsa reveal livery, rather than a traditional red. That it is faster, stronger and more efficient – both aerodynamically and petrochemically – than the 458 Spider it replaces goes without saying. Though the degree to which it achieves these things certainly earns some appropriate gasping.

Ferrari 488 GTB: performacnce

The new 661bhp twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 is 99bhp more powerful than the 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 it replaces – resulting in 0-62mph in 3.0sec, 0-124mph in 8.7sec and a 203mph top speed. The structure is 23% stronger, which means it now exactly matches the torsional rigidity and beam stiffness of the 488 GTB coupe. Yet the Spider is 25kg lighter than before, produces 15g/km less CO2, and is being lauded as the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari drop-top ever.

Key tech includes 11 different aluminium alloys, second-gen Slide Slip Angle Control System, clever underfloor vortex generators, and blown spoilers directly influenced by Formula 1. The rear deck gets a new ridged engine cover and a pair of flying buttresses, supporting a rear window that can be lowered through three positions to better let the carefully massaged engine note into the cabin, regardless of whether the retractable hardtop is stowed – a process that takes just 14 seconds.

First public sight comes at Frankfurt in September; if you want one in a hurry we suggest you bring a suitcase containing at least £200k in cash. And wear a suit.

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Automotive Hub, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count