Ferrari 488 Spider open for business: turbo'd V8 flips its lid

Published: 16 September 2015

► First official pictures of new 488 Spider
► It's the new convertible V8 sports car 
► Shown ahead of Frankfurt show debut  

The pace of competition in the supercar sector means that even Ferrari can't stand still these days; no sooner has it launched the new 488 GTB coupe than it's showing us the open-top Spider version, bound for a world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show this autumn in this fetching new Blu Corsa paint scheme.

The core ingredients all echo the cabriolet treatment given to the outgoing 458 Spider: there's the regular Ferrari retractable hard-top, claimed to save 25kg compared with a traditional cloth roof; it's operated electrically and flips open or closed in 14 seconds at the push of a (well manicured) finger; and owners can raise or lower a glass wind break to one of three positions, opening up the snug two-seater cabin to the thrills and aromas of a mid-engined Ferrari V8 and its likely milieu.

Ferrari 488 Spider: posing or performance?

They might've carved open the roof in the making of the Spider, but they haven't snipped away any of the GTB's brutal performance. There's the same 3.9-litre, dry-sumped V8 now breathed on by turbochargers to produce its 661bhp and still outrageous 583lb ft of torque. No wonder Maranello claims 0-62mph in a neck-snapping 3.0sec dead - and the Spider will pass double that speed (200kph) in a scant 8.7sec - yet the downsized turbochargery of it all mean that it's cleaner than the old 458 too.

The new Ferrari 488 Spider, roof down

But this car is more about how it gets from A-B than just getting there in a mad blast of loud turbocharged fury. Ferrari claims the aluminium structure is 23% more rigid than the open 458's, thanks to a blend of 11 different alloys in its structure and the latest computer-aided design. Click here to see our review of the rival McLaren 650S.

The full spec: 488 Spider

Anoraks, enjoy the full spec of the new Ferrari roadster:

  • Engine 3902cc V8, dry sump, turbocharged
  • Outputs 661bhp @ 8000rpm, 583lb ft @ 3000rpm
  • Specific output 170bhp per litre
  • Kerbweight/dry weight 1525kg/1420kg
  • Weight distribution 42% front, 58% rear
  • Transmission 7-speed F1 dual-clutch auto
  • Tyres 245/35 ZR20 (f), 305/30 ZR20 (r)
  • 0-62mph time 3.0sec
  • Top speed 'Over 203mph'
  • Economy 24.8mpg, 260g/km CO2 (with HELE option)

Retractable hard top in place: erection takes 14sec

How much will the 488 Spider cost?

No word yet, but it's a relatively easy guessing game. The outgoing 458 Spider cost £20,500 more than the Italia hard-top and we'd expect the same pricing pattern to be repeated. That would point to around £204,000.

The 488 GTB coupe costs £183,964 in the UK. Don't forget you can watch our video road test of the coupe in our film below.

By Tim Pollard

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