Today marks the official debut of the 488 Spider in South Africa, the latest chapter in Maranello’s ongoing history with open-top V8 sports cars.
This is the most high performance Spider ever built by the Prancing Horse and is powered by the 488 coupé’s 3902cc turbo-charged V8 which punches out a maximum of 670 CV with the Variable Torque Management system guaranteeing smooth, progressive torque delivery in the higher gears up to a maximum of 760 Nm at 3,000 rpm. This is an astonishingly sporty car with blistering acceleration (0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7) and, even more significantly, a razor-sharp throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds which essentially eliminates the turbo lag typical of this kind of engine.
The Scaglietti centre of excellence’s aluminium crafting skills have also produced a light, high performance spaceframe chassis made of 11 different 6000 series aluminium alloys containing varying percentages of magnesium and with specific characteristics to meet the demands of the different areas of application. Extraordinarily, this yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the coupé, in which the roof is a structural element, improving the chassis’ performance by 23 per cent over that of the 458 Spider.
The 488 Spider uses the RHT (Retractable Hard Top) which debuted on the 458 Spider as world-first for such a solution on a mid-rear engined car. The RHT has rendered traditional soft-tops obsolete as it is not only lighter (- 25 kg) but also provides better protection from noise and elements even when lowered courtesy of a glass wind-stop adjustable to three different positions. Equally significant is the fact that the RHT can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds even when the car is moving.
The car’s mechanical set-up and dynamic vehicle controls make a pivotal contribution to its powerfully sporty behaviour on the road with Manettino settings chosen for its mission. Specifically, the technicians worked on the magnetorheological dampers to guarantee maximum sportiness without compromising on comfort. The new SSC2 Side Slip Angle Control system also makes it easier for non-professional drivers to reach the limit. Additionally, to ensure superb fun behind the wheel on more challenging routes, the 488 Spider responds virtually instantaneously to steering wheel inputs (0.06 seconds – 9 per cent faster than the previous Spider).
The hard-working Ferrari Design Centre has also brought a sculptural beauty to the modifications made to accommodate the RHT and meet the aerodynamic demands of the car. Cases in point are the flying buttresses which optimally channel air flows to the engine cover, the ribbing on the engine cover and the air intakes with sculpted mesh grilles which lend that area of the car a sense of incredible dynamism. The 488 Spider also debuts a new colour designed to enhance its forms. The Blu Corsa livery almost seems to meld with the sky overhead, in fact, and metallic particles suspended in the paint give the bodywork a gloss that underscores its sculptural volumes. Its unusual iridescent effect is created by the two-layer paintwork.
In line with Ferrari tradition and drawing on the harmonics typical of Prancing Horse cars with this kind of architecture, this 8-cylinder has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack, thanks to exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and the flat-plane crankshaft. The sound was crafted to be seductive but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing in signature Ferrari fashion as the engine instantly responds to the accelerator pedal and revs rise, underscoring the car’s performance.
Scuderia South Africa CEO, Mervyn Eagles added that the 488 Spider has been designed to set new technological benchmarks for the sector. “Following the success of the 488 GTB both locally and internationally, the 488 Spider promises to surpass the expectations of any open-top V8 sport car”
Ferrari 488 Spider
Type 90° V8, turbo-charged, dry sump
Total displacement 3902 cm3 (238.1 cu. in)
Bore and stroke 86.5 x 83 mm (3.4 x 3.3 in)
Maximum power * 492 kW (670 cv) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque * 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear
Specific output 172 cv/l (2.07 kW/cu. in)
Compression ratio 9.4:1
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Length 4568 mm (179.8 in)
Width 1952 mm (76.9 in)
Height 1211 mm (47.7 in)
Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in)
Front track 1679 mm (66.1 in)
Rear track 1647 mm (64.8 in)
Kerb weight** 1525 kg (3362 lb)
Dry weight** 1420 kg (3131 lb)
Weight distribution 41.5% front – 58.5% rear
Boot capacity 230 l (8.12 cu. ft)
Fuel tank capacity 78 l (22.7 US gallons)
Front 245/35 ZR20 J9.0
Rear 305/30 ZR 20 J11.0
Front 398x223x36 mm (15.7 x 8.8 x 1.4 in)
Rear 360x233x32 mm (14.2 x 9.2 x 1.3 in)
TRAMISSION AND GEARBOX
7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission
E-Diff3, F1-Trac, High-Performance ABS with Ferrari Pre-Fill, FrS SCM-E, SSC2
Maximum speed > 325 km/h (203 mph)
0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62 mph) 3.0 s
0 – 200 km/h (0 – 124 mph) 8.7 s
0 – 400 m (0 – 437 yd) 10.55 s
0 – 1000 m (0 – 1093 yd) 18.9 s
Dry weight/power ratio 2.12 kg/cv (6.35 lb/kW)
11.4 l/100 km
* with 98 octane fuel
** With optional equipment
*** Combined cycle with HELE system (ECE+EUDC)