Close your eyes for a minute and try imagining a world without Enzo Ferrari and his legendary knack for making beautiful and evocative sports cars. Not to mention clinching world championships with the prancing horse’s formidable Formula 1 machines. Unthinkable to imagine just such, no? What a bland and bleak world that would be. Thankfully though, Ferrari has just debuted the topless version of the 488 GTB.
As is the norm for Ferrari to chop the top off its cars, the 488 is also not spared from that tradition. But never has taking an axe to a Ferrari been a mistake. So is the case with the 488 GTB. The Spider uses a 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 (by 25kg, no less) but also provides better protection from external noise.
Apart from that, not much separates the Spider from its hard top sibling. Powering the 488 Spyder is up to the job of a 660 hp 3.9-litre V8 with Variable Torque Management system guaranteeing smooth and progressive torque delivery in the higher gears up to a maximum of 760 Nm at 3,000 rpm. These huge numbers result in a blistering acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in just 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds. Keep your foot planted to the floor and you’ll see the speedo tick past 330 km/h.
The famed Scaglietti Centre of Excellence has been hard at work to produce a lightweight spaceframe chassis made of 11 different 6000 Series aluminium alloys containing varying percentages of magnesium and with specific characteristics to meet the demands of different areas of application on the Spider’s spaceframe.
The materials used yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the coupé, in which the roof acts as a structural element, improving the chassis’ performance by 23 percent over that of the 458 Spider. Equally significant is the fact that the RHT can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds, even when the car is moving!
Frankfurt also caters the locale for yet another announcement from the brand – Apple CarPlay system is available to the entire Ferrari lineup. Interestingly the FF was the first car in the world to adopt Apple’s system that offers intuitive voice and touch functions. Everything from phone calls to sat-nav, messaging and music is available with Apple CarPlay, which was later introduced to the California T. The system will soon be available for the sportier, more aggressive Prancing Horse models – the 488 GTB, the 488 Spider and the daddy of them all – the F12Berlinetta.