First Drives First Tests Uncategorized

2016 Ferrari 488 Spider First Drive

The 488 GTB Drops Its Top

The 488 GTB Drops Its Top

The 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider most likely will not crush its competition at a private track on the weekend. Oh, it could. Its 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 allows the 488 Spider to match the 488 GTB’s 0-62-mph time of 3.0 seconds. The 661 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque (all available at 3,000 rpm) turn this beauty of a high-revving, flat-crankshaft engine into a beast. But the reason this Ferrari won’t be chewing up and spitting out racetracks is that people who own this car will probably use it the same way previous Ferrari Spider owners have used them: to enjoy the open road.

Ferrari’s research suggests that Spider owners have a person in the passenger seat more often than coupe owners. They have the top down more than up when driving, and they use their Ferrari more often for things like a night on the town or stopping by another red carpet event.

More on the 488 Spider: Eight Things You Didn’t Know About the Ferrari 488 Spider

Driving the new 488 Spider through the Italian countryside, it’s easy to understand why. The rapturous sound of the engine is intoxicating. Even Ferrari recognizes this by allowing drivers to open the back window with the top up just so they can hear its never-ending aria. If Antonio Vivaldi were an engineer instead of a composer, he would have created the 488 Spider’s engine sound for all four seasons.

The brakes grab like anchors. The steering is as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is flawless. The stiff body, constructed from 11 aluminum alloys, makes the chassis 20 percent more rigid than a 458 Spider’s. Along some of Italy’s uneven mountain roads, the 488 Spider always remains firmly planted, even when ripping through a corner a little too fast. The brakes grab like anchors. The steering feels as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel.

Few cars compare in the stratosphere where this Ferrari resides. Ferrari considered giving this Spider a traditional convertible top but chose the targa top because it saved 55 pounds (25 kg). The top drops in 14 seconds and can be opened or closed at speeds up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

Unlike other convertibles that can’t hang with their hardtop brothers, the 488 Spider matches the 488 GTB in nearly every way. The only difference is who owns it.

2016 Ferrari 488 Spider
BASE PRICE $275,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Mid-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible
ENGINE 3.9L/661-hp*/561-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 3,400 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 104.3 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 179.8 x 76.9 x 47.7 in
0-62 MPH 3.0 sec (mfr est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated
ON SALE IN U.S. Currently
*Includes 5 hp of high-speed ram-air effect