Scuderia South Africa has launched the new 8-cylinder Ferrari 488 Spider with Retractable Hard Top (RHT) that unfolds and retracts in a record 14 seconds. The RHT can be raised or lowered when the car is moving.
When lowered, the roof only takes up 100 litres of space rather than the 150-200 litres required to stow a conventional hard top. This incredibly sleek solution is absolutely vital to the aerodynamics and styling of the whole rear of the car.
The new Ferrari 488 Spider is the highest 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 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).
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.”