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Frankfurt show: Ferrari drops 488's top

Spider bites: The 488 Spider has the same 0-100mk/h sprint time as the GTB coupe, and it features a hardtop that retracts in 14 seconds.

Ferrari 488 Spider to lob next year, but first year’s stock already sold out

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Ferrari logo29 Jul 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

FERRARI has lifted the lid on its drop-top 488 Spider, revealing that the 458 replacement will be the most powerful mid-engined, retractable hardtop model to carry the prancing horse badge.

The Italian supercar was revealed in Maranello overnight ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and coincides with the Australian media launch and showroom debut of its coupe twin, the 488 GTB.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed for the Spider, but it is likely to carry a similar $38,450 premium to that of the 458 Spider over the hardtop 458 Speciale. Given the 488 GTB is priced at $469,888 plus on-road costs, the 488 Spider is likely to come in at about $508,000.

Ferrari Australia says it already has a year's worth of orders for the 488 Spider, but the first example of the Italian drop-top is expected to land in Australia by the end of the year as a demonstration vehicle ahead of customer deliveries in 2016.

The retractable hardtop folds behind the driver in two sections, and stowing above the engine. It takes 14 seconds to fully retract or deploy, but it is unclear if this can be done on the move.

Ferrari has included an electric glass wind stop that is adjustable three ways when the roof is retracted, but the car-maker says lowering the wind stop completely will allow occupants to “enjoy the engine soundtrack”.

The company claims the 488 is the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari Spider to date, with a blown spoiler and an aerodynamic underbody featuring “vortex generators” ensuring maximum downforce, while reducing drag.

Propelling the 488 is the same 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine from the GTB, pumping out 493kW of power and 760Nm at 3000rpm.

This ensures a zero-to-100km/h sprint time of 3.0 seconds, matching that of the GTB, and a 0-200km/h dash of 8.7s. Ferrari says the V8 delivers increasing levels of power across the rev range, “completely eliminating” turbo lag thanks to a throttle response time of 0.8 seconds.

Exhaust headers with longer piping and a flat-plane crankshaft make for a distinctive soundtrack that the iconic Italian marque claims is not invasive when the top is down.

The use of 11 different aluminium alloys and other metals for the Spider's spaceframe chassis ensures the same torsional rigidity as the GTB coupe, and Ferrari says it also represents a 23 per cent improvement in chassis performance over its predecessor, the 458.

Using the latest version of the SSC2 Side Slip Angle Control System which helps keep the car stable and responsive, Ferrari engineers have improved acceleration out of corners by 12 per cent when compared with the 458 Spider, while overall response times are nine per cent quicker than the 458.

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