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Ferrari’s new 488 Spider drops roof and price

Raise the roof: With a zero-to-100km/h time of three seconds flat and capable of hitting a 325km/h top speed, Ferrari’s new 488 Spider is one of the fastest convertibles available on the Australian market.

Latest Ferrari 488 Spider carries a pricetag 10 per cent lower than its predecessor

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Ferrari logo20 Nov 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

FERRARI Australia has ripped the covers off its 488 Spider with a pricetag of $526,888, before on-road costs, a whopping $61,563 saving compared with the price of the outgoing 458 Spider.

Arriving from April next year, the hardtop convertible 488 commands a $57,000 price premium over its fixed-roof coupe sibling and is also more expensive than rivals such as the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder ($470,800) and McLaren 650S ($511,000).

The Australian reception to the car has been “phenomenal”, according to Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth, as waiting lists blow out beyond a year.

“We’re well over 12 months already, without showing the car,” he said. “In some states of Australia, it’s over two years. Considerable interest, more than interest, considerable orders.

“Everyone knew the Spider version would be coming when we launched the GTB, it’s been our product lifecycle since we launched 40 years ago. We’ve always had multiple versions, so we always had a very strong Spider order intake.

“What we call ‘Spideristis’, people that tend to stick to convertibles – they go from 360 Spider to 430 to 458 and straight to the 488 Spider – were the first ones to sign up, but it’s a car very well-suited to the Australian marketplace.

“The Spider has always done very well here, it’s something that we are extremely happy with the reception.”

Now the third model in the current Ferrari line-up to feature forced-induction – following the release of the California T last year and the 488 GTB coupe earlier this year – initial concerns about driving dynamics have now well and truly been allayed, according to Mr Appleroth.

“The response to the power plant in the California T and now in the 488 has been phenomenal,” he said. “I think everyone’s concern about involvement and excitement and noise has certainly been dispelled. Anyone who has driven one of our cars knows that level of involvement is there, so I don’t think it matters whether it’s turbocharged or not, it’s still a Ferrari engine.”

Performance comes courtesy of the same 492kW/760Nm 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 found in the 488 GTB, which will rocket Ferrari’s latest drop-top from zero-to-100km/h in just 3.0 seconds, 0-200km/h takes just 8.7s and the 488 Spider will top out at 325km/h.

Along with the roof – which can open or close in 14 seconds – Ferrari has also added a redesigned engine cover with longitudinal ribs to aid in dissipating engine heat, along with flying buttresses to channel air into the engine cover and a rear wind stop to reduce turbulent air in the cabin.

Ferrari says the 488 Spider has the same level of torsional stiffness as the 488 GTB, as well as being 23 per cent stiffer than the 458 Spider it replaces, thanks to a light, high-performing space-frame chassis with 11 different types of aluminium.

The 488 Spider is also offered in a new colour, dubbed Blu Corsa, which makes its debut on Ferrari’s latest model.

The switch to turbocharging has not affected Ferrari commercially either, as the Prancing Horse has managed to sell 144 supercars so far this year, a 64 per cent increase over the same period last year, putting it within striking distance of toppling its 2008 record of 163 vehicles sold.

“To be honest, we are not really interested in records,” Mr Appleroth said.

“Looking at those numbers, it is what it is, we’ll certainly be close, but it’s not something that we’re looking at.

“Moving forward of course, we are expecting year-on-year growth, whether it’s this year or next year, we’re not really concerned. To be honest, I’d prefer to show low numbers in VFACTS, showing more cars is not what our customers want to see, so it’s kind of the reverse of what every other brand wants.”2015 Ferrari 488 pricing*
GTB$469,888
Spider$526,888
*Excludes on-road costs.

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