ferrari 488 spider 1

Looks like the good people of Maranello couldn’t wait till September to show us its latest creation. The Ferrari 488 Spider, due for its physical debut in September at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, has been revealed online, looking resplendent with an equally new shade of Blu Corsa.

Naturally, aesthetics remain more or less the same as its coupe sibling, the Ferrari 488 GTB. The main difference is, obviously, the adoption of a “patented retractable hardtop” that transforms the coupe into a convertible in only 14 seconds – the entire assembly, according to Ferrari, is said to weigh about 25 kg less than an equivalent soft-top setup.

The folding hardtop stows away in “two overlapping sections” with the entire assembly sandwiched between the mid-mounted engine and the seats in a small cavity. Dubbed as Maranello’s “most aerodynamically-efficient spider ever built”, the Ferrari 488 Spider features a small rear window that operates in three stages – lower it with the top in place for more noise or deploy it to reduce buffeting with the top down.

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Further helping to reduce drag whilst optimising downforce is a blown spoiler along with an aerodynamically-honed underbody with vortex generators. The Ferrari 488 Spider also retains the same levels of torsional rigidity as its coupe sibling thanks to the adoption of a space frame chassis comprised of 11 different types of aluminium alloy, magnesium and other noble metals.

Compared to its predecessor, the Ferrari 458 Spider, the 488 Spider is equipped with a chassis that is said to be 23% stiffer. Other key details to be found include the flying buttresses which help direct the airflow towards the engine bay, stylised ribbing on the engine cover and air intakes with “sculpted mesh grilles.”

Elsewhere, the 488 Spider is equipped with 20-inch wheels all round wrapped in a staggered setup of 245/35 tyres up front and 305/30 tyres at the rear. Curb weight is recorded at 1,525 kg with options loaded in while boot space is more than respectable at 230 litres.

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Beneath the engine bay, things are more familiar. The Ferrari 488 Spider is motivated by a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 3,902 cc V8 engine with 670 hp at 8,000 rpm and 760 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm. Paired to a seven-speed Getrag dual-clutch transmission, which sends power to the rear wheels, the car sprints from nought to 100 km/h in three seconds flat. Top speed is rated at 325 km/h.

On the inside, most of the architecture first seen on the 488 GTB gets carried over. Driver assistance systems include E-Diff 3, F1-Trac, an ABS system with Ferrari Pre-Fill and a reengineered Side Slip Angle Control (SSC2) System. The latter is touted to offer up to 12% more traction for faster acceleration out of corners.

As mentioned earlier, the Ferrari 488 Spider will make its debut at in September at the Frankfurt show while sales are slated to commence by the end of 2015. Prices have yet to be disclosed but expect to pay a premium over the 488 GTB’s base price of £183,974 (RM1,097,943).

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