Naza Italia has officially introduced the Ferrari F8 Spider in the country, the successor to the 488 Spider making its Malaysian debut alongside the 812 GTS in a double bill reveal, as it was when both cars were launched together last year at the automaker’s Universo Ferrari event in Maranello.

It’s also the South-East Asian premiere for both cars, and the left-hand drive examples will be on display at the Ferrari City showroom in Platinum Park, Kuala Lumpur until the end of the month, following which they will head on to Singapore. With the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in place, the preview for both cars was a closed-door, limited capacity event to adhere to regulations.

The F8 Spider is of course the drop-top version of the F8 Tributo, and aside from areas that support the retractable hard top design, the overall shape of both cars is pretty much identical. The top, with a folding mechanism that is divided into two parts and stowed on top of the engine, takes 14 seconds to deploy either way on the move, and is operable at speeds of up to 45 km/h.

The front end is visually similar to the Tributo, with key design elements including new compact, horizontal LED headlights and an S-Duct, which made its debut on the Pista. Redesigned for its application on the F8, the S-Duct adds 15% to the overall increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.

From the seat position on, the changes to the upper body are evident, led by a manta-like engine cover with a central spine that starts from the rear screen and disappears under the wing of the blown spoiler. The side elements of the engine cover feature three sculpted strakes, referencing the coupe’s Lexan-based rear screen. The strakes are finished in black, lending a sense of visual clarity to the design.

Like the Tributo, the Spider is powered by the same F154 CD 3.9 litre dry-sump turbocharged V8 mill from the 488 Pista, and output is identical to the berlinetta – the unit develops 710 hp (720 PS) at 8,000 rpm and 770 Nm of torque at 3,250 rpm.

Likewise, the general performance numbers, despite a slight weight penalty imposed by the hardtop assembly compared to the coupe – with a seven-speed dual-clutch F1 gearbox driving the rear wheels, the Spider does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 2.9 seconds and has a 340 km/h top speed, similar to the Tributo.

It’s only in the 0-200 km/h zone that the Spider is marginally slower, taking 8.2 seconds to hit the mark compared to the Tributo, which manages it in 7.8 seconds, but most are unlikely to notice. Weight-wise, the F8 Spider is just 20 kg heavier than the 488 Pista Spider, but 20 kg lighter than its 488 predecessor.

Vehicle dynamics systems include a new 6.1 version of the automaker’s Side Slip Angle Control system as well as a new Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+, activated in Race mode), which is designed to make the car easier to control at the limit.

There’s also Adaptive Performance Launch, which analyses grip as the car accelerates and then uses electronic controls to optimise the torque and reduce wheel slip. Also on is Ferrari Variable Torque Management which delivers a consistently smooth, powerful acceleration to the redline – maximum torque is 10 Nm higher than on the 488 Spider and is available even at lower engine speeds.

The Spider’s interior is identical to the Tributo. As seen on the latter, there’s a new, smaller steering wheel, redesigned seats as well as a new 7.0-inch passenger touchscreen display, and the dashboard features an aluminium sail panel and carbon-fibre accents. Specifications for the Argento Nurburgring metallic silver display example include a premium hi-fi audio system and a host of carbon-fibre exterior elements.

The Ferrari F8 Spider is being introduced at a base price of RM1,178,000 (excluding customisation options, duties, taxes and insurance), and will come with the automaker’s complimentary seven-year scheduled maintenance programme.

The car will be available for private viewing at the KL Ferrari City outlet until May 31. As for first deliveries, that looks to be some time away – as an indication, that for the F8 Tributo was supposed to be mid-year, but has been pushed back by a few months due to the Covid-19 outbreak.