The Ferrari 488 Spider improves, and a lot, the already incredible performance of the 458. 100 horsepower and 40% more torque, accompanied by unique devices that reset the turbo-lag and convince of the choice to switch to the turbo even the most irreducible purists
That it is a car that cuts, at least in part, the bridges with the past is clear from the name. He shares almost everything with his closed sister, the GTB, but it is not called as tradition would like, GTS, but Spider. In reality the choice is correct, because the history of the open Ferrari berlinette of Casa Ferrari begins with the 308 GTS “Targa” of 1977, this a portion of the removable roof, but starting from 348 the choice passes to that of a real Spider and own. A tradition now, appreciated by customers who divides practically exactly halfway between choosing closed and open ones, with the exception of the Chinese market, where spiders gather less support. Those who choose an open Ferrari, however, are not interested in changing their preference, 90% of customers have always purchased only this type of car from the Maranello company.
The 488 Spider, in addition of course to the roof, has minimal differences compared to its sister GTB, substantially limited to the aerodynamics of the rear of the car, which has been revised to try to maintain the excellent downforce and aerodynamic efficiency unchanged. Instead, the different suspension and engine settings that we found on the 458 disappear, justified by an approach of those who choose the spider version, more devoted to driving pleasure than pure performance. The only difference is the calibration of the suction line, to give the V8 even better sound. The 3.9-liter supercharged engine of the GTB is confirmed, which leaves the atmospheric supply. Competitions aside, the turbo at Casa Ferrari is not an absolute novelty, because in the 80s, first the 208, then the 288 GTO hypercars and its most extreme evolution, the legendary F40, were all three equipped with a turbo V8 . However, 30 years have passed and now, starting with California and continuing with the 488, Ferrari has revolutionized the concept of supercharging, eliminating almost all its defects.
Concepts such as turbo-lag, lack of extension, flat delivery or not up-to-date sound have been defeated with the refined technique that also derives from the experience in Formula 1. On the other hand, the performance goes up dramatically, we mention three data among all example, sensational to say the least: +100 horses, + 40% of torque, 0-200 Km / h in 8.7 seconds.
Whenever Ferrari launches a new model, the improvements are not concentrated in single aspects, but the car is completed, and much, from every point of view. We have seen it for aerodynamics, we can also touch it while driving the car. It almost seems like a challenge to raise the bar, just when someone might think that the space to climb is no longer available. On the front of the chassis, work is being done to allow Spider not to lose practically anything compared to the management points of the GTB. The sales torsional rigidity of 23% compared to the previous model, while the use of alloys reads, including mobile magnesium, in addition to the all-aluminum body, the functions of weighing 10 kg less than the 458 Spider, only 50 more of the closed variant of the 488. The 1,420 kg, on balance, translate into an impressive value of 2.12 kg per horse
In 14 seconds and up to 45 Km / h, the RHT system, the retractable Hard Top, makes this 488 a Spider, with only one defect, that of hiding the beautiful engine. It allows instead a saving of 25 kg compared to a traditional system and to enjoy the immense pleasure of driving a supercar in the air. At the wheel we find the Ferrari trademarks of the last few years, with the now classic manettino at the wheel to choose the settings, the electronic differential E-Diff3, while the magnificent steering is inherited from the 458 Speciale, as well as the suspension springs. The marvelous brakes even come from the Ferrari LaFerrari.
Electronics now allow you to do magic, reaching truly incredible performances. The sophisticated electronic trim angle control system, called SSC2, works in real time on the F1-Trac traction control, on the differential, but also on the active shock absorbers, on the single wheel or on the axle, to always maintain the attitude optimal. The improvements are in the order of double percentage figures, with + 12% at the exit of the curve and a roll that drops by 13%, always compared to the 458. What is surprising when driving is the ease with which these performances can be obtained and the great taste of driving this 488. We are talking about cars that will often be driven at code speeds and if they are used as “everyday cars” they are surprisingly comfortable and usable. When you are serious, the limit is very high and electronics are a holy hand, not only in terms of safety, even more in order to give strong emotions.
The manettino is an element capable of translating technology and electronics into analog pleasure. In practice, if in other cases we are found to drive very fast, but cold cars, the 488 respects the Ferrari tradition, which puts driving pleasure at the top of the needs. To take advantage of the power and electronic devices do not need to be a computer technician and press a thousand tasty, just a couple of shots of the manettino, even in the middle of a curve, to switch from “I do everything myself” to “bring me flowers from the healthy curve and save. “The pleasure of playing, without getting too carried away given the level of performance at stake, also providing you to use the 488 in Race mode, with only the bridle free, enjoying a good oversteer, without risking being half turned In practice here there is something for everyone, from the shrewd driver who will be able to get great satisfaction driving a car among the best in the world, to those who want to enjoy the sound and charm of the 488 Spider without exceeding too much and in comfort, up to those who love to run a bit, having the trump card of many aids to keep everything under control
The Spider confirms how surprising the world was at the debut of the 488 GTB. The engine, a 3.9-liter V8, renounces to a minimum the displacement of the 458 which it replaced and adopts a double turbo. So far it would only be a rather obvious evolution, because it is imposed by the needs in terms of emissions and consumption. As said at the opening, it is not even an absolute first at Casa Ferrari, given that previously it is the “small” 208 (a 2-liter child of the all-Italian anomalous tax system with VAT at 38% above this displacement threshold), the 288 GTO and the F40 adopted a supercharged V8. Other times, of course, because today things have changed, now the renunciations in the transition from aspirated to turbo are very limited. A 760 Nm. It makes a certain impression to think that it is the entry level Ferrari, as much as a car of over 200 thousand euros can be combined with these two words, because for example, a few years ago the hypercar of Casa Ferrari, the Enzo, it stops at “only” 660 horsepower. 458 boasts a + 17.5% for power and a monstrous + 40% for torque, accompanied by improved efficiency and improvements. The “flaws” of the turbo are historically linked to sound and at high speeds. As for the length, we can tell you that the V8 expresses the maximum power at a good 8,000 rpm, only 1,000 less than the previous 4.5 liters atmospheric, at the same time the thrust is monstrous from medium revs, becoming crazy when lightning fast turns.
Two double sliding turbines, a particular construction technique with very low friction bearings, collectors of the same identical length for all cylinders and other devices connected to having a response delay at 2,000 rpm in a gear gear aligned with that of the “old” California aspirated, i.e. 0.8 seconds. Ferrari boasts that the 488 is already a limiter when some of the best competitors are just out of the turbo-lag. If then the torque curve for a modern turbo is flat for most of the range, here there is also “fun” to run the V8 with a similar trend and an engine aspirated in the first 6 March, with the monstrous maximum value of of 760 Nm delivered completely on the curve only while driving, the one typically used on the highway. The performances speak of a speed higher than 325 Km / h, 0-100 in 3 seconds and an extraordinary 8.7 to reach the threshold of 200 Km / h (they were 10.8 on the 458, 12.9 on the 430!). 488: the 458 on the Fiorano track used on average only 520 of the 570 horses, the 488 uses all 670 of them, with the result that the performance increases proportionally and a “Practice” difference of 150 horses and not 100. Hardware invitation of the double clutch gearbox on 7 March, which however has a completely different relationship and, above all, an entirely new electronic management. Upward changes (30% faster), even lower ones (+ 40%) improve, with the possibility of making multiple changes up to 4 ratios, against 3 in the 458.