Ferrari 488 Spider


The Ferrari 488 Spider is the latest chapter in Maranello's ongoing history of open-top V8 sports cars, a story that started with the Targa-top version of the 308 GTB - the immortal 308 GTS - and which ultimately resulted in the full convertible Spider architecture.

Starting with the RHT (Retractable Hard Top) around which the entire car was developed, every area of the 488 Spider has been designed to set new technological benchmarks for the sector. The result is the most powerful and innovative Ferrari Spider ever built, a car that marries the extraordinary prowess of the 488 GTB coupé's mid-rear V8 with the joy of tackling even the most challenging roads surrounded by nature's heady aromas and colors and accompanied by an inimitable Ferrari engine soundtrack.

At the very heart of the car is, of course, the 3902cc turbo-charged V8 which set a new benchmark for this type of architecture. Thanks to a maximum power output of 670 CV and smooth, progressive torque delivery in the higher gears by the Variable Torque Management system, the 488 Spider sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds.

The 488 Spider's dynamic behavior is exceptional with the accent very much on the ease with which it can be driven on the limit. To achieve this engaging handling balance the mechanical set-up was honed in tandem with the electronic systems which now include the evolved version of Ferrari's side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 - SSC2). Over all, in fact, response times are 9% more rapid than the previous Spider.


Regardless of the model or its mission, the heart of every Ferrari is its engine which must, of course, deliver the classic Ferrari power unit qualities: blistering performance combined with high revs, razor-sharp responsiveness, powerful acceleration at all speeds and an exhilarating soundtrack. The new V8 sported by the 488 Spider is the Maranello engineers' latest response to the daily challenge to constantly set new benchmarks of excellence.

This power unit is the Prancing Horse's most high performance engine ever with zero turbo lag and a unique, exhilarating soundtrack.  It delivers 670 CV at 8,000 rpm with a specific power output of 172 cv/l, a new record for a road-going Ferrari, maximum torque of 760 Nm in seventh gear and a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds at 2000 rpm in third gear.

Normally, turbos have a significant impact on throttle response times: turbo lag increases with power resulting in response times that can be two to three times longer than in a naturally-aspirated engine. Maranello's engineers have overcome this obstacle. In fact, although this engine is 100 CV more powerful than the previous Spider power unit, it has a response time of just 0.8 seconds, guaranteeing the instant responsiveness to the accelerator typical of Ferrari power units.

A whole slew of features contributed to the engine's exceptional response times. The turbos are on ball-bearing-mounted shafts, while the compressor wheels are in TiAl, a low-density titanium-aluminum alloy. Additionally, the twin-scroll turbines are designed and built to maximize power.
There was a huge focus on efficiency in all areas of the car, starting with combustion: new high-tumble intake ports, 200-bar direct fuel injection, an ECU that controls ignition timing and adaptively predicts misfires, and multi-spark function.
A lot of work also went into improving mechanical efficiency, not least the new oil pump that supplies oil either at high pressure or low pressure and cylinder heads with roller finger followers. Flat-plane crankshaft architecture guarantees maximum compactness, lower mass and helps improve the engine's internal fluid-dynamics by ensuring equal pulse spacing's and thus balance between the cylinders.

Every Ferrari has its own unique and distinctive soundtrack and the 488 Spider is no exception to this rule. The new V8's soundtrack is seductively full and powerful even at low speeds and increases in volume and clarity as revs rise, underscoring the engine's exceptional responsiveness, torque and performance.  Seductive but never invasive when the top is down thanks to the exhaust headers with longer, equal-length tubing and the flat-plane crankshaft, the sound was further enhanced by an in-depth study of the harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds, another area in which Ferrari has always excelled.


Clearly, the choice of a rigid hard top was essential to the character of the new Ferrari, guaranteeing a significant improvement in in-car comfort. The RHT was a world first for a mid-rear-engine car when introduced on the 458 Spider.

The Retractable Hard Top (RHT) unfolds and retracts in a record 14 seconds and can be raised or lowered when the car is moving.

When down, the roof only takes up 100 liters of space rather than the 150-200 liters required to stow a conventional hard top. This incredibly sleek solution is absolutely vital to the aerodynamics and styling of the whole rear of the car.
It is also very light thanks to the use of aluminum and an extremely simple mechanism. The result is a saving of approximately 40 kg on a traditional hard top solution and around 25 kg on a soft top. In addition to the innovative RHT, the Ferrari 488 Spider also has a glass electric rear window that can be adjusted regardless of whether the RHT is deployed or retracted. This ensures superb in-cabin comfort even at high speeds when the top is dropped. In fact, occupants can easily carry on a normal conversation at speeds of over 200 Km/h.

Designed around the whole retractable hard top concept, the 488 Spider has a spaceframe chassis made of 11 different aluminum alloys combined with other noble metals such as magnesium, each one used in a highly specific way.  This yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the Coupé, improving the chassis' performance by 23% over that of its predecessor.  Another extraordinary achievement given that the roof is a structural element and comes thanks to the skills developed by the Scaglietti center of excellence which specializes in crafting aluminum.


The 488 Spider's design was adapted to efficiently meet the typical the demands of Spider driving and use. Its dynamic behavior is effortless on even the most challenging routes, underscoring the feeling of ease in driving on the limit.  Over all, response times are 9% more rapid than the previous Spider without any compromising whatsoever on comfort.
This is the result of the unique specialist vehicle dynamics knowledge Ferrari has built up in competition and which led to the adoption of a sophisticated simulator, similar to the one used by the Formula 1 Scuderia.

Specific gear ratios combined with Variable Torque Management deliver incredibly fast shifts and acceleration, with progressively greater torque values in higher gears.
The evolved version of Ferrari's side slip angle control system (SSC2) delivers 12% faster longitudinal acceleration out of corners than the 458 Spider.

The 488 Spider's excellent dynamics are due in part also to the SCM3magnetorheological damping system. The dampers have new piston rods to reduce friction for more efficient control which translates into a feeling of greater body control with better bump absorption.

The latest evolution of the ESP guarantees even more efficient ABS intervention in low-grip situations.

Thanks to the new Brembo Extreme Design braking system, the 488 Spider's stopping distances are 9 per cent shorter than the previous model. Derived from the LaFerrari, the brakes also have new calipers that feature new materials that ensure they reach optimal operating temperature faster and are more durable. The 488 Spider's sporty new 20" wheels are lighter too.