The 488 Pista Spider is the 50th drop-top model from the Prancing Horse and a premiere in the US was a natural choice given that, ever since the 1950s, North American clients have always been partial to high-performance convertibles.
The new car sets a new benchmark for Ferrari for spider performance with an unprecedented weight-power ratio of 1.92 kg/cv. A result made possible by the adoption of the most powerful Ferrari V8 engine ever, which was recently named Best Engine in the world for the third consecutive year at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.
The 3,902cc twin-turbo V8 unleashes 720 cv and combines that power with increasing torque at all engine speeds for continuous and unending acceleration all the way to the red line. The unique engine sound is now even more riveting thanks to the open-top configuration.
The 488 Pista Spider bears the characteristic central livery which runs the whole length of the car, expanding towards the rear where it finishes at the end of the rear wing next to the spoiler. This continual expansion of the stripe recalls the movement of the airflow and exalts the lines of the car.
Weight is saved by the use of lightweight, pared-back components. As well as the generous use of carbon-fibre and Alcantara throughout, the carpets have been replaced by patterned aluminium foot plates and the driver’s-side door handle is now a simple strap.
READ MORE: CarSifu drives the Ferrari 488 Pista in Italy
In terms of engineering, the 488 Pista Spider is directly derived from the 488 Pista, promising the highest level yet of technological transfer from the track to a road-legal drop-top car.
The vehicle dynamics honed for this Special Series 8-cylinder convertible is said to deliver a seamless combination of razor-sharp acceleration, braking efficiency, lightning-fast gear shifting, precision steering, grip, stability and superb handling. This was achieved thanks partly to the new lateral dynamics control system, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE), which makes on-the-limit driving more intuitive, controllable and predictable.
The car features new diamond-finish 20” alloy wheels with a novel 10-spoke star-effect interpretation of Ferrari’s traditional mid-rear engine berlinetta-style rims. Also available are the optional one-piece carbon-fibre wheels which offer a 20% weight reduction over the standard forged alloys.