Updated 2.26.16 with 30 new photos from the car's London launch party. The nose looks far better in real life than it did on the initial renders and autoshow photos.
Gorgeous reveals by the dozen in Frankfurt this week, with only Aston and McLaren declining to launch something new and fairly important. Superlux EVs might be the defining show theme, but supercar rivalries are a close second.
Lamborghini's new Huracan Spyder, the McLaren 650S Spider and this brand-new 488 Spider are all viciously competitve with one another. Performance is roughly the same for all three as well: 3.0-second launches to 60-mph and top speeds just above 200-mph. Pricing is also in the same glitzy neighborhood: not much change from $300k for each.
So if performance, pricing and capability in normal driver hands is so similar across the group, softer metrics will become critical to sway buyers. Design, drive feel, brand and overall mood will really sway buyers this year.
It is not a zero-sum game, though. The overall market for supercars is growing, so all three are likely to be sales heroes.
So this Spider and GTB hardtop need to be excellent.
The style is certainly promising. Love the mean new nose, hot tail and fresh LED executions all around. The most intriguing and special new line on the 488 versus the 458 Italia has to be its doors. This twin-pane intake is absolutely gigantic, more than triple the size of the previous air duct. It also carves its intake scoop deep into the doorframes. The look is intense -- it makes the Spider especially seem unnaturally low, light and extreme.
As a folding hardtop operating in just 14 seconds, the Spider has virtually no downsides versus the coupe -- and will earn half the sales or more for the series. No compromise with the roof up, either. The multi-part composite roof has two extra cutlines versus the coupe, but they are integrated extra neatly this year and are virtually invisible in real life. The hardtop raised looks just as mean and track-ready as the coupe -- and with an extra window you can lower as a sonic immersion with the roof up. Or the back glass can be raised with the top down, when it acts as a wind blocker.
The big question-mark on Ferrari's move to turbocharging? Will the staccato shriek of the engines still give you shivers and goosebumps?
It is hard to tell. Here are downloadable MP3 samples of the 488's new turbo V8 in various scenarios. Still sounds awesome, but also very different than ever before. And a bit less unique? Certainly seems like they have more fine-tuning in the lab to get the sonics right in this new turbo world. But a strong start, with more character than the 650S. But less than the Huracan's atmospheric V10?
If only you could just buy all three and decide later? =]
2016 Ferrari 488 Spider Engine Audio MP3s
2016 Ferrari 488 Spider London
2016 Ferrari 488 Spider
Ferrari just popped its top off! The new 488 Spider is official ahead of its reveal at Frankfurt in September.
This upgrade over the 458 Spyder is largely defined by its all-new twin-turbo V8, but also features all new styling front, side and rear.
The new double-plane intakes on the side are quite ferocious, while the tail and its red LED rings are bang up to date as well.
Performance will be scorching, per usual, but with even more savage midrange grunt than ever before. This added pace at all speeds is a key compensatory move by Ferrari -- letting it sooth purists who resist such fundamental changes to their idol. The drive character will be different, indeed, with a slightly less staccatto bellow from beside your head. But overall, the change is promising and will make it extremely easy to crank up the power on the aftermarket via an ECU module.
Two launch videos to share here, along with the photo previews and a speculative color visualizer.
2016 Ferrari 488 Spider