Often, everyday items that we use in the most normal of circumstances have been tested beyond their reasonable use, just in case in one rare instance it is required. Things like watches that can be submerged 50m under the sea, yet they never see anything more than a bit of light drizzle but at least you know its safe if you drop it in the sink by accident. In many ways, cars are often tested to outperform their everyday use in a similar way. Take supercars as an example, developed over many years with millions spent trying to get the fastest time around the Nürburgring, yet spend most of their time cruising round town at 20mph or less, or stuck in traffic like everyone else. It is comforting to know that should you find yourself on a racetrack, you can relax safe in the knowledge that you can perform like Lewis Hamilton, but what percentage of supercars will ever find themselves in this scenario.
So, if most of the time a supercar is restricted by traffic, speed limits and city driving, why not make the most of the experience in the best way possible; a convertible. Often they’re even better looking that their coupe equivalent, they are the perfect way to enjoy hot sunny weather and there is nothing to get in the way of that soundtrack inches behind your seat. Owning a convertible, especially a convertible supercar, is the ultimate sensory experience. The noise of a V8, V10 or V12 with no soundproofing is something that is worth the price tag alone. In a convertible, anything above a certain speed and the only thing that is noticeable is the wind and the wind noise, so in many ways, the restrictions from every day driving make it the much better route to supercar ownership.
If the soundtrack, stunning looks and driving experience are the main factors to your supercar ownership, there is a reason that the go-to name is Ferrari, they are the best in the business at all 3. In the UK, more 458 Spiders were sold than coupes, again proving the reasoning that lap times mean little when it comes to real world supercar ownership. So, when the time came to create its replacement, the 488 Spider, they knew it had to be as much a success as it inevitably would look. Ferrari say the whole car was developed around its retractable hard top roof and it is easy to see why. A neat, two-panel item that folds neatly away when not in use to not affect the cars stunning looks, weighs 25kg less than a soft-top equivalent (try figuring that one out), and goes from coupe to convertible in just 14 seconds.
The 488 Spider may be considerably quicker in every way than its predecessor, more powerful by more than 100bhp and generate swathes more torque thanks to the turbocharged engine it now sports, but that isn’t the main point in this car. Modern supercars are all impressively fast, all capable of outperforming the skill and driving talent of their owners, and all more powerful, faster accelerating and have higher top speeds than before. So why not get back to the fundamentals of supercar ownership, the experience.
The 488 was merely an evolution of the 458 in appearance, and that was never going to be a bad thing, the 488 Spider takes those looks that little bit further and creates one of the best looking cars money can buy. Every crease and line may have an aerodynamic or air channelling function sure, but the Ferrari wind tunnel shapes cars in a way other designers can only dream of. Accompanying the poster car good looks is their famous V8 soundtrack, yes it may be turbocharged these days, but it still produces a warble that only a Ferrari can, all the way to 8000rpm no less. The power delivery is much more useable and does not have to be thrashed to get the most out of it thanks to the torque from the increased torque available through turbocharging the engine. As a driver’s car it obviously excels at the tyre shredding, apex hitting sideways drifting stuff better than pretty much every other supercar, the driving experience has always been Ferrari’s forte.
But it is also precisely the opposite that also makes this car so exceptional. At slow speeds, many supercars are awkward to move small distances, twitchy when trying to park and have heavy steering that makes manoeuvring in and out of a parking space or garage a nerve-wracking experience. The 488 does not seem to be phased by any driving situation, with light steering when it is needed at slow speeds and direct feeling when driving a bit more exuberantly. Crucially, the clutch is also more than capable of handling the power, so the car is just as happy at moving a few inches than it is at changing gear in milliseconds.
It is this ease of use that makes the 488 Spider the perfect supercar in the real world. The complete package of looks, sound and driving experience are not only present but the car excels in every area. Ferrari have taken the popularity and cult following that the 458 produced, and evolved things just that little bit further to make the car just that bit more impressive.
Our 18/68 Ferrari 488 Spider is available in Extra Campionario (Special order) Bianco Italia tri-colour metallic paint with Nero leather and Alcantara interior with contrast Bianco special stitching. The tri-colour paint adding a depth and pearlescent finish to the car making it look so much more special and going some way to justifying its £20k price tag. Accompanying the exceptional paint colour are a pair of factory painted stripes with a painted wide external painted stripe in Nero and narrow internal painted stripe in Argento Nurburgring. The stripes run from just above the front badge, up over the windscreen frame, over the two-part folding metal roof and in between the buttresses behind the seats and over the engine cover to the back.
Together with the exceptional paint colour combination, the extensive specification includes features such as 20” forged dark painted wheels, Goldrake carbon fibre racing seats with seat lifter, titanium exhaust pipes, the carbon fibre racing package, carbon fibre rear air ducts, adaptive frontlight system (AFS), suspension lifter, Scuderia Ferrari shields to the front wings and so much more.
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