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Ferrari 488 Spider 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
9
Craig Duff road tests and reviews the Ferrari 488 Spider with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Craig Duff road tests and reviews the Ferrari 488 Spider with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The supermodel supercar is for those with $600K and two years to wait.

Well-heeled hedonists don't like to queue so the fact they're lining up to wait two years for a Ferrari 488 Spider says a lot about the car.

The successor to the acclaimed 458 drop-top fuses supermodel looks with supercar performance. It also costs $526,888 before you start on the options list. When you part with that much coin, dropping $22,000 on metallic red paintwork or $2700 on yellow brake calipers apparently doesn't cause much angst.

Ferrari Australia boss Herbert Appleroth says customers spend $67,000 on average personalising their machines. I'd add the $4990 reversing camera, invest $8900 on the suspension lift kit and upgrade the audio for $10,450.

The interior is driver-centric to the point where the passenger can't even operate the audio.

The Spider's party trick is the retractable hardtop roof. It's a tough call as to whether the coupe or convertible has the better looking rear.

For mine the Spider's flying buttresses give it a more purposeful look... but they come at the expense of the coupe's see-through cover exposing the amidships twin-turbo V8. Each cylinder has a 488cc capacity, hence the name.

It takes about 14 seconds for the hardtop to operate, at up to 45km/h, though mechanical sympathy suggests it shouldn't be regularly tested.

The interior is driver-centric to the point where the passenger can't even operate the audio. Not that there's much need for music when you can drop the roof or, if conditions preclude that, lower the glass air deflector behind the seats to savour the V8's stirring soundtrack.

The twin turbos boost power and torque over the outgoing model but the extra urge comes at the cost of some of the aural theatrics typically linked to the Prancing Horse brand.

Ferrari's greatest recent achievement is extending its vehicles' ability to be used as a daily driver.

There's rarely any cause to whip the Spider's V8 anywhere near redline, which is where naturally aspirated Ferraris customarily produce their most spine-tingling wail.

It's a minor complaint and one you won't even be aware of once the Ferrari starts tracking through turns.

On the road

Ferrari's greatest recent achievement is extending its vehicles' ability to be used as a daily driver.

In the Spider's case the absence of turbo lag, even with the driving mode dial set to the softest "wet" setting and instant response to throttle inputs, means it can dawdle through the CBD or dive into a gap with equal aplomb.

Meanwhile the "bumpy road" button on the steering wheel adjusts the dampers to deal with train or tram tracks and urban road irregularities.

The Ferrari will hit 100km/h in 3.0 seconds flat.

Left to its own devices, the seven-speed dual-clutch auto is happy to short-shift under anything short of full throttle. Peak torque kicks in at 3000rpm and the Spider will slip into fifth gear from as low as 60km/h.

Flex the right foot and the 488 sheds gears as quickly as it accelerates. At that point the digital speedo has trouble matching the momentum.

No surprise really, given the Ferrari will hit 100km/h in 3.0 seconds flat.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet and the McLaren 650S convertible are two of the few cars capable of keeping up with a 488 Spider under full noise.

Pricing Guides

$489,900
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$409,990
Highest Price
$529,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
SPIDER 3.9L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $394,900 – 453,970 2016 Ferrari 488 2016 SPIDER Pricing and Specs
GTB 3.9L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $409,990 – 529,900 2016 Ferrari 488 2016 GTB Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9

“This is as entertaining as open-top driving can be. You pay for the privilege and Ferrari is guarding the mystique of its brand by ensuring only a few will own one.”

What car would you wait two years to get behind the wheel of? Tell us what you think in the comments below.