Ferrari has lifted the lid on the most powerful mid-engined convertible the company has ever made – and it looks an absolute stunner.
The low-slung supercar is the new Ferrari 488 Spider, an open-top V8 due to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before hitting the streets next summer.
Its 3,902cc engine, the same unit featured in recently unveiled stablemate the 488 GTB, delivers a whopping 660bhp at 8,000rpm.
And its performance figures are not surprisingly electric – 0-62 in exactly three seconds and on to 124mph in a fleeting 8.7 seconds.
The Spider experience comes courtesy of a similar folding hard top to that on its predecessor, the 458 Spider, and it folds backwards in two overlapping sections to rest flush on the engine in 14 seconds.
Every area of the newcomer has been designed to set a benchmark for technology, from the lightweight aluminium chassis and bodyshell to aerodynamics with optimum downforce and reduced drag.
Needless to say, this model has its own distinctive soundtrack thanks to longer pipes and the company’s in-depth study of harmonics at different engine speeds.
Ferrari says the introduction of a sophisticated simulator, similar to the one used by its Formula 1 team, allowed the human factor to influence the car’s design from the earliest stages by giving the engineers instant feedback from the test drivers – long before the first 488 prototype was physically built.
And to make its dynamics more engaging, the development team honed the car’s mechanical set-up and electronic systems, resulting in 12 per cent faster acceleration out of corners than the 458 Spider.
Overall, response times are said to be 9 per cent quicker than the previous Spider, without compromising comfort.
To that end the electric glass rear wind stop can be adjusted three ways for maximum comfort when the top’s down – and fully lowered, occupants can better enjoy the exhaust sound.