Ready to make its formal public debut this September at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider is gearing up to become the al fresco runningmate to the new Ferrari 488 GTB that was unveiled earlier this year in Geneva. The automaker says this newest family member is not only the most potent V8-powered mid/rear-engine car it has ever created but also the most aerodynamically efficient spider to roll of the assembly line in Maranello.

Elegantly aggressive

Like the 488 GTB Coupe, the new 488 Spider features an aluminum-intensive spaceframe and body panels. Despite its open configuration, the engineering team managed to maintain the same level of torsional rigidity and stiffness as found in its Coupe counterpart - a gain of some 23 percent compared to the 458 Spider it replaces. The two-piece power-retractable hardtop - itself a structural member - can be cycled in just 14 seconds and sits flush atop the engine when lowered. To maintain optimal airflow patterns, designers at the Ferrari Styling Center comprehensively reworked the 488 Spider's roof treatment, a rethink that yielded sleek new flying buttresses that frame a reconfigured engine cover and sculpted mesh air intakes.

660 horsepower and attitude to burn

Like the 488 GTB, the 488 Spider features Ferrari's new 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 660 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of peak torque. Driving the rear wheels via a 7-speed F1-style dual-clutch automatic with variable torque management, the 488 Spider can sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds, hit 125 mph in 8.7 ticks and top out at 203 mph. Weighing in at 3,362 pounds, the new Spider is about 110 pounds heavier than the 488 GTB but almost 25 pounds lighter than the 458 Spider.  

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To complement its prodigious motive force, the Spider's mildly retuned chassis benefits from the latest version of Ferrari's Side Slip Control system introduced on the 488 GTB. Fully integrated with the Spider's active damping, F1-Trac and E-Diff systems, this new SSC2 kit endows the car with even better body control and overall stability. Ferrari says it will allow the 488 Spider to accelerate out of corners 12 percent quicker than its 458 counterpart and increase its comparative overall response time by nine percent. Expect pricing and more details on the 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider to be released at its official coming-out party in Frankfurt.



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