Ferrari has pulled the wraps from its new F8 Spider, its latest mid-engined V8 convertible, the drop-top version of the F8 Tributo Berlinetta.
The F8 Spider uses the same twin-turbo, 3.9-litre V8 as the F8 Tributo, but, of course, with the roof down you’ll be able to hear it howl all the more clearly. Putting out 710 horsepower at 8,000rpm and a massive 770Nm (570lb ft) of torque at 3,250 rpm (it is, essentially, the engine from the 488 Pista), this smooth engine is unmistakeably Maranello.
As for how it drives, while Ferrari still doesn’t use a carbon monocoque chassis, unlike McLaren, the only real penalty for going topless is a small increase in weight. The F8 Spider has a dry weight of 1,400kg, 70kg more than the tin-top F8 Tributo. However, compared to the 488 Pista Spider and the 488 Spider, it weighs just 20kg more than the former and 20kg less than the latter.
The F8 Spider, like the Tributo, makes use of a number of systems to make the drive as enjoyable as possible – consider the fact the Ferrari F430 Spider, a car that went out of production just 10 years ago this month, had 225bhp and 305Nm of torque less. One such system is the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer Plus, which uses software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers while turning in and exiting corners. Another is Side Slip Control, which aids drivers’ control on the limit.
In terms of looks, Ferrari has persevered with its new design language, while also taking inspiration from the most iconic mid-rear-engined V8 sports cars in its history. Compact and horizontal LED headlights sit aside the S-duct, while the redesigned rear spoiler wraps around the tail lights. Sculptured wings lead to air inlets, while Ferrari describe the engine cover as ‘manta-like’, and it’s hard to disagree.
Drawing on more than 40 years of Ferrari V8 soft-top engineering, which began with 1977’s 308 GTS, the F8’s retractable hard top takes just 14 seconds to deploy or retract and operates at speeds of up to 45kph, the same time and speed as the other recently launched convertible Ferrari, the 812 GTS.
The cockpit is unmistakeably Ferrari, with the dash featuring a stylish aluminium panel and carbon fibre effects.