Ferrari keeps seeing fastballs, and it keeps knocking them out of the park

Like the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Ferrari 488 GTB before it, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before Ferrari introduced the roofless version of the recently unveiled Ferrari F8. It didn’t take long — roughly six months if you’re counting — because the Ferrari F8 Spider is here, and it is a certified show-stopper. It’s not an accident that Ferrari is using the platform of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show to showcase its latest roadster model, or “Spider,” as Maranello prefers to call it. It did a similar thing when it introduced the F8 Tributo earlier this year at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The F8 Roadster, though, takes center stage this time as Ferrari’s latest stunner. It’s lighter and more powerful than the 488 Spider, the model that it’s directly succeeding. It can even go toe-to-toe with the 488 Spider’s more sinister alter ego, the 488 Pista Spider. This is the all-new, soul-snatching Ferrari F8 Spider. Looks like it’s flex-season for Ferrari once again.

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Ferrari has a habit of outdoing itself, doesn’t it? Barely six months after introducing the Ferrari F8 Tributo at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Italian automaker is headed to the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show with its drop-top sibling.

The Ferrari F8 Spider is coming, and just like that, the successors to the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Ferrari 488 Spider are both here.

As you might expect, the Ferrari F8 Spider has a lot in common with its coupé counterpart. Both carry the same aggressive styling that will come to define this new model. Both also feature the same 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, producing the same output of 711 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Both have “McLaren 720S killer” written all over them, too.

Ferrari F8 Spider vs Ferrari 488
Ferrari F8 Spider Ferrari 488 Spider
Engine  V8 - 90° - turbo – dry sump 90° V8, turbo-charged, dry sump
Overall displacement  3902 cc 3902 cc
Max. power output* 711 hp @ 8000 rpm 660 HP @ 8000 RPM
Max. torque* 568 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm 560 LB-FT @ 3000 RPM in VII gear
Specific power output 185 cv/l 172 cv/l (2.07 kW/cu. in)

About the only difference between the F8 Tributo and the F8 Spider is the latter’s lack of a fixed-top roof. In its place is a retractable rooftop that only takes 14 seconds to fully deploy or retract at speeds of up to 28 mph. That’s the same time it took the 488 Spider — and the 458 Spider — to move its retractable roof setups. OK, so there are no improvements on that front for the F8 Spider, but everywhere else, Ferrari’s new convertible supercar has a leg up over its predecessor.

The Ferrari F8 Spider - A Topless Beauty You Don't Deserve Exterior
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Take the F8 Spider’s curb weight, for example. Initial reports indicate that the F8 Spider is lighter by 20 pounds compared to the 488 Spider.

With the 488 Spider posting a curb weight of 3,241 pounds, that would mean that the F8 Spider tips the scales at around 3,220 pounds, give or take few pounds.

It’s not exactly a significant weight loss, but as you’ll soon discover, the F8 Spider isn’t defined by wholesale improvements in any one department over the 488 Spider, but a combination of small improvements in different aspects of the car that add up to create a comprehensively better performance car than its predecessor.

The supercar’s reduced weight is complemented by a power increase of 50 horsepower and improved aerodynamics by way of the F8 Tributo. These improvements coalesce together to create a more potent supercar package than anything Ferrari has created within the 458 Italia family tree. The F8 Spider, Ferrari claims, can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 211 mph.

The Ferrari F8 Spider - A Topless Beauty You Don't Deserve Exterior
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That effectively makes it faster to 60 mph than the 488 Spider, which can hit 62 mph from a standstill position in 3.0 seconds.

Then there’s the top speed, which paints a clearer picture on how far more evolved the F8 Spider is compared to its predecessor.

The Ferrari 488 Spider, for those who don’t know, tops out at 203 mph. If you think about it, the new Ferrari F8 Spider actually has a lot more in common with the Mr. Hyde version of the 488 Spider, the 488 Pista Spider. Like the F8 Spider, the 488 Pista Spider can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 211 mph. Coincidence? Perhaps. Awesome regardless of the coincidence? Most definitely.

If you think about it in these terms, the new F8 Spider — and the F8 Tributo, for that matter — are best considered as evolutionary versions of the same species that first came to life when Ferrari unveiled the 458 Italia back in 2009. The 488 GTB was considered an evolved version of the 458 Italia and the F8 Tributo is looked at as an evolved version of the 488 GTB.

The big difference, as is often the case, is the science behind the evolution and the presentation behind all of it. The F8 Spider doesn’t look like the 488 Spider the same way the latter doesn’t look like the 458 Spider.

Each model has its own identity, to go along with the steady stream of technological improvements that Ferrari has developed over a full decade.
The Ferrari F8 Spider - A Topless Beauty You Don't Deserve Exterior
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The latest manifestation of that evolution is the Ferrari F8 Spider, and based on its design and early word on its capabilities, the F8 Spider is a heck of a successor to the 488 Spider. It’s better in many ways, and, for my money, all these claims about how better it is will manifest themselves once it hits the road sometime next year.

Ferrari F8 Spider Performance Specifications
Engine  V8 - 90° - turbo – dry sump
Overall displacement  3902 cc
Max. power output* 720 cv (530 kW) @ 8000 rpm
Max. torque* 770 Nm @ 3250 rpm
Specific power output 185 cv/l
Max. revs 8000 rpm
Compression ratio 9.6:1
Front Tires  245/35 ZR 20 J9.0
Rear Tires  305/30 ZR 20 J11.0
Front Brakes 398 x 223 x 38 mm
Rear Brakes  360 x 233 x 32 mm
Transmission and gearbox  7-speed, dual-clutch F1 gearbox
Electronic controls   E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high performance ABS/EBD with Ferrari Prefill, FrS SCM-E, FDE+, SSC 6.1
0-100 km/h  2.90 s
0-200 km/h  8.2 s
Max. speed 340 km/h
Ferrari F8 Spider Exterior Specs
Length  4611 mm
Width  1979 mm
Height  1206 mm
Wheelbase  2650 mm
Front track 1677 mm
Rear track  1646 mm
Dry weight**  1400 kg
Weight distribution  41.5% front – 58.5% rear
Boot capacity  200 l
Fuel tank capacity 78 l

Further reading

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Joins Ferrari's Lineup as a Successor to the 488
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo.

2016 Ferrari 488 Spider
- image 646321

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider.

Ferrari Celebrates its 50th Drop-Top Model With The 488 Pista Spider Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista Spider.

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