Skip to main content

Ferrari shows sun worshippers some love with the 488 Pista Spider

The Ferrari 488 Pista is a hardcore version of the 488 GTB designed for track use, making it a natural rival to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante. So, now that Lambo has a convertible Huracán Performante Spyder, it’s not surprising that Ferrari is launching a 488 Pista Spider drop-top.

Unveiled at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most prestigious of the many events that make up Monterey Car Week, the Spider gets the same performance upgrades as the 488 Pista coupe, but with the option of open-air driving thanks to a retractable hard top. Ferrari says the 488 Pista Spider is the 50th convertible model it’s launched in 70 years of making cars.

Like the 488 Pista coupe, the Spider uses a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 50 hp and 8 lb.-ft. over the 488 Spider, the model on which the 488 Pista Spider is based. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends that power to the rear wheels.

“Pista” is Italian for “track,” and the Pista Spider’s abilities live up to that name. Ferrari claims the convertible supercar will do 0 to 62 mph in 2.85 seconds, and reach a top speed of 211 mph. Those figures match the Pista coupe, which is impressive given the convertible’s higher weight.

Ferrari was fanatical about weight reduction on the Pista Spider, replacing the carpets with aluminum plates, and the driver’s door handle with a strap. An optional set of carbon fiber wheels are 20 percent lighter than the standard forged alloy rims, according to Ferrari. But even with the carbon fiber wheels, the Spider weighs about 220 pounds more than the Pista coupe.

The Pista Spider also gets the same electronics suite as the Pista coupe. Standing between the driver and a very expensive crash are Ferrari’s F1-Trac traction-control system, electronic differential, and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, which uses software to adjust the pressure the brake calipers apply to the rotors to help keep the car under control during at-limit driving.

Ferrari won’t discuss pricing or a launch date for the 488 Pista Spider. The automaker did note that the car was unveiled in Pebble Beach due to the popularity of convertibles in North America, so U.S. supercar spotters should keep their eyes peeled for Ferrari’s latest high-performance drop-top.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Kia EV3 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5: Can the EV3 take out Hyundai’s best EV?
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV3 has finally been announced, and it could well become the best low-cost electric car yet. The new EV keeps many of the design elements that I loved about the Kia EV9, but in a much smaller body and likely at a much lower price.

However, the Kia EV3 will go head-to-head with a number of other electric cars that we already consider to be the best in the lower-cost segment. One of those is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is loved for its stylish design, solid range, and superfast charging speed.

Read more
Jeep joins the EV party with the 600-horsepower Wagoneer S
Front view of a 2024 Jeep Wagoneer S driving on a city street.

After getting things rolling with plug-in hybrids, Jeeps’ electrification plans are picking up speed. Scheduled to reach dealerships this fall, the 2024 Jeep Wagoneer S is the brand’s first EV for North America.

The Wagoneer name is right up there with Wrangler and Grand Cherokee in Jeep lore. The original Jeep Wagoneer was one of the first truly civilized SUVs and became the namesake for a modern sub-brand encompassing the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, two leviathan gas guzzlers that went on sale as 2022 models. The Wagoneer S shares little with these SUVs besides a name.

Read more
The Kia EV9 is being built in Georgia — making it a whole lot cheaper
Kia EV9 GT-Line Three Quarters

Kia has officially kicked off production of the EV9 electric SUV in Georgia. That's big news for a number of reasons. First, it makes the EV9 the first EV to be assembled in Georgia. Second, it means more solid jobs in the U.S. And third, it means that the well-priced electric SUV is about to get even cheaper.

The reason for the price decrease is simple -- by moving production of the EV9 to Georgia from Korea, the SUV will now qualify for the federal EV tax credit, bringing the total price of the vehicle down by a hefty $7,500. It was already one of the more affordable electric SUVs, but the big rebate makes it even more enticing.

Read more