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Ferrari’s turbocharged 488 Spider will bring sound and fury to Frankfurt

With the reveal of the updated and turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTB earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before the Prancing Horse’s latest supercar was followed by a topless Spider variant.

The Ferrari 488 Spider will actually appear just as summer draws to a close, making its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. As with the 458 Spider it replaces, the new convertible should provide a more direct way to enjoy the sound of the ferocious engine nestled just behind the seats.

That engine is the same 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 found in the hardtop 488, producing the same 660 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. It drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.

The 488 Spider also benefits from the same aerodynamic enhancements as the GTB coupe; in fact Ferrari says it’s the most aerodynamically-efficient convertible model it’s ever built. Taking the roof off typically weakens the chassis, but Ferrari says the Spider has the same torsional rigidity as the coupe, and is 23 percent stiffer than the 458 Spider.

The roof is once again power-folding and made of metal. The two overlapping sections stow flush on top of the engine in just 14 seconds, Ferrari says. As with most convertibles, there is a bit of weight gain involved, too. The Spider is about 110 pounds heavier than the coupe.

That translates into a very slight performance disadvantage, though one that hardly anyone will ever be able to notice. Ferrari says both versions will do 0 to 62 mph in 3.0 seconds flat, but the convertible tops out at 203 mph, making it 2 mph slower than the coupe.

When there are corners involved, the Spider also benefits from the same tech as the 488 GTB, including the Slide Slip Control 2 electronic control system, which Ferrari claims allows for 12 percent faster acceleration out of corners compared to the outgoing 458 Spider.

It’s kind of weird to discuss a car like this purely in terms of performance metrics though. While owners will probably appreciate not crashing, the sound of the V8 and the subjective experience of piloting a supercar down a good stretch of road will probably take precedent over anything that can be described with numbers.

The Ferrari 488 Spider will make its official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens to the public September 17.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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