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Ferrari drops its top in Frankfurt with the 488

Close on the heels of last winter’s launch of the Ferrari 488 GTB coupe, Ferrari chose this week’s Frankfurt Auto Show as the time and place to unveil the follow-on 488 Spider.

With a body designed by legendary Ferrari coachbuilder Scaglietti and a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 engine, the 488 Spider claims the same 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque enjoyed by the 488 GTB. Mated to Ferrari’s F1 seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, the 488 Spider will get from 0 to 62 MPH in just three seconds – and by the time you’ve been on the gas for six seconds, you’ve gone from idle to the rev limiter in 4th gear. After just 8.7 seconds have passed, you’ll see 124 MPH.

Running a little counter to recent supercar trends, the 488 uses an aluminum space frame instead of a carbon fiber or composite monocoque, yet the chassis is as stiff as the 488 GTB, and 23% stiffer than the preceding 458 Spider.

The roof on the 488 Spider is a retractable hardtop design that can be raised or lowered in just 14 seconds at speeds up to 31 MPH. The top interacts with a glass wind-stop that adjusts to three different positions, so you experience only as much hair blowing action as you choose.

Like all modern Ferraris, the 488 uses magnetorheological dampers – that means the shock absorbers use a material made up of iron particles in a fluid suspension. Applying an electromagnet to the fluid causes it to firm up instantly, so shock absorber resistance can be controlled from the cockpit.

Ferrari 488 Spyder
Jeff Zurschmeide/Digital Trends

The 488 also includes Ferrari’s latest traction and stability control system, called SSC2 Side Slip Angle Control. This system is designed to allow maximum yaw before kicking in to save you from overconfidence.

In addition to unveiling the 488 Spider, Ferrari also announced today that the Apple CarPlay system will be supported through the Ferrari product line. The AWD Ferrari FF coupe was the first car to adopt the in-car iPhone integration system. Ferrari displayed the system in the F12 Berlinetta on display in Frankfurt. Similar support for Android Auto was not discussed.

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Jeff Zurschmeide
Jeff Zurschmeide is a freelance writer from Portland, Oregon. Jeff covers new cars, motor sports, and technical topics for a…
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