Ferrari F8 Spider: Maranello’s latest topless mid-engine monster

Following Friday’s leaked images, Ferrari just revealed its new V-8 Spider, as well as its first non-limited edition V-12 Spider in 50 years, the F12 GTS. But before getting deeper into that 789-horsepower super GT, let’s focus on the car you’ll see more often on the road (if you ever see one at all)—the open-top version of the F8 Tributo.

The 488-based F8 Tributo was designed with the eventual Spider in mind, so it’s no surprise that this new retractable hardtop is positioned neatly above Ferrari’s mid-mounted 710-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8. With 50 extra horsepower, lighter body, and improved aerodynamics, Ferrari promises the F8 Spider to be “less extreme than the 488 Pista Spider, but sportier than the 488 Spider which it replaces.” Sounds about right, as “sporty” translates to 0–62 mph in 2.9 seconds, 124 mph clocked at 8.2 seconds, and a top speed of 211 mph, in case you can find a suitable straight.

The F8 Spider’s 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency compared to the outgoing 488 Spider comes courtesy of the F8’s wider rear wing, as well as the rearward angle of its frontal radiators, which shrinks the underbody surface area and improves the airflow off the front wheels. The F8 Spider also comes with the 6.1-version of the F8’s Side Slip Control system, complete with the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. This lateral dynamics aid debuted on the 488 Pista, only to filter down to the Tributo. Now, FDE+ will also adjust the brake pressure at the calipers even in low-grip conditions, or when you go all out with the manettino selector for Race mode.

Dry weight is claimed at 3086 pounds with options, while weight distribution stands at 41.5 percent to the front, and 58.5 percent to the rear. Yeah, your neighbor’s McLaren 720S Spider will be considerably lighter, but that’s the price of Ferrari’s using an aluminum chassis instead of a carbon tub in this class.

Still, driving one of these flat out into the 2020s sounds like a splendid idea for the new decade.

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