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Paris debut for ‘most potent’ Ferrari 488 Pista drop-top

720hp Spider developed directly from track cars with 2.8-sec 0-62mph time

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The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is making its show debut in Paris after being unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The car is the 50th drop-top model to be produced by Ferrari and also the most potent spider variant in the brand’s history.

Its engine and aerodynamics have been taken from the 488 Challenge and 488 GTE track cars – the latter earning Ferrari its fifth GT class World Endurance Championship title in seven years.

The engine, a winner at the International Engine of the Year awards, is Ferrari’s most powerful V8 yet built, with 720hp – 50 horses more than the stock 488 Spider. This gives the 488 Pista a 0-62mph time of 2.85 seconds. It takes eight seconds to reach 124mph and will go on to a terminal speed of 211mph.

Specific modifications have included a new intake layout developed for the 488 Challenge model. The intakes are moved from the car’s side to the rear spoiler area, creating a cleaner more prolific airflow, while also freeing up space for a larger intercooler ahead of the rear wheels.

The creation of the 488 Pista Spider has relied heavily on Ferrari’s Formula One department, notably in some serious weight saving. The engine alone is 18kg lighter than previous versions, while ultralight materials are employed extensively including carbon-fibre for the engine cover, the front and rear bumpers and the rear spoiler, and Lexan for the rear window.

Aerodynamic efficiency of the car has been improved by 20%. New measures such as an aerodynamic S-duct in the front, derived directly from an F1 version, adds 18% to the downforce for only 2% of extra drag.

Ferrari sees the typical 488 Pista Spider buyer as a committed fan of the brand who will already own other drop-top variants, who enjoys the power and speed the car offers but also likes open-top driving and the audio note of the engine.

Ferrari has not confirmed a price for the 488 Pista Spider but it is executed to be north of £275,000.

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.