Maranello - Ferrari’s most potent V8 car ever is now available in drop top format, with the release of the new F8 Spider.

Rather than going the soft top route that most rivals are following these days, the 488 Spider replacement retains Ferrari’s Retractable Hard Top roof design. The new top is more compact and two-dimensional, and as a result it can be divided into two parts and stored on top of the engine. What’s more, the roof takes just 14 seconds to open or close, according to Ferrari, and this can be done at speeds of up to 45km/h.

“The goal the Ferrari Styling Centre set with the F8 Spider was to design a stylistic tribute to the Ferrari V8 engine, by evolving the contents of the F8 Tributo and taking inspiration from the most iconic mid-rear-engined V8 sports cars in Ferrari history,” says Ferrari of the F8 Spider’s exterior design.

The car also weighs 20kg less than its predecessor, making lighter work for the sports car’s potent V8 turbopetrol engine.

As per the F8 Tributo, the 3902cc mid-rear-mounted engine produces 530kW at 8000rpm and 770Nm from 3250rpm. The engine’s air intakes have been moved from the flanks to the rear where they are located on either side of the blown spoiler. This drastically reduces losses, according to Ferrari, and ensures greater air flow to the engine.

The Spider also matches the tin-top’s claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds, although getting to 200km/h takes 0.4 seconds longer, at 8.2s, while the top speed is quoted at 340km/h.

The car’s Adaptive Performance Launch system analyses grip as the car accelerates and then uses electronic controls to optimise the torque delivered to suit the road’s grip level, reducing wheel slip, and thereby improving acceleration.

Keeping the F8 Spider as sharp as possible through the twisties is the latest-generation Side Slip Angle Control system, as well as the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, activated in ‘Race’ mode.

The F8 also features state-of-the-art aerodynamic systems, derived from the company’s motor racing exploits.

Inside, the F8 Spider features Ferrari’s new-generation Human Machine Interface, which is operated via a 17.8cm touch-screen.

IOL Motoring