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Drop dead gorgeous: Ferrari reveals new open-top supercar

By Paul Connolly

Ferrari has unveiled its latest droptop model – the 211mph F8 Spider.

Designed as a replacement for the 488 Pista Spider, the mid-rear-engined F8 Spider is designed to lead a new generation of convertible Ferrari models.

It’s a sister car to the hard top F8 Tributo berlinetta, and despite lack of a roof it’s able to match the Tributo’s power and speed.

That means a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 211mph and a max torque output of 770Nm from its V8 3.9-litre engine.

Power is unleashed instantaneously, with zero turbo lag, thanks to the latest iteration of Ferrari’s multi-award-winning 8-cylinder powerplant.

It is less extreme than the 488 Pista Spider, but sportier than the 488 Spider which it replaces in the range.

Ferrari’s engineers have managed to equal the hard top’s performance by shedding 70kg of weight, giving it a dry weight of just 1,400kg.

A critical component of the car’s weight – and looks - is the newly-designed retractable hard top.

The key to its design, says the manufacturer, was the shifting of the separation line between the car’s body and the roof from its conventional position at the belt-line to above the B-pillar.

The top itself is more compact and two-dimensional, with the result that it can be divided into two parts and stowed atop the engine.

The roof takes 14 seconds to deploy or retract and can be closed or opened while the car is travelling at up to 28mph.

Ferrari says the F8 Spider is the latest addition to an “exclusive and prestigious bloodline of open-top V8 cars” begun with the 308 GTS in 1977. Styling cues are adopted from this and similar Ferrari legends.

From the front, the F8 Spider is distinguished by the S-duct around which the entire front end has been redesigned, including new, more compact, horizontal LED headlights.

The rear spoiler gets a complete makeover, and is now larger and wraps around the tail lights, visually lowering the car’s centre of gravity and allowing a return to the classic Ferrari twin light cluster and body-coloured tail.

The treatment of the engine cover is said to be one of the F8 Spider’s most striking characteristics. It’s been given a manta-like look to its cover, created by a central spine that starts from the rear screen and disappears under the wing of the blown spoiler.

The cockpit is the same as the Tributo, with an aluminium sale incorporated into the dash, and with brand new sports seats added.

Transmission is the form of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox sending power to the rear wheels.

Ferrari says the new car has “state-of-the-art aerodynamic solutions” that makes it 10% more efficient than the outgoing 488 Spider.

The manufacturer says its engineers have integrated engine and aerodynamics performance with the latest iteration of the various Ferrari vehicle dynamics control systems.

This includes improvements to the Side Slip Control system, which operates in corners when brakes are not in use to help prevent slippage and now extends to low grip conditions and to the Race setting on the manettino (the driving mode control dial).

Also enhanced is the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE), a lateral dynamics control system which uses special software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers, which is now also extended to Race mode.

There’s no official word yet on release date or price, but don’t expect much change out of £220k, even for the basic model.

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