Ever since a certain Hawaiian-shirted, moustached man driving around Oahu and solving crime in a 308 GTS, there’s just something undeniably cool about a drop-top Ferrari. Maybe it is the sleekness of the convertible or feeling the wind in your facial hair with the V8 singing just behind your ear, but there is always a reason for a Ferrari spider in your five-car garage — real or fantasy.
The new Ferrari F8 Spider now carries the same torch started by the 308 GTS, having it handed over by the 488 Spider. And it looks more ‘edgy-wedgey’ than ever. It has all the design cues of the F8 Tributo but adapted to make it’s hard-top retractable.
Moving the separation line between the car’s body and the roof to above the B-pillar is fundamental to the F8 Spider gaining its identity. The move makes the top flatter, more compact, can break into two parts and tuck on top of the engine. The roof folds and unfolds in just 14 seconds and does it while the car is moving at 45kph or below.
As with all cars that makes the transition from coupe to convertible, the F8 Spider’s rear end is a complete redesign from the F8 Tributo. The rear spoiler is made larger and envelops the taillights, effectively lowering the car visually. This also lets the designers give the nod to the classic twin-light cluster and body-coloured tail. The first time we saw this was on the 308 GTB.
Ferrari said that the engine cover’s resemblance of a manta ray is distinctive. The formation of the ocean creature starts with a central spine that begins from the rear screen and tucks under the wing of the blown spoiler. The back end also features wing elements, complements by the stakes on the engine cover, to dissipate heat from the V8 power unit.
Placed in the mid-rear of the F8 Spider is the much-lauded V8 engine, a 3.9-litre power-unit that generates 710hp at 8,000rpm and 770Nm at 3,250rpm. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox puts the power to the rear wheels.
The engine is engineered in to have zero turbo lag and the feel of ‘limitless’ acceleration by cutting off power at 8,000rpm instead of tapering off as it gets closer to the red line. As a result, the F8 Spider achieves its 0-100kph sprint in 2.9 seconds, 0-200kph in 8.2 seconds, and up to a top speed of 340kph.
Of course, other mechanical and technical bits make the V8 what it is. Salient examples of what Ferrari did are moving the engine’s side intakes from the flanks to the rear and employing the Ferrari Variable Torque Management to increase 49hp and 10Nm over the V8 in the 488 Spider. The engine’s weight is also reduced by 18kg, which yields reduced inertia by 17 per cent.
The engine’s marvel means nothing if can’t be easily controlled. Ferrari has also made the F8 Spider easier to drive on the limits. The convertible features the version 6.1 of the Slip Slide Control, which integrates the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer Plus. The new SSC also allows the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) system to be activated in Race mode, where software adjusts brake pressure at the callipers to control lateral dynamic.
Gentrified? Perhaps, but everyone wants to walk out of their Ferrari feeling alive after every drive. Coming from a line of legendary spiders such as the 308, 430 and 488, the F8 Spider is the embodiment of Ferrari at their sportiest.
The Ferrari F8 Spider is introduced with a price of RM1,178,000 before duties, taxes and insurance. The cost can only go upwards as you start diving into that customisation catalogue.
If you’re interested, you could make an appointment for a private viewing at the Ferrari Malaysia Showroom. Act fast because it’ll only be here till the end of the month. But if you want a Ferrari with more power and grace, and one that’s seem to come once every 50 years, try the Ferrari 812 GTS.