Ferrari has a long and illustrious history with convertibles, so much so that one could argue that convertible Ferraris are an automobile icon unto themselves. Their new 488 Pista Spider is a landmark for the Prancing Horse, not because it’s the brand’s 50th drop-top, but because it’s their most powerful convertible they’ve ever released.
The Pista Spider sets a power-to-weight record for Ferrari convertibles by producing 530kW with a dry weight of only 1,380kg – all courtesy of their award-winning twin-turbo 4-litre V8 engine which can push it from 0-100km/h in 2.85 seconds. It’s the same beast that has received the Engine of the Year award three consecutive times, most recently at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.
Getting a convertible to maintain the power of a coupe is a difficult design task, since the structural integrity has to be reconsidered for a chassis without a roof, let alone the aerodynamic drag due to the open top. Somehow, though, the Ferrari design team managed to ensure that speedy efficiency, racing heritage, and also the purity of its form, all while pushing the boundaries of its power output.
In addition, the Pista Spider draws on all the technological advancements afforded to the coupe and GTE versions, equipping it with every track-to-road legal aide that can make it faster and more technically proficient. Controlling its incredible power output is primarily achieved through the ‘Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer’ – a lateral dynamics control system that gives more intuitive and predictable control to the driving experience.
This isn’t just a technical masterpiece, though, as the images attest to its aesthetically incredible, too. And while pricing has yet to be announced, it’s speculated to be around the $350,000 range (around R5.3 million).