The Ferrari 488 Spider Debuts at 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show

Ferrari has given well-heeled convertible lovers something to look forward to next summer with the Frankfurt unveiling of the 488 Spider, a folding-hardtop variant of the 488 GTB Coupe that went on sale earlier this year.

The luxury automaker claims the Spider’s convertible body is as rigid as the coupe’s, but the structural reinforcements needed to make that happen also make the car 50 kg heavier than the fixed-roof 488. (Interestingly, the new two-piece top is actually lighter than the fabric roof used on this car’s predecessor, the F430 Spider.)

488 Spider Produces 660-hp

Shared with the coupe is a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 that spins out 660 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, power that’s sent to the rear wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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A rear window that can be lowered independently of the roof (or left in place with the roof down to reduce turbulence in the cabin) is your ticket to gain full access to the engine’s mechanical soundtrack, which plays through mesh panels in the engine cover.

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A Convertible Ferrari

The Spider is fast, with Ferrari claiming a three-second zero-to-100 km/h sprint (same as the coupe, despite the added weight) and an astonishing zero-to-200 km/h run of 8.7 seconds, but that’s not the only thing quick about it: that folding top stows away— electrically, of course— in 14 seconds. The only downside is that the car has to be stationary before the roof will disappear into the compartment between the cabin and engine bay.

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This isn’t the only European sports car debuting at the Frankfurt show with newfound turbocharged power: Porsche is displaying its latest 911, whose signature flat-six engine has also sprouted a pair of turbos, power-boosted technology formerly reserved for the 911 capital-T Turbo model.

Ferrari says the 488 Spider will go on sale next summer as a 2017 model, wearing a price tag of around $275,000 US.

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Chris has been writing professionally about cars since 2004, in print and online. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two feline tyrants. In rare quiet moments, he can be found travelling or playing one of his way-too-many guitars. Chris is also a journalist member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).