Ferrari 488 Spider review

Category: Sports car

Section: Performance & drive

Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Spider
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

One of the few criticisms aimed at the Spider's coupé sister, the 488 GTB, is that it doesn’t sound as good as the 458 Italia it replaced. Well, that isn't such an issue here.

It's partly down to the fact you can drop the roof or lower the rear screen so there’s less of a barrier between you and the engine. However, our test car was fitted with an optional titanium exhaust, too, which makes the 488 Spider sounds like a V8 Ferrari should, even when the roof is up. The engine fires into life with a suitably dramatic bark, and it howls addictively when you put your foot down.

In addition, the loss of the fixed roof has resulted in the 488 Spider feeling less stiff than the GTB, with larger bumps and potholes sending shudders through the steering wheel. As a result you can’t always place it with the precision that you can the GTB, or indeed a McLaren 650S Spider.

Overall, though, the Ferrari 488 Spider is still a thrilling car to drive, plus it rides bumps a lot better than you’d expect and keeps wind buffeting to a minimum when the roof is down but the side windows up. It’s surprisingly easy to live with for such a focused machine.