Take one F8 Tributo, fit a retractable hardtop, and this is the most enviable result.
A major European auto show wouldn't be a major European auto show without a new Ferrari – and here we have it. Revealed just days ahead of the Frankfurt expo's opening, the new Ferrari F8 Spider.
The latest mid-engined eight-cylinder droptop to come out of Maranello is the open-air version of the F8 Tributo, following in a long line that stretches back from the 308 GTS introduced in 1977 to the 488 Spider and Pista Spider that this new model replaces – "less extreme" than the latter, but "sportier" than the former.
A direct rival to the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder and McLaren 720S Spider, the new F8 Spider packs "the most successful mid-rear-mounted V8 in history," the 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 that has won the International Engine of the Year Award for four years running and powered the Portofino, the California T, GTC4 Lusso T, 488, and the F8 Tributo, and comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Here it produces the same 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque as the coupe on which it's based. And weighing just 3,086 pounds (dry), it barely takes a performance penalty over the fixed-roof version.
The addition of the retractable hardtop and accompanying reinforcements make it just 154 lbs heavier than the coupe (and only 44 lbs heavier than the stripped-out Pista Spider). So the 0-62 run is quoted at the same 2.9 seconds as the F8 Tributo and the top speed at the same 211 mph. Only in the run up to 124 mph does the F8 Spider lose ground to the coupe, taking 8.2 seconds to the Tributo's 7.8. The difference may be negligible even around a circuit like Fiorano, which the 488 Pista and Pista Spider lapped in the same 1:21.5, the F8 Tributo in 1:22.5, and the 458 Speciale and Speciale Aperta in 1:23.5.
The rest of the specs read predictably like the Tributo's, which is no bad thing. It rides on 20-inch wheels packing 398-mm brakes at the front and 360-mm discs at the back, incorporates the latest versions of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer and Side Slip Angle Control systems, and even comes with seven years of free maintenance.
The major difference is the hardtop that can be retracted or deployed in just 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph – and, crucially, let the sound of the engine fill the cockpit as you and whoever's fortunate enough to ride shotgun appreciate the scenery rushing by.