We drove a $393,000 Ferrari 488 Spider to see what the supercar’s coolest features are — here’s the verdict

Our ivory Ferrari 488 Spider test car.

caption
Our ivory Ferrari 488 Spider test car.
source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The Ferrari 488 Spider is the convertible sibling of the astonishing 488 GTB.
  • The 488 Spider delivered an awe-inspiring driving experience and is one of the truly great modern supercars.
  • We were also impressed by its sleek lines, melodic V8 engine, and sumptuous cabin.
  • Our Ferrari 488 GTB test car carried an as-tested price of $393,000.

The Ferrari 488 Spider is an absolute marvel of a supercar. In 2016, we drove a stunning racing red 488 GTB (it stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta) coupe. It was so good it nearly nabbed Business Insider’s 2016 Car of the Year award.

In his review of the 488 GTB, Matt DeBord wrote, “Brilliant in a straight line, brilliant in the curves, just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Fast and tight, the 488 fills you with confidence and makes you a better person.”

Recently, we had the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of a Ferrari 488 Spider, the GTB’s convertible sibling.

Instead of a conventional racing red paint job like the one found on our 488 GTB, our Spider came with a rarely seen “avorio” or ivory paint scheme.

It isn’t the prettiest color we’ve seen, but off-white certainly stands out from the crowd.

Regardless of color, the 488’s sleek lines are simply beautiful. It’s aggressive, stylish, and unmistakably Ferrari.

Again, DeBord took on the responsibility of reviewing the 488. After a road trip through the Connecticut countryside, he found the Spider to be equally enthralling.

“All it takes is a Ferrari after you haven’t piloted a Ferrari for a while to make you fall in love with Ferrari all over again,” he wrote in his review of the 488 Spider. “The Masters of Maranello truly know what they’re doing.”

Needless to say, this grand example of automotive excellence doesn’t come without a price. In this case, our test car costs a solid $393,000.

Here’s a look at the Ferrari 488 Spider’s coolest features:


1. The steering wheel: Ferrari borrows heavily from Formula One both in terms of technology and tradition. In the case of the 488, it’s the steering wheel. Ferrari has replaced all of the traditional stalks with steering-wheel-mounted buttons or switches. It’s very F1.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

2. The Manettino: The Manettino translates to “little switch” or “little lever” in Italian and is Ferrari’s steering-wheel-mounted drive mode-controller. It debuted back in F430.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

3: The gauge cluster: The 488 doesn’t have a central infotainment screen, so the gauge cluster doubles as the infotainment system. The center analog tachometer is flanked by a pair of configurable screens. The two screens are actually operated using separate control panels.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The right screen serves as the infotainment screen.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s operated using this center-stack-mounted control panel.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The left screen is the driver’s information screen.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It shows the condition of the car …

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… Turbo boost levels …

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… the car’s driving mode, and …

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… your lap times.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The left screen is operated using this panel located between the steering wheel and the door. In case you’re wondering, the “pit” button isn’t for a pit lane speed limiter. It’s the switch for the cruise control.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

4. The interior: Traditionally, Ferrari’s supercar interiors have been a bit sparse in amenities. It’s certainly not the case here. The cabin is covered in soft leathers and …

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… pricey carbon fiber accents.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

5. Folding roof: To let the sunshine in, all you have to do is press a button to fold away the electrically operated hardtop roof.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

6. The Frunk: Since the 488 is a mid-engined car, the trunk is located at the front. Hence, the term frunk.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The 488’s frunk gives you ample room for a suitcase or some weekend shopping.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

7. The toolkit: Inside the 488’s frunk is a Ferrari toolkit complete with a few basic tools and even some fuses in case some roadside repairs are necessary.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

There’s even a pair of Ferrari work gloves so your hands won’t get dirty.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

8. DRS: The 488 comes equipped with active aerodynamics in the form of a DRS, or drag reduction system. It’s tech lifted straight from Formula One. The 488 is equipped with a set of flaps located near the diffuser, under the rear of the car. It deploys at speed to reduce aerodynamic drag on the car.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

9. The engine: The Ferrari 488 is powered by a 661-horsepower, 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It’s smooth, brutally powerful, and beautifully melodic in a way only a Ferrari V8 could be. Sadly, it’s hidden from view in the Spider.

source
Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

But here it is in our GTB test car.

source
Hollis Johnson