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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Ferrari 488 Spider

Overall verdict
A deeply desirable drop-top that also advances the sports car arms race.


Unbelievable performance and handling, terrific build quality


The heart and soul have diminished slightly


What is it?

Ferrari sold more 458 Italia Spiders than coupes in the UK, so as well as looking cool, its successor also has an important commercial function. Ferrari claims the 488 Spider was effectively developed around its retractable hard top (RHT), a slender two-panel item that weighs 25kg less than a regular soft-top, and creates an extra sense of security and rigidity. It stashes away in 14 seconds, and doesn’t compromise the car’s design by saddling it with an ungainly posterior. 

Visual highlights include the central Aero Pillar at the front, a rear diffuser with variable flaps, and the same brilliantly elegant blown spoiler as on the GTB for maximum downforce. It’s not the prettiest Ferrari ever, but it certainly doesn’t lack drama. Or power: its 3.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 produces 661bhp and 560 torques.