The F8 Spider has been teased by Ferrari as the latest addition to the marque’s open-topped V8 models since the 308GTS in 1977.
It replaces the acclaimed 488 Spider but the F8 is lighter and faster as well as more dynamic and delightful to drive.
Styled in-house by Ferrari, the F8 Spider is a two-seater with a folding metal roof which rests on top of engine when stowed, and lots of high quality leather inside a cabin which wraps around the driver as in a GP racer, and clothed in a very curvaceous body featuring numerous ducts and dips from its low set nose to winged tail.
The 3902 cc unit unleashes 720 cv at 8,000 rpm and also has an impressive specific power output of 185 cv/l. Its maximum torque is now higher at all engine speeds, peaking at 770 Nm at 3,250 rpm and it is fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic/ manual gearbox.
Clever air management has ensured the power is increased through better breathing and it has also benefitted from an almost instantaneous turbo-boot. The award-winning mid-rear-mounted engine puts power to the road with a sophisticated traction assist and engine management system to the rear wheels so roadholding is optimised at all times.
The Ferrari F8 Spider hits 60mph in under 3 seconds and maximum is over 200mph. Prices have yet to be revealed by Ferrari but expect them this week as the Frankfurt Show gets into gear.
Exactly 50 years on from the debut of the last spider in the Ferrari range to sport a front-mounted V12, the 812 GTS hails a triumphant return for a model type that has played a pivotal role in the marque’s history since its foundation.
The Ferrari V12 spider story features many iconic models and began in 1948 with the 166 MM, an authentic thoroughbred competition GT that won the two most prestigious endurance races in the world in 1949: the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The last in that long lineage was the 1969 365 GTS4, also known as the Daytona Spider because of Ferrari’s legendary victory in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona when two works 330 P4s and the NART-entered 412 P took the chequered flag side-by-side to occupy the top three places.
The front-mounted V12 architecture has not been used in a Ferrari series-production spider since the 365 GTS4. That said, four special series limited editions have been launched: the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina in 2000, the Superamerica in 2005, the SA Aperta in 2010 and, most recently, the F60 America of which just 10 were built to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year on the American market in 2014.
Like its historic predecessors, the 812 GTS sets a new benchmark in terms of performance and exclusivity. Sporting Ferrari’s majestic 800 cv V12, it is not merely the most powerful production spider on the market, but also the most versatile, thanks to its retractable hard top, a unique feature in this segment which also guarantees a larger boot capacity.
The retractable hard top (RHT), which opens in just 14 seconds at speeds of up to 25mph does not impinge upon the interior dimensions, thus maintaining the donor car’s roomy cockpit. The electric rear screen, which acts as a wind-stop, makes the car truly useable with the top down while, with the top up, it can be left open to allow occupants to continue to luxuriate in the naturally-aspirated V12’s unique soundtrack.
Consequently, its overall performance levels are very close to those of the berlinetta, and the F8 above.