2020 Ferrari F8 Spider first drive review: The perfect summer fling

The breadth of overall flexibility in modern supercars is staggering. A 710-horsepower Ferrari F8 Spider will make you laugh maniacally when you start it and rip your facial area off with its cornering pressure. But it’ll also operate errands with the docility of a Honda Accord. A pretty loud, pretty flashy Honda Accord.

Each individual new Ferrari has to be engineered to lap the hell out of Fiorano or Monza, even if most will never even see so substantially as the parking great deal of a race circuit. That makes a automobile like the F8 Spider astonishingly easy to reside with and appreciate each individual day — in particular on a heat summer afternoon in Southern California. But make no oversight, that doesn’t indicate it can be any a lot less thrilling. 

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You have already met the F8 Tributo, the pretty deserving successor to the amazing Ferrari 488. The F8 packs more electrical power, its inside is more deluxe and its exterior style and design makes a stronger statement — for better or worse. I’ll be straightforward, my personalized descriptors of this car’s styling aren’t just optimistic — “a minor substantially” is what is actually created down in my notebook — but it unquestionably would not be a Ferrari if it failed to turn heads. I can not believe of a further automobile that almost brought on so numerous gawking-induced wrecks around the system of 24 hrs.

When you take away the roof, which requires just fourteen seconds, the Spider does away with a single of the F8 Tributo’s most controversial characteristics: the rear window. On the Tributo, this is produced of Lexan, and sliced three situations for visible fascination. Does it seem cool? Absolutely sure. Does it unquestionably get rid of rearward visibility? You betcha. Instead, the Spider has a entire body-colored rear panel, beneath which is where the roof is stowed when folded back. This suggests you can not essentially see that monstrous V8 from outside the automobile. But it suggests you can see what is actually behind you as a result of the rearview mirror. Sort of difficult to decide which is more important with a Ferrari.

Soon after all, that motor is a single hell of a showpiece. As in the F8 Tributo, the Spider’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 710 horsepower and 568 pound-ft of torque, and many thanks to a lighter crankshaft and flywheel, the motor weighs about 40 kilos a lot less than the a single in the 488. Big side intakes feed cool air into the turbochargers, and the significant inset tailpipes belt out a song that just isn’t quite as intoxicating as a the natural way aspirated V8 rasp, but it’ll even so wake the neighbors two blocks away on a cold start out.

Location off in Los Angeles targeted visitors, I identified the F8 Spider experienced a pretty quick learning curve. Push a button for reverse, pull the appropriate paddle to put the seven-speed automated transmission into initially equipment. Use the toggles on the steering wheel to activate the turn indicators (I hate this, by the way). Hit the suspension button on the remaining side of the wheel to put the F8 in Bumpy Street method, giggle at the cuteness of the title and then appreciate the instantly smoother experience excellent. Do not trouble with anything at all but the default Activity method in town streets or on the freeway. And don’t trouble hunting for any driver assistance characteristics. There aren’t any.

Even in advance of you get to a excellent driving highway, the F8 Spider obviously communicates its intentions. The steering is borderline darty with its quickness, but gives you a great deal of element about what is actually going on where your tires meet up with the pavement. The brakes are a minor hard to modulate, but present a reassuringly powerful chunk, allowing you know they will be there to bring you back to truth ought to you get carried away. The V8 has a big reserve of electrical power, but it doesn’t come to feel like a dam which is about to burst. You can roll on to the throttle and speed up up to freeway speeds rapidly, but not overwhelmingly so.

But when you get off the freeway and stage that homely nose up a canyon highway, holy cannoli, does the F8 rip. Ferrari offers a -to-sixty-mph acceleration time of 2.9 seconds, matching that of the hardtop F8 Tributo, the change lights on the steering wheel flashing crimson just in advance of you pull the paddle and slap into the subsequent equipment. The rear-wheel-generate Spider has no problems clawing into the highway and putting the whole brunt of its electrical power as a result of people 305-section tires. The entrance close lifts a little as you start ahead. The V8 wails. The entire world flies by. Do not let go, and be sure your hat’s on restricted.

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This is where you locate the other close of the F8’s functionality spectrum. Each individual turn is satisfying. Each individual electrical power-on moment out of a hairpin makes me smile. Each individual action in the F8 is so perfect that it starts to come to feel effortless after a though. And just when I believe I am not supplying the automobile my all, digging even further into the throttle reveals a total ‘nother amount of aggression I hadn’t nevertheless uncovered.

I could do this all day prolonged.

That is in particular genuine supplied how relaxed the F8 Spider is, even with the — gulp — $9,112 carbon fiber racing seats (which of system then suggests introducing the $2,531 racing seat lifter, as effectively as the $one,266 prancing horse emblems on the headrests, and you ought to unquestionably have them accomplished up in blue like my tester). With its shallow middle tunnel and trim row of climate controls on the decreased part of the dashboard, what appears to be a modest cockpit is essentially quite roomy, in particular with the Spider’s limitless headroom. There just isn’t just substantially in the way of storage area, on the other hand, even in the entrance trunk, which is big more than enough for a pair of backpacks and not substantially more.

Must your co-driver get bored (trace: generate more rapidly), the $four,556 seven-inch touchscreen passenger screen has more characteristics than it did in the 488, showing items like multimedia and navigation information, as effectively as overall performance metrics like acceleration and cornering forces so they can back up the expertise with authentic knowledge.

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Speaking of in-automobile tech, effectively, there just isn’t substantially to talk of. A rudimentary infotainment system is housed in a modest display screen in the gauge cluster, managed by a knob and some buttons to the appropriate of the steering wheel. The expertise just isn’t all that excellent, so I endorse just working as a result of Apple CarPlay, assuming you happen to be an Apple iphone consumer, and assuming you don’t thoughts paying out a wholly absurd $four,129 for the privilege of utilizing your own tech.

Not that funds actually matters when you happen to be talking about a Ferrari. Soon after all, the $302,500 setting up value — which incorporates $3,950 for desired destination and a $one,300 gas guzzler tax — is actually just the starting. Once you selection it up to your suitable spec, you’ll be shelling out a boatload of additional funds. The Giallo Modena automobile you see listed here? It truly is got $ninety four,494 in include-ons, which include titanium exhaust pipes, carbon fiber parts and a high quality audio system. At $396,994 as analyzed, this Ferrari is more pricey than any household I have ever lived in. Neat.

The authentic figure to treatment about is $23,000, because which is how substantially more the Spider costs than the F8 Tributo coupe, which is generally chump improve if you can previously pay for to park a Ferrari or three in the driveway of a single of your numerous residences. That large caveat out of the way, I say reside a minor and go for the Spider. It seems just as excellent (so I am advised) and performs each individual bit as admirably, irrespective of whether you happen to be jogging as a result of canyons or just jogging errands.