2020 Ferrari F8 Spider first drive: The perfect summer fling

    The breadth of flexibility in trendy supercars is staggering. A 710-horsepower Ferrari F8 Spider will make you giggle maniacally whenever you launch it and rip your face off with its cornering power. But it will additionally run errands with the docility of a Honda Accord. A really loud, very flashy Honda Accord. Every new Ferrari must be engineered to lap the hell out of Fiorano or Monza, even when most won’t ever even see a lot because the car parking zone of a race circuit. That makes a automotive just like the F8 Spider surprisingly simple to stay with and luxuriate in day by day — particularly on a heat summer season afternoon in Southern California. But make no mistake, that does not imply it is any much less thrilling. 
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    You cannot see the V8 from exterior the automotive, however you’ll be able to see what’s behind you thru the rearview mirror. Kind of laborious to determine which is extra necessary with a Ferrari.

    You’ve already met the F8 Tributo, the very worthy successor to the unbelievable Ferrari 488. The F8 packs extra energy, its inside is extra luxurious and its exterior design makes a stronger assertion — for higher or worse. I’ll be sincere, my private descriptors of this automotive’s styling aren’t precisely constructive — “too much” and “kinda ugly” are those written down in my pocket book — nevertheless it definitely would not be a Ferrari if it did not flip heads. I am unable to consider one other automotive that just about induced so many gawking-induced wrecks over the course of 24 hours.

    When you take away the roof, which takes simply 14 seconds, the Spider does away with one of many F8 Tributo’s most controversial options: the rear window. On the Tributo, that is made from Lexan, and sliced 3 times for visible curiosity. Does it look cool? Sure. Does it completely kill rearward visibility? You betcha. Instead, the Spider has a body-colored rear panel, beneath which is the place the roof is stowed when folded again. This means you’ll be able to’t really see that monstrous V8 from exterior the automotive. But it means you’ll be able to see what’s behind you thru the rearview mirror. Kind of laborious to determine which is extra necessary with a Ferrari. After all, that engine is one hell of a showpiece. As within the F8 Tributo, the Spider’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, and due to a lighter crankshaft and flywheel, the engine weighs about 40 kilos lower than the one within the 488. Huge aspect intakes feed cool air into the turbochargers, and the massive inset tailpipes belt out a tune that is not fairly as intoxicating as a naturally aspirated V8 rasp, nevertheless it’ll nonetheless wake the neighbors two blocks away on a chilly begin.

    Setting off in Los Angeles visitors, I discovered the F8 Spider had a really transient studying curve. Push a button for reverse, pull the correct paddle to place the seven-speed computerized transmission into first gear. Use the toggles on the steering wheel to activate the flip alerts (I hate this, by the best way). Hit the suspension button on the left aspect of the wheel to place the F8 in Bumpy Road mode, giggle on the cuteness of the identify after which benefit from the instantly smoother experience high quality. Don’t hassle with something however the default Sport mode in metropolis streets or on the freeway. And do not hassle in search of any driver help options. There are no.

    Even earlier than you get to a superb driving street, the F8 Spider clearly communicates its intentions. The steering is borderline darty with its quickness, however provides you loads of element about what’s occurring the place your tires meet the pavement. The brakes are somewhat robust to modulate, however supply a reassuringly sturdy chew, letting you realize they will be there to carry you again to actuality do you have to get carried away. The V8 has an enormous reserve of energy, nevertheless it would not really feel like a dam that is about to burst. You can roll onto the throttle and speed up as much as freeway speeds rapidly, however not overwhelmingly so. But whenever you get off the freeway and level that homely nostril up a canyon street, holy cannoli, does the F8 rip. Ferrari quotes a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of two.9 seconds, matching that of the hardtop F8 Tributo, the shift lights on the steering wheel flashing pink simply earlier than you pull the paddle and slap into the subsequent gear. The rear-wheel-drive Spider has no hassle clawing into the street and placing the complete brunt of its energy by these 305-section tires. The entrance finish lifts barely as you launch ahead. The V8 wails. The world flies by. Do not let go, and be certain your hat’s on tight.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    What seems to be a small cockpit is definitely fairly roomy, particularly with the Spider’s countless headroom.

    This is the place you discover the opposite finish of the F8’s functionality spectrum. Every flip is rewarding. Every power-on second out of a hairpin makes me smile. Every motion within the F8 is so good that it begins to really feel easy after some time. And simply after I assume I’m not giving the automotive my all, digging even deeper into the throttle reveals an entire ‘nother degree of aggression I hadn’t but found. I may do that all day lengthy. That’s very true given how snug the F8 Spider is, even with the — gulp — $9,112 carbon fiber racing seats (which after all then means including the $2,531 racing seat lifter, in addition to the $1,266 prancing horse emblems on the headrests, and you must completely have them completed up in blue like my tester). With its shallow middle tunnel and slim row of local weather controls on the decrease a part of the dashboard, what seems to be a small cockpit is definitely fairly roomy, particularly with the Spider’s countless headroom. There is not precisely a lot in the best way of space for storing, nevertheless, even within the entrance trunk, which is large enough for a pair of backpacks and never far more. Should your co-driver get bored (trace: Drive sooner), the $4,556 7-inch touchscreen passenger show has extra options than it did within the 488, displaying issues like multimedia and navigation data, in addition to efficiency metrics like acceleration and cornering forces to allow them to again up the expertise with actual information.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Speaking of in-car tech, properly, there is not a lot to talk of. A rudimentary infotainment system is housed in a small display screen within the gauge cluster, managed by a knob and a few buttons to the correct of the steering wheel. The expertise is not all that nice, so I like to recommend simply working by Apple CarPlay, assuming you are an iPhone consumer, and assuming you do not thoughts spending an entirely absurd $4,129 for the privilege of utilizing your personal tech. Not that cash actually issues whenever you’re speaking a couple of Ferrari. After all, the $302,500 beginning worth — which incorporates $3,950 for vacation spot and a $1,300 fuel guzzler tax — is basically just the start. Once you choice it as much as your ideally suited spec, you may be shelling out a boatload of more money. The Giallo Modena automotive you see right here? It’s obtained $94,494 in add-ons, together with titanium exhaust pipes, carbon fiber items and a premium audio system. At $396,994 as examined, this Ferrari is costlier than any home I’ve ever lived in. Neat. The actual determine to care about is $23,000, as a result of that is how far more the Spider prices than the F8 Tributo coupe, which is mainly chump change in case you can already afford to park a Ferrari or three within the driveway of considered one of your many properties. That large caveat out of the best way, I say stay somewhat and go for the Spider. It seems to be simply nearly as good (so I’m instructed) and performs each bit as admirably, whether or not you are working by canyons or simply working errands.

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