Ferrari has unveiled the F8 Spider, the new generation drop-top sports car equipped with the most successful mid-rear-mounted V8 in history.
The Ferrari F8 Spider was designed in parallel with the F8 Tributo berlinetta and features the Prancing Horse’s compact and efficient RHT (Retractable Hard Top) which influences the lines of a model that leads its category.
The F8 Spider is the latest addition to an exclusive and prestigious bloodline of open-top V8 cars begun with the 308 GTS in 1977. It is less extreme than the 488 Pista Spider, but sportier than the 488 Spider which it replaces in the range.
Consequently, the F8 Spider sets a new benchmark for the “en plein air” sports car in terms of usable performance and exceptional handling, providing an incredibly rewarding driving experience. In fact, it excels in merging handling dynamics with surprising in-car comfort. This Ferrari spider thus combines the characteristics of the most lauded 8-cylinder engine in history with unparalleled driving pleasure.
The V8 has raised the performance bar to unprecedented new heights, not only for turbo engines but power units of all types. The engine is a development of the V8 that won the “International Engine of the Year Award” for four consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) and that was also selected as the best engine of the last two decades. An incredible feat unmatched in the history of the Awards.
The F8 Spider’s greatest achievement is the fact that it unleashes its power instantaneously with zero turbo lag, whilst retaining this V8’s unique and very special soundtrack. This astonishing performance and the car’s disarmingly effortless handling were made possible by integrating a series of innovative, track-derived aero solutions into its design.
The mission of every new model produced by Maranello is to introduce new design features and outperform its predecessors on all fronts. The challenge the engineers and designers always face is to push their own creative limits and the boundaries of technology by introducing new, leading-edge solutions and setting new levels of excellence. This is something they have done to brilliant effect once again with this new model.
The F8 Spider replaces the 488 Spider and improves on all aspects of its specifications: aside from the fact that its engine delivers an extra 50 cv, the new Ferrari is 20 kg lighter than its predecessor. It weighs just 20 kg more than the more extreme 488 Pista Spider. The F8 Spider is significantly more aerodynamically efficient, too and features the new 6.1 version of the Side Slip Angle Control system.
In the automotive world, Ferrari’s V8 engine is seen as the very epitome of sportiness and driving pleasure. This is particularly the case when it is mid-rear-mounted in a two-seater. Ferrari has been honing the scope of this architecture to perfection for over four decades as it optimally balances weight for perfect handling dynamics.
The V8’s technical specifications are truly exceptional. 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.
Today, Ferrari V8s incorporate solutions so refined they are effectively masterpieces of engineering. This power unit in particular further enhances the typical traits of all Maranello engines with smoothly progressive, limitless acceleration and zero turbo lag, combined with a unique soundtrack courtesy of a new exhaust system.
The new car offers drivers pure emotions. Instantaneously accessible power is matched by exceptional handling thanks to advanced vehicle dynamics solutions. These include a new version of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) which can now be activated in the manettino’s RACE position, a move designed to make performance on the limit easier to reach and control.
To achieve the 50 cv increase in power compared to the 488 Spider, the new intake line is derived directly from the 488 Challenge. In the F8 Spider, the air intakes have been moved from the flanks to the rear where they are located on either side of the blown spoiler and are directly connected to the intake plenums. This drastically reduces losses and ensures greater air flow to the engine, thereby increasing the power. The air flow also benefits from increased dynamic pressure created by the shape of the rear spoiler.
Adaptive Performance Launch analyses grip as the car accelerates and then uses electronic controls to optimise the torque delivered to suit the road’s grip level, reducing wheel slip to a minimum which, in turn, maximises acceleration.
The rev limiter’s “Wall Effect” strategy is another leap forward in terms of extreme engine performance. Rather than gradually limiting the revs towards the limit, it cuts off right at the 8,000 rpm red-line, maximising the amount of power available in power-on dynamic driving situations and consequently improving lap times.
Adopted once again on this model is the hugely successful Ferrari Variable Torque Management strategy for all gears. To adapt it to the car’s extreme sporty spirit, all of the torque curves were redesigned to deliver a feeling of consistently smooth, powerful acceleration all the way to the red line. Maximum torque is 10 Nm higher than on the 488 Spider and is available even at lower engine speeds.
The F8 Spider’s engine also inherits highly efficient weight-reduction solutions from the 488 Pista which have cut the power unit’s weight by 18 kg compared to that of the 488 Spider. Reducing the weight of rotating and non-static masses, such as the titanium con-rods, crankshaft and flywheel, allows engine speed to rise very rapidly, so much so that the driver can see the rev counter needle flying, particularly in rapid transitions, such as gear shifting and scorching low-gear acceleration, making the car feel even sportier still. These reductions in the weight of the rotating masses yield a 17% reduction in inertia.
Inconel exhaust manifolds derived from the 488 Challenge alone contribute 9.7 kg to the lighter engine weight. The exhaust layout has been extensively modified across the board from the turbos to the tail pipes to produce a sound absolutely unique to this particular car. The result is an unmistakable engine timbre that is superior in terms of both the intensity and quality of the sound. The exhaust line also features a new Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) to comply with new homologation requirements.