However, the defining feature of the 488 coupe track is none of those mechanical elements; rather, it is the fact that it is an exotic central-engine that feels almost as docile as the Toyota GT86 at its limit. It is an exceptionally capable car (211mph top speed, silly cornering speeds) but also very accessible.
More or less the same thing happens here, only inevitably a little blunt due to weight gain, and is the weight gained by the car. So coming from the coupé, it feels like going back to the bike after having tied a bag to it: the tracks and the inherent character are still there, only with more muted reactions.
Just a few weeks ago I drove a 488 coupe track, and I would say the Spider drives with a little more weight, but the fast off-center reaction and the fast ratio are still there. The ride is good, comfortable enough for daily driving, whether its in the firmer or the softer of the two cushioning modes (easily selectable). Enough to make you think that this is not a hard car – until the stones and sandstone start hitting hard from the underside of the bodywork due to the elimination of soundproofing.
With the roof down, the 488 Spider Track feels pleasantly open, yet there is very little wind. The stiffness of the body is not as true to that of the coupéas on a McLaren roadster (the Ferrari has a McLarens aluminium, carbon fibre structure), but only when the suspension is heavily loaded and the road is badly deteriorated is a lesser loss of stiffness noticeable.
And numb, the handling is nine tenths as gratifying as that of the 488 coupe track, which means its at least as gratifying as anything else in the same sphere.
If you were on a track, you would choose the lightest coupe every time, but there are still bags of fun on the Spider on winding roads. The body control is excellent even in the “bumpy road” configuration, the brakes are solid and the electronics governing the glide are brilliantly integrated and have modes as simple to select as the air conditioning setting.
The wet and sporty modes allow for minimal glide, but if you switch to CT Off mode (no traction control) and on deserted slopes, once youve seen the road is clear, you can turn the tyres and make harmless noise.