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Ferrari 488 Spider debuts in Frankfurt

Ferrari gave its new 488 Spider a world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Maranello's new Spider is the brands most powerful mid-rear-engined V8 convertible to date. The 3902 cc turbo-charged V8 pumps out 660bhp for a 0 to 62 mph time of 3 seconds flat (and 0 to 124 mph in 8.7 seconds). The new engine not only offers 98bhp more power than the previous naturally-aspirated V8 but also has lower CO2 emissions.

Designed around the concept of the retractable hard top, the Ferrari Styling Centre completely reworked the aesthetics for the 488 Spider - with the Retractable Hard Top folding backwards in two overlapping sections to rest flush on the engine, taking 14 seconds for the top to fully retract or deploy.

Ferrari says it was the first manufacturer to introduce the RHT (Retractable Hard Top) on a car of this particular architecture. Ensuring lower weight (-25 kg over a fabric top) it also provides better protection from noise and elements even when lowered, courtesy of a glass wind-stop adjustable to three different positions.

This model has its own distinctive soundtrack created using solutions such as exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and a flat-plane crankshaft. It was also further enhanced, says Ferrari, by an in-depth study of harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds. The sound is described as 'seductive but never invasive' when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing as the engine instantly responds to the accelerator pedal and revs rise, 'reinforcing the sensation of massive performance'.

The Frankfurt Motor Show runs until the 27 September.