Meet the stars of Magnum P.I.: Jay Hernandez and the Ferrari 488 Spider

After being off our screens for almost 30 years, Magnum PI is back, but a new Magnum needs a new ride. We hit the road and get to know them both.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

After being off our screens for almost 30 years, Magnum PI is back. 

The new series keeps a lot that we loved from the original intact -- the gorgeous Hawaiian locale, gorgeous Hawaiian shirts, action and excitement -- but breaks the mold with a new Magnum and a new shiny red Ferrari. You can see it Mondays on CBS. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.) 

We picked up Thomas Sullivan Magnum 2.0 himself, star Jay Hernandez in the Ferrari 488 Spider, a masterpiece of automotive design. Jay's pretty nice, too.

Watch this: Meet Magnum P.I.'s new star and cars

The 488 Spider is a monster from Maranello is powered by a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that sends 660 horsepower to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that swaps cogs faster than you can blink. With a zero-to-sixty time of just 3 seconds and a top speed just over 200 mph, this should make a fine new steed for the new Magnum.

Next, we swapped over to the Ferrari 308 GTS, OG Magnum's OG ride. This is the poster child of 1980s automotive design. No, literally: Posters of this Pininfarina design adorned many a locker and bedroom wall. It's one of the most gorgeous Ferraris ever produced and still turns heads today.

The GTS is powered by a 2.9-liter naturally aspirated V8 putting out 237 prancing ponies -- however the 1980 GTSi model we've got today steps down to around 214 ponies due to improved emissions systems. Still, not too shabby for 1980. Plus, it's got a gated, dog-legged five-speed manual transmission, something even the new model lacks.

Magnum rides: Ferrari 488 Spider and 308 GTS

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Downtown Los Angeles traffic was probably not the best way to experience supercar performance, but I'm no choosey beggar when given the opportunity to drive a pair of automotive legends. However, the conditions turned out to be fine for exploring the design and emotional connection we have with these cars and getting to know our new Magnum.

Ferrari is pretty much shorthand for excitement, and really for a high-octane show about a PI in Hawaii there really couldn't have been any other choice back in the '80s than the 308. Having driven it, I have a newfound appreciation for the original.

But it's 2018 and a new Magnum needs a new ride, so it's no surprise then that the 488 Spider -- which really does feel like the spiritual successor to the 308, but with the benefit of 30-plus years of cutting edge automotive evolution and creature comforts -- should star alongside Jay in the this new 2018 version of Magnum PI.

Magnum P.I. airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.