"The Ferrari 488 Spider is mindblowingly good"
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The Ferrari 488 Spider is mindblowingly good
Time is a very funny one.
When you were a kid, when you were young, you only really worry about exams and maybe homework.
Otherwise, you don't really have a care in the world.
And then bang!
Next thing you know you're worrying about rent and whether you're doing well at work and whether your life is going in the right direction.
Moments can make you.
They can break you.
And they can define you.
And here's your jarring comparison to cars.
This is a Ferrari 488 Spider.
It is every inch the prancing horse.
Its curves flow.
Engineering is exquisite.
It's designed unlike anything out there, if mildly similar to one that's gone before.
Inside, there's plenty to remind you that you're in something special.
Ferrari, [INAUDIBLE], of course.
Beautifully sculpted dash.
All the instruments are pointed straight towards the driver.
The wheel is driver focused as well.
There's loads of carton fiber around here.
It is so pretty inside and then, of course, you get the view of the vat bonnet.
So, why then am I prattling on about the past?
Because this particular Ferrari is not like the one it replaced.
This one has a V8, but it's smaller than before, a mere 3.9 liters and it has turbos bolted to it.
That'll be the bit that jars the old guard.
It's an old conversation to have, but one worth having again.
The era of the high-performance turbo is well and truly in.
I mean, thinking about it, how many naturally aspirated sports cars are there?
For Ferrari to put a turbo charged motor in its mid-engine cars, the kind of halo ones that everybody wants, well that's a pretty big deal.
That is a commitment.
That's not to say they hadn't with the California T of course, but that's a different kind of car.
A Ferrari for the person who wants a Ferrari, but not necessarily one that's going to give them the full 100% experience.
They want a nice fast thing and that's what it is.
The 488 and its predecessor the 458 are there for those who want the look, the status but also the fun.
Then there's the other big question with turbo charging.
Does a turbo or two blunt the experience?
Does it remove something from the car?
The 458 was this wonderfully visceral thing, so has adding turbos made it less good?
Well if you look a the portion on 11, one of the big bits of that was the noise.
And yeah, putting turbos on that did burn the experience just a touch.
So has it done so in the Ferrari?
Ferrari being Ferrari, they do have to get that bang on.
So now is a perfect opportunity to listen to some noise.
Turbo charging does it have its advantages.
Emissions, fuel consumption and the like are some but in cases like this I'm looking more at power and torque.
The 458 Spider had 562 horse power and 392 per pound foot.
It had cracked 62 in 3.4 seconds and tickled the chin of 200 miles an hour.
The 488 with its smaller engine and blowers, 660 horses, 560 pound food, naught to 62 in 3 seconds dead and it'll top out at 203 miles an hour.
That my friends, is progress.
That's a good thing and when you think about Ferrari.
What's that one car that pops straight into your head?
It's the F 40 it had turbo chargers and it was a big carbon fiber monster made of, well happiness.
And as I mentioned earlier the turbo is where everyone's going nowadays.
McLaren's road cars don't go without and, seeing as they're what Italy's up against, it's probably a good thing Modena went the way it did.
McLaren's cars aren't half good.
For me though, as ever, the proof is in the driving.
Has adding turbo charges, is this future, is this passage of time thing working for the boys in modern, or is it a bit of a pop?
Well I'm in Wales, there's super thick fog, it's very cold, and I can't feel my head.
But I do still have the roof down, here is a mega At motorway speeds the wing mirrors start to wobble so the view behind you is a little bit wibbly wobbly which isn't great.
Now Ferrari's also fitted Apple CarPlay in this thing.
There's even a special button for it.
Someone like Ferrari taking that up.
The voice recognition doesn't recognize voices very well.
It's laughably bad I was giggling at it down the motorway and then also having some harsh words with the ghost of Steve Jobs.
But still it's good that it's here it's early days technology it's something to build upon then there's the.
I like the wheel.
I like the fact that everything is integrated.
It's all within easy reach of my thumb.
But the indicators I just don't get on with them.
Sometimes you press them you get three bips, sometimes you press them and they just stay on.
So then Ferrari, V8 engine Engine.
How quick is it?
Well, it's noticeably quicker than the 458, as we know, as I mentioned earlier.
It has more power, more torque, it's quick at 62.
Now that torque, though.
What it does, the pound delivery is insane.
Cuz you drop it down a couple of cogs, and then Well it goes blurry, really blurry.
[LAUGH] It's just this solid wall of power that slings you into the distance.
It's amazing, and there's no turbo lag.
Well, like slim to none, not that you'd notice.
You wouldn't get out and go, well It's bit turbo lag isn't it.
No it's Ferrari does take this kind of thing super seriously cuz they know they can't **** it up.
And adding the turbos to it, it's so quick.
The braking, the pedal, the feedback you get too.
You don't have to work quite hard with it.
You gotta give it a nice firm action.
And then once you've kind of broken through the top, there's not much trouble to it.
And then they just work, bang.
But round town, they can be a little bit tricky, but out here when you're flying around, man it feels good.
And then we've got this amazing jewel clutch gear box.
It is instant.
It's actually instant.
So if you take it out of auto mode, where Ferrari knows best, click it down, sixth, fifth, done.
Fifth to fourth, done.
Fourth to third, done.
And then there's the steering.
Ferrari steering is always really good, but the way it grips, the way it turns in.
You feel it bite down and off you go.
Feedback through the wheel, the steering is a touch light for my liking, but you do get so much feedback.
You know it Exactly what angle the wheels are at.
You can feel everything and it feels so good.
Ferrari's reworked the aero on this, remember the 458 had kind of a bendable mustache on front.
Now, it's more fixed.
The under body's been redone, as well.
What you get is well, more downforce.
The car is Sucked into the road, and the air flow goes all the way around the car to make it super super slippery.
Or make it super brilliant, so you get through corners and it just grips and grips and grips.
This car is absolutely incredible.
And the 458 was astounding, it's One of my all-time favorites.
But the 488 is just that plus.
[LAUGH] It's one of the best cars I've ever driven, even though it's sopping wet and slippery and horrible.
You just get an impression of what this thing can really do.
And man, imagine having one of these daily.
Love, thy have a name, and thy name Is Ferrari, [SOUND].
So time, the rose tinted past may be looked upon fondly, but will we remember the howling 8s and V12s of the old days?
The races, the spectacle of the motor car, we often forget how much fuel was used, how slow high performance cars really used to be, and the price you could pay when things went wrong.
What what we have now is an era of super fast, super safe cars.
In reality, we've never had it so good.
There's a great quote from 'Invisible Monsters' by Chuck Palahniuk, that kind of fits here, it goes that people are all over the world, telling their one dramatic story about how their life is turning to getting over this one event.
A now their life is more about their past than their future.
I mean the past was good, it was great, but the present we have now and the future it's leading towards is gonna be fantastic.
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