Ferrari has just announced two Spider variants of its existing supercar range at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The first is the F8 Spider (above), a model which replaces the 488 Spider in a long line of mid-engined V8 open-top sports cars that started with the 308 GTS back in 1977. The second model to be released is the 812 GTS (below), a Spider variant of the 812 Superfast and the first production front-engined V12 model to be released in this body style in 50 years.
The last such model was the 1969 365 GTS4, or Daytona Spider as it was also called thanks to Ferrari’s legendary 1-2-3 victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona. Ferrari fans may recall the F60 America and SA Aperta were also front-engined V12 Spiders but these were extremely limited-edition models. The standard production 812 GTS, with its 789hp 6.5-liter V12, offers similar levels of performance for what will be a fraction of the cost. That is perhaps not entirely surprising considering that the 812 GTS is the most powerful production spider ever built.
Ferrari has gone to a lot of effort to ensure that the 812 GTS offers the same raw performance as the scintillating 812 Superfast, thanks to a revised rear end and optimized aerodynamics, which mean the 213mph top speed remains unchanged. The 0-62mph dash is over in less than 3.0-seconds with the 0-125mph time taking just 8.3-seconds.
The latter figure is just four-tenths off of the Coupe while the reinforced chassis (which increases curb weight by a marginal 195 pounds) and revised damper settings ensure that handling dynamics are similarly sharp. The retractable hard top takes just 14 seconds to open or close and an electrically operated rear screen keeps buffeting to a minimum so that the V12 engine and exhaust symphony can be appreciated to the fullest.
Ferrari’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 is a multiple International Engine of the Year Award winner and in the F8 Spider produces the same 710hp and 568lb-ft of torque as it does in the hardtop Tributo. That latter figure actually eclipses the naturally-aspirated 812 GTS’s torque output by 38lb-ft. That turbocharged slug of torque and the smaller car’s lighter curb weight mean that performance levels are practically identical with the bigger V12, which only starts pulling out a small 0.1-second lead at 125mph.
The F8 Spider’s bodywork has also been comprehensively redesigned using aerodynamic solutions from Ferrari’s GT and Challenge racing experience, and is ten percent more efficient than the 488 Spider which it replaces. The chassis reinforcements add just 154 pounds to its dry curb weight compared to the F8 Tributo. A small price to pay for open-air freedom, which can be experienced in an 812 GTS-equalling 14-seconds. Both models should be heading to Ferrari showrooms in the very near future with prices expected to be marginally higher than their coupe equivalents.