So, is this as big a deal as the hard-top F8 Tributo?
In many ways, yes. This isn't just the F8 Tributo redux with a flip-up-and-over hardtop roof mechanism. It's also a continuum of Ferrari's other tradition of delivering wind-in-hair thrills through its V8 mid-engined berlinettas – an unbroken lineage dating back to the 308 of 1975.
Like its hard-top sibling, the F8 Spider is equally as rapid, tenacious, and nimble, just like the Arachnid to which Maranello has chosen to name its topless sportscars after. We'll also argue just how much more stylish this one looks, especially with its roof down.
That roof mechanism seems familiar...
You'd be right about that. The retractable hard top (RHT) system fitted in the F8 Spider is derived from the 488 Spider that preceded it, perhaps a classic case of “if it isn't broken, don't fix it...”
Like before, it takes just 14 seconds to retract or deploy, and it even works on the move, provided the F8 Tributo's digital speedo readout doesn't surpass 45kph that is. The theatre of it all is amplified with the latter act, as proven by the chuffed and thrilled looks of onlookers we garnered doing so on the streets during our half-day test drive.
Effectively, that's one of the key thrills of owning any of Maranello's coveted Spider models. There's just something about having fast-flowing wind going through the hair on one's dome, more so when it's matched with a stellar powertrain and chassis as the F8 Spider is endowed with.
Does it drive like a Ferrari should?
It does. Ferrari have gone to great lengths to make its Spider offerings drive as well as the hard-top cars they underpin. Ensuring this are things like adaptive suspension at all four corners, carbon ceramic brakes, something called the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) suite, plus an award-winning powertrain amongst many other things that bolster the recipe.
In terms of pace, the F8 Spider's ballistic 0-100kph sprint time of 2.9 seconds and claimed 340kph V-Max sees it match the hard-top F8 Tributo. Like the roof, the 3.9-litre V8 powerplant is an event on its own. What's surprisingly addictive here is the whooshing sound its twin-turbos make as they spool, the affair amplified further by the mill's position just behind both driver and passenger.
Though some argue that the F8 Spider's chassis rigidity gets softened when a sizable section of its roof is stowed away, we'll be brief and note that the difference here compared to the hard-top feels negligible. If locking in purple sectors at your next trackday is a priority, then the fixed-roof Tributo is a better bet. Even so, we reckon the Spider wouldn't be too far off its pace.
Above all else, the way the F8 Spider, as well as its fixed-roof F8 Tributo twin, drive are nothing short of sensational, and that's despite not being built around a carbon tub chassis as how key rivals have chosen to fashion themselves in.
Sure, some are arguably quicker, perhaps a little more precise too, but they simply lack a 'soul', to which Ferraris are naturally born with...
Is it fun to spank on the streets with?
Whilst Ferrari's mid-engined berlinettas as such are honed for the track, such a venue was sadly out of reach during our test. Despite so, there was still plenty to bask in and marvel at, even when relegated with the stretches of asphalt covering Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.
Again, like the very thing in the animal world it's named after, this drop-top feels agile, precise and very rapid at the wheel. You don't need a Genting Run to enjoy this either. A short burst through the B-Roads snaking the outskirts of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya are enough in fact, and one doesn't need to flick the 'Mannetino' switch out of its default 'Sport' mode for too long to enjoy it all as well.
Should one need to dial down on the race car-like edginess, it's worth noting that the adaptive suspension suite does come with a 'Bumpy Road' setting. This helps to soften the F8 Spider's ride for one to comfortably strut through the city with – perhaps another way to have fun with a drop-top as such.
Ultimately though, this is still a Ferrari sportscar that favours all-out driving performance at heart, as evidently proven by the Mannetino drive mode selector's absence of a 'Comfort' mode, or anything remotely close to it. This alone ought to be a 'guarantee' of the F8 Spider's credentials as a thrilling corner-carver, no?
What's the cost of these thrills then?
A lot. Like seriously a lot. More than an arm and a leg a lot.
The ability to drop its top on demand and on the fly doesn't just add another 70kg in weight, it also adds another RM110,000 to the F8 Spider's base price tag, which reads at RM1,178,000. Mind you, that's before factoring in the tasty options you see featured in our tester (worth RM210,000), as well as the duties, taxes, and other on-road costs.
Yep, like any and all Ferraris you can think of, the F8 Spider is no cheap thrill indeed. But given the way it looks, sounds and goes, discerning high nett worth individuals would be compelled to commission one into their fleet of four-wheeled pleasures in a heartbeat. We know we would...
Ferrari F8 Spider
3.9 litre V8 twin-turbo,710bhp, 770Nm
7spd DCT Auto, RWD
0-100KPH in 2.9 secs, V-Max: 340KPH
13.0 litres/100km (combined, claimed)
296g/km (combined, claimed)
(excluding options, duties, taxes, and on-road costs)