I took a $393,000 Ferrari 488 Spider on a road trip to one of the most famous race tracks in the US — here's what it was like (RACE)

Ferrari 488 Spider

  • After testing the new Ferrari 488 GTB in 2016 and naming it a 2016 Business Insider Car of the Year runner-up, we got a crack at the Spider version.
  • I drove the Ferrari to Lime Rock Park, a famous racing venue in Connecticut.
  • The convertible Ferrari was the ultimate cruising machine — and cruise missile when it wanted to be.

Ferrari is quite predictable when it comes to new sports cars.

For example, when the all-new Ferrari 488 GTB debuted in 2015 for the 2016 model year, it was swiftly followed by a drop-top version, the 488 Spider. We tested the 488 GTB in 2016 and were blown away, naming the latest mid-engined Ferrari supercar a finalist for our Car of the Year award.

A racetrack-derived 488 came next — the Pista. We wanted to get our hands on that speed machine at some point, but while we’re waiting, Ferrari let us borrow a nearly $400,000 2017 Spider ($393,411, to be precise), and I took it on a pleasant jaunt to a legendary track in the Northeast, Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park, former stomping grounds of the late Paul Newman, who was a serious race-car driver when he wasn’t a world-famous actor.

Ferrari took a major risk with the 488, sacrificing the naturally aspirated V8 engine that had propelled the phenomenal 458 and replacing it with a twin-turbo V8 that produced a lot more power, but added a pair of turbochargers to a platform that had shunned them.

The result was well-received, after an initial period of pre-launch skepticism and worry. 

Enter the Spider (which is just what Ferrari calls convertibles). It brings open-air motoring to the 488 experience and was perhaps the ideal vehicle to take on a journey through the lushly green and deliciously winding roadways of semi-rural New England. 

Here’s how it went.

It’s always an exciting day when a Ferrari lands in the driveway of our suburban New Jersey test center. I know what you’re thinking: Why isn’t the Spider red?

Because it’s “Avorio,” which translates from Italian as “Ivory.” If you’re used to red Ferraris, maybe the odd blue or silver here and there, this color is sort of … controversial. However, after a few days, I started to love it. You just don’t see many Avorio Ferrari! Besides, the seats were plenty red!

My wife said that it looked like a piece of sculpture, and the color does show off the shape and lines of the 488 in ways that red can’t. And just for the record, I witnessed no shortage of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the civilian population during the four days when I had the 488.

As you can see, the drive to Lime Rock was a little over two hours. The last 45 minutes or so took me through some lovely Connecticut countryside.

Lime Rock was the home track of longtime semi-pro racer, Connecticut resident, and Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman. Newman was good behind the wheel — he finished second at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Newman took his final laps at Lime Rock when he was 83 years old, shortly before his death in 2008.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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