Which Supercar should you buy?
Ferrari has had to take something of a back seat to Lamborghini over the last few years. Back in 2015, its Bull-toting rival released the highly acclaimed Aventador. And then, smartly, followed that up with a slightly smaller, slightly less bonkers supercar called the Huracan. Both cars were beautiful to behold and a joy to ride.
As a result, Ferrari risked being knocked off its perch as the most desirable luxury car maker. Lambo had somehow made two vehicles that were refined enough for the average billionaire to want to own both of them. And practically every car magazine in the world celebrated the company’s creations as the more desirable objects on four wheels.
Bosses at Ferrari were feeling the heat. The company did have some pretty awesome supercars, but they seemed so demure and refined against the monsters Lambo was churning out. It seemed like Ferarri didn’t have the audacity to compete, but then…
Outwardly, Ferrari would have you believe that it is very much in the business of creating classic supercars. Ferrari carefully crafts vehicles, holding aesthetics front and center. This last decade, though, it might have been a little too cautious on this front.
We’re not living in the 1960s in Italy anymore. This is 2020, and whether you are in Italy or the United States, supercars are still sought after by car enthusiasts and wealthy investors.
Enter the Ferrari F8 Spider, a 710 bhp supercar that is the convertible version of the F8 Tributo, one of the most aggressive cars the Italian supercar maker has created. It’s a step in the bonkers direction.
How Is The F8 Spider Made?
The Ferrari F8 Spider is a car that has you scratching your head, trying to figure it out. Yes, it’s a convertible version of its ever-popular brother. But unlike most Ferrari’s which feel more like Audis, this thing has a few quirks,
Like the coupé version, Ferrari built the F8 Spider on an aluminum platform to save weight. The result is a vehicle that weighs less than a bag of whippets – and by quite some margin. You can immediately see how little it weighs just by looking at the thing. The car seems svelte, like one of your friends who has eaten nothing but green smoothies for two months. And it’s beautiful, getting rid of some of the more traditional Ferrari style motifs for something that looks slender and elegant. The sizeable open grille at the front looks like a basking shark as it cruises through the ocean, gobbling up krill. And the rear fenders are gorgeously integrated into the wheel arches, giving the vehicle a rather perky bottom.
The weirdness comes in when you discover how Ferrari wants you to drive the thing. As a convertible, you expect to be driving this car around a lot in the sun. And, as far as that goes, you’re in luck. It works very well in this regard, even if it feels less rigid than McLaren’s 720S Spider. When it’s raining, though, Ferrari suggests you keep the roof down and go faster, presumably so that the rain skips over the car’s windscreen and hops off the back.
It’s a rather strange piece of consumer advice. Usually, if it starts raining, you immediately put the roof on, and that’s it. What’s even weirder, though, is that Ferrari has designed the vehicle to deploy the roof at speeds under 28 mph, so convenience isn’t an issue here either. It’s all bizarre.
Putting the roof on properly solves all of the rigidity issues so that you can swing the supercar into the apex like the regular Tributo. And even though the convertible mechanism adds around 70 kg, you don’t really feel it around corners. The car is plastered to the ground, thanks to some very clever aero on the road-facing side of the chassis.
How Does It Feel To Drive?
When you step into a Ferrari, you expect it to deliver the best possible performance, and the F8 Spider doesn’t disappoint on this front. The 710 bhp is ridiculous on such a light car, allowing you to go from zero to sixty in under 2.9 seconds. It’ll take you to a top speed of more than 211 mph, which would have made it virtually the fastest car you could buy twenty-five years ago.
All that power comes from the V8, 3.9-liter turbocharged petrol engine. If the name of the engine sounds familiar, it should. The list of accolades Ferrari has won for this particular engine is as long as your arm. Suffice to say, this engine is probably the best you’ll find in any mid-engined supercar, and one of the most reliable.
The car comes in a variety of driving options. In normal mode, you get all the usual electronic assistance you expect from a 2020 vehicle. When the computer detects you’ve pushed things a little too far, wheel tracking, slip control, and ABS will all step in.
“Race” mode changes the engine’s gear and rev profile, letting you eke even more power out of the beast. This setting is for track days or when you want to drift around a bend – not that you would ever consider doing that on the public roads.
If you want to wind up at an auto accident lawyer, you can opt for “everything off.” In this setting, it’s just you and Ferrari’s mechanical engineering. There’s no electronic or software-based wizardry protecting you at all, giving you that “raw” experience you so rarely get in modern vehicles.
And here’s where things suddenly go full Lambo on you. Switching everything off, including the traction control, you suddenly realize that you’re in a vehicle with more horsepower than six Ford Fiestas. The weight distribution of the car is excellent, but going around corners is still a nail-biting experience. Dab the accelerator just a little, and you’ll go spinning off into the gravel.
Ferrari, however, didn’t just make something that drives like a bat out of hell. They also put a lot of thought into the technology behind the car, bringing it up to date with modern, executive-class vehicles. The Italian brand finally sorted out long-standing issues with its gear shifting, refining the feel and reducing the delay to get into a new gear. The automaker also brought out the best in the V8 engine, somehow making it sound better than it did on the previous version of the car. Finally, there’s the improved e-differential available to stop you from sliding off the road if you drive it in normal mode.
All in all, therefore, it’s a significant improvement.
What’s The Interior Like?
As for the interior, Ferrari has made changes there too. The cabin itself is full carbon fiber – a material becoming more popular in the hypercar space. But it’s not too racy. The cockpit layout feels relaxed and surprisingly familiar. All the buttons are in the right place and they work.
Driving this vehicle on the road, however, might be a bit of a challenge. Like the Huracan and McLaren, it doesn’t offer a nose-lift option, so going over bumps is a challenge in busy city centers. And you’ll also have to put up with the square steering wheel – the fashion at the moment.
Overall, though, this is a good car. It has those supercar quirks you want, so you don’t feel like you’re just driving just any supercar.
2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Review, Pricing, and Specs
MSRP: From $276,550
Horsepower: 710 hp
Engine: 3.9 L V8
MPG: 15 City / 19 highway
Dimensions: 182″ L x 78″ W x 48″ H
Torque: 568 lb-ft
2020 Ferrari F8 Spider Review, Pricing, and Specs
MSRP: From $274,280
Horsepower: 710 hp
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Fuel tank capacity: 22.7 gal
Tire size: Front: P245/35R20, rear: P305/30R20
Warranty: 3 yr/unlimited mi basic, 3 yr/unlimited mi powertrain
2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO Review, Pricing, and Specs
MSRP: From $261,274
Horsepower: 630 hp
Engine: 5.2 L V10
MPG: 13 City / 18 highway
Torque: 442 lb-ft
2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO Body styles
2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder Review, Pricing, and Specs
2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder all-wheel-drive
Transmission 7-Speed Automatic
Drivetrain All-Wheel Drive
2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder rear-wheel-drive
Engine 5.2-liter V10 Gasoline
Transmission 7-Speed Automatic
Drivetrain Rear-Wheel Drive