Written by independent automotive journalists Eric Becker and Roger C. Johnson
The historic business model used by Ferrari is to constantly build supercars that outmatch everything on the road and racetrack. Then for the next year they do it all over again. Once they throttled the others at both those locations, they realized that they themselves were their only real competition. That’s why history has shown “Ferrari” was, and is, a perpetual motion machine producing power and excitement that began with Enzo’s very first spark of imagination.
You have to wonder: How can a manufacturer make so few cars, priced completely out of reach for most, and still be totally infatuating to virtually every person who sees one? This particular 2019 Ferrari 488 Spider (Lot #1379) can answer that question without even trying.
Stare at it up and down and you’ll notice a few details that bring this 488 into a league of its own. For starters, this car was specially designed by Ferrari’s Tailor Made program; an exclusive program where owners are invited to the factory in Maranello to work with a designer to helm their unique vision. As part of this, Ferrari has created a series of limited collections celebrating various aspects of its storied history. With this car, however, Ferrari paid tribute to the natural order, creating a set of four cars that embody the four elements: fire, wind, water and earth.
This stunning 488 is the embodiment of terra firma, a one-of-one prancing horse with 56 delivery miles and a host of exclusive details that showcase its provenance as a Tailor Made Ferrari. And it can be yours.
Finished in a special dark metallic green with a metallic white livery over a Peccary Beige and Nero leather interior, this 488 Spider is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 that generates 660 horsepower and 561 ft/lbs of torque measured at 3,000 rpm. The number 488 indicates the total cubic centimeters of the combustion chamber volume. The engine utilizes the all-aluminum dry-sump system as used by the F154 V8 engine family. The Spider chassis has been reinforced to offset the loss of rigidity from not having a solid roof structure. As a result, the Spider weighs 110 pounds more than its GTB counterpart. Performance-wise, any difference between the two is practically imaginary.
The 488’s engine utilizes a flat-plane crankshaft design in an over-squared block where the bore is larger in diameter than is the length of the stroke. The configuration makes the 3.9-liter engine eager to rev to the stratosphere.
The twin turbos are engineered by IHI/Honeywell and operate in conjunction with twin air-to-air intercoolers designed to keep the intake charge cooler and denser for optimum efficiency during the power generation process. Speaking of efficiency, turbine impellers spin on ball bearings and are produced from a low-density titanium aluminum alloy, a material usually specified in jet engines to further reduce inertia and resist the temperatures inside the turbo housing under high- or extended-boost conditions.
The turbos’ electronic management system sees to it that turbo lag is just a distant memory from the early days of unnatural aspiration. The turbos are effectively bypassed when cruising the highways at any speed, which in turn delivers surprisingly good gas mileage for a high-end exotic road rocket. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters will help you pick your way through time and space like you’re virtually plugged into the Ferrari’s brain. Zero-to-60 times for this Spider are in the 3-second range and it can blister the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds. At the top end it flirts with over 200 mph speeds.
If, or when, you must ever slow down in this 488 Spider, a brake upgrade has been added and revolves around its carbon/ceramic rotors. Up front 15.66-inch diameter units and 14.17-inch at back play host to brake pads offering new composites designed to require very little warm-up time to achieve maximum grip. You know – in case you have to vacate the over-200-mph-club in a hurry.
This 488 Spider will cross the block at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction January 22-30 with No Reserve. It was destined to bring its owner the automotive equivalent of a lifetime of passion and celebrate the natural order of the Earth.
For up-to-date information on this vehicle, visit here.
To register to bid at the 2022 Scottsdale Auction – a celebration of 50 years of The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions – click HERE.