Ferrari 488 SpiderWe warmed up to the offbeat color of our Ferrari 488 Spider.Matthew DeBord/BI

  • 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.