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A Ferrari 488 Spider Review by Mr. James May

James May isn’t the first person you would expect to be reviewing one of the top of the line Ferrari’s. After all, his nickname is Captain Slow. You would be remiss,  in thinking that however, as that is exactly who did, in fact, review the Ferrari 488 Spider, and in the classically eloquent James May fashion you would expect.

James does in fact own his own Ferrari, as you may recall, so perhaps it’s not so surprising that he has a lot of great things to say about this one. For instance, May goes to say that “This is a blindingly responsive car, and the subtle management of torque curves and gear ratios — there are some fabulously baffling graphs to depict this — can at times make the 488 feel almost like a mini LaFerrari.”

Now, this next part is where I tell you what James May didn’t like about the car and a lot of it might just get you heated up. I’ll start with what I think is the biggest swing at Ferrari. James mentions the all-new NSX. If you haven’t heard, James is a huge fan of this car, so much so that he says this about Ferrari in comparison “Next to that, my Ferrari, this Ferrari, and all other mid-engined sports cars are beginning to feel strangely unenlightened.”

Those are certainly fighting words, especially to any Italian stallion fans. May also mentions that in addition to being a better car, the NSX is a cool £60,000 less than the 488.

It’s really all negative commentary in this review aside from what I’ve already mentioned and this one other comment: “It’s a Ferrari, and the roof comes off as a bonus. There. One advantage is that you can open the rear window independently of the roof and soak up some extra engine sound, and that’s nice.”

Following that nicety, James goes on to complain of the loss in value the spiders typically see against the coupes in the used market, how the car seems to creak and rattle a bit too much, and how the turbos, despite great mid-range punch, steal the truly magnificent character of a Ferrari’s V8 at the top end of the RPM range.

In conclusion, if you find yourself sharing a disposition with the likes of Captain Slow, perhaps look elsewhere for your next high-end supercar. This is not the prancing pony you’re looking for.

Source: The Sunday Times


Nick Dunlap

Nick is a lifelong automotive enthusiast, as well as journalist, and content creator. Nick also successful competes in a variety of automotive fields including national level car shows, autocross, SCCA races, and more. He enjoys designing and building a variety of cars and helping others do the same with theirs.

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