Ferrari F8 Spider review: Enter the Spider-verse

Ferrari’s F8 Spider has an arachnid’s ability to ensnare you. It’s not eight legs that’ll do it, but eight cylinders.

photos by Lawrence Loy and Lionel Kong

SINGAPORE — Judging from the F8 Spider, it seems like every new Ferrari gets that bit quicker than its predecessor, but also that bit easier to drive. That’s not to say that this particular specimen from Maranello doesn’t have bite, of course.

Believe it or not there are actually four open-top cars from Ferrari at the moment — this, the Portofino M, the 812 GTS and the SF90 Spider — which is little short of amazing, considering there was a time when the brand was content to have its entire lineup filled by only three distinct models.

Video: Ju-Len and Derryn walk you through the 812 GTS and F8 Spider

Whether you think of Ferrari as a Formula One racing company that sells fast cars or the other way ’round, it’s darn good at building convertibles. The F8 Spider’s metal roof takes just 14 seconds to hide itself, and it can perform its contortions while the Ferrari is on the move (so long as you keep things below 45km/h).

Perhaps the real accomplishment is that the Spider somehow looks like it was designed without a roof from the start, and yet it looks perfectly in-proportion with the top overhead.

It’s a sculpture on wheels, designed to exude speed but also shaped to deliver it, with every curve, duct and ridge there because it guides the air more precisely, making the car more stable at high speed without imposing huge amounts of speed-robbing drag.

To think Ferrari used to stick to offering only one convertible model at a time. 

Then again, this is post-IPO Ferrari, and with its stock now floated on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: RACE), there are greedy shareholders investors to please, and more product means more revenue. Fun fact: the shares went public at US$60 a share in October 2015 and are worth roughly US$200 today, a much better performance than the broader US market, which nearly doubled over the same time.

Anyway, you’re reading this to see what the F8 Spider is like, not for stock information, so while the new Ferrari is one way to transfer money from wealthy car enthusiasts to sotckholders, it’s also a car with a fairly specific buyer in mind.

Frankly, if you want an open-top Ferrari as a show of wealth, the Portofino M (yours from S$898,000 without Certificate Of Entitlement) will do it. If you want to scare yourself with it, there’s the 812 GTS, which is larger, plusher and significantly more powerful. For the ultimate flex, there’s the SF90 Spider, which will probably cost more than S$2m to put on the road here, though it at least gives you a thousand horsepower to play with.

1,000 horsepower, two seats, no roof (sorta)… it can only be the bonkers SF90 Spider!

That leaves the F8 Spider for people who identify as keen drivers, but who aren’t averse to the odd moment of fun in the sun (or who are perpetually in too much of a hurry to dry their hair before leaving the house).

Continue to page 2: But how’s this Spider drive, man?!

about the author

Leow Julen
CarBuyer's managing editor is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 25 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.