Italian supercars are notoriously difficult to handle, but Ferrari’s new mid-rear-engine sports cars are different: easier to drive yet in each configuration still “a mighty presence on the road.” Like its hardtop twin, the 458 Italia, the new Spider is “ludicrously fast, with cheek-sucking grip through corners,” and it can even be relied on to exit an intersection without lurching or stalling. And what beautiful noise it makes! The exhaust system is custom-tuned; we’ve “never heard a car sound so good.”
Edmunds Inside Line
Hard-core performance buffs may prefer the 2-year-old 458 Italia: The Spider has “slightly softer” suspension tuning, to accommodate daily driving. But this is “no second-class Ferrari.” Its ingenious folding hardtop barely reduces chassis rigidity, and its shared all-alloy V8 registers “the same 562 hp and the same crazy 9,000-rpm redline.”
Car and Driver
The 458 Spider does have a few quirks, like a confusing dash layout and a steering wheel “covered in buttons and blinking lights.” But it also has that “supernova” of an engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission that “snaps off shifts so efficiently that the whole idea of a conventional manual transmission seems quaint.” Quibbles aside, this is a “spectacular” car.