Direct, back to back comparisons with the coupe will have to wait for an opportunity to do exactly that. For now though, it can be said the 488 Spider is exceptional, truly exceptional. Its composure, precision and resolve are phenomenal, remaining unflustered over some terrible Italian roads. These were deliberately chosen by Ferrari to demonstrate just how capable the 488 is and how the structure really can cope. Bar a very slight shimmy or two through the steering column over a few really abrasive imperfections at, er, some speed, it's unflappable. And damn impressive.
Knowing that allowances don't have to be made as a Spider, the 488's myriad talents can really be exploited and enjoyed. The damping is exquisite; fluid and relaxed but with flawless body control. I fell asleep in the passenger seat for 30km, so settled is the ride. With the roof down. The brakes too are gorgeous, with huge performance and absolute faith in the response from the top of the pedal. Before even 3,000rpm is breached, the 488 is already seducing with huge dynamic talent and charm.
And beyond 3,000rpm? Hold on. Really tight. The 488 is obscenely fast, from comfortably below those revs in fact. Lag is genuinely imperceptible, the 3.9-litre V8 immediately reacting to the smallest inputs at very few revs. But the way it builds speed leaves you in no doubt as to its turbocharged roots, the onslaught of speed quite shocking. But it still goes so hard all the way to 8,000rpm, getting faster and faster until all those shift lights illuminate and you thwack into the limiter. If you're feeling brave the Spider can comfortably, almost nonchalantly accommodate. What on earth must a LaFerrari be like?
But will that carry over to the dynamics? Here the Huracan may face a tougher task. Climbing up endless hairpins in the Italian countryside, the Spider is joyous; the gearbox is impeccable, so you brake as late as you dare and know the gear will be selected. Turn-in is quick but feels entirely natural, the car never caught out by the steering's fast response. Then out of the bend the traction is magnificent, all the electronics collaborating to make the driver feel like an absolute hero. Race mode permits a little wiggle even for when 670hp and slackened traction control don't feel wise. Wonderful.
The best of both worlds then? It could well be. The 488 Spider may still face the stigma of being a convertible Ferrari, but it is no longer encumbered by the dynamic compromises of being a convertible Ferrari. Those who have driven both cite barely any difference, something that can hopefully be proven with a direct comparison. Until then, the 90 per cent of Ferrari Spider customers who have never had a coupe and use it mainly for trips out with their partner (yes they do, the Ferrari research says so) will adore the 488. And those who have never considered a Spider may well want to think about changing their minds.
FERRARI 488 SPIDER
Engine: 3,902cc V8, twin-turbo
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 670@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 560@3,000rpm
Top Speed: 203mph
Weight: 1,420kg (with "lightweight options")
MPG: 24.8mpg (NEDC combined)