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Ferrari 488 Spider debuts in Frankfurt, is faster than Lamborghini's new drop-top in every way
Like clockwork, Ferrari introduced a retractable hardtop version of its the new 488 supercar at the Frankfurt auto show. The company says the folding hardtop is super-lightweight, folds quickly and still keeps the noise and elements out.
The 488 Spider works with the same 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 as the coupe, making 660 hp at 8,000 rpm and 560 lb-ft of torque. That’s good for a 0-62-mph sprint of 3 seconds and a blast to 124 mph in 8.7. Power is sent rearward through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to Ferrari’s Variable Torque Management system and then on to the wheels.
There’s no turbo lag with the 3.9, according to Ferrari. This is accomplished via turbos on ball-bearing-mounted shafts to reduce friction, compressor wheels made from TiAl (an aluminum alloy) and by using a twin-scroll system, which directs exhaust gases through separate scrolls and increases the pressure of the exhaust pulses for more power.
Ferrari’s claimed focus is maximum efficiency with the new V8. Intake ports are shaped to optimize airflow, and the engine has an ion-sensing system that measures air currents to control ignition timing and a multi-spark feature that enables the spark advance to be maximized. The oil pump can vary its pressure, reducing power requirements, while the cylinder heads with roller-finger followers reduce the power absorbed by the valvetrain 10 percent. A flat-plane crank reduces mass and improves balance.
Air flow is always a concern for Ferrari engineers. The front of the 488 Spider features a central pillar and double spoiler. The spoiler has a top section that’s designed to manage airflow to the radiator, while the lower section generates suction under the car. The underbody features curved aerodynamic appendages that accelerate air and reduce pressure, which increases downforce but not drag -- a key when designing aerodynamic supercars. The rear diffuser also does its part, optimizing the air flowing under the car and boosting downforce. The adjustable rear diffuser can adjust the balance between increased downforce and reduced drag.
The hardtop retracts and unfolds in just 14 seconds (that's three seconds faster than the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder) and takes up just 100 liters, or about 3.5 cubic feet, as opposed to nearly double that for a conventional hardtop, according to Ferrari. Using aluminum on the top and a simple folding mechanism, the company says it realized weight savings of about 88 pounds over a traditional hard top and about 55 pounds over a soft top. Curb weight is just 3,362 pounds.
The 488 Spider gets Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control system (version two), which is said to be more precise and less invasive than that last. It provides 12 percent faster longitudinally out of corners than the 458 Spider. It integrates with the car's stability control and its E-Differential. It also controls the active magnetic dampers, flattening the car even more in fast corners and with changes of direction. A new Brembo braking system, borrowed from the LaFerrari, shortens stopping distances 9 percent.
Inside, the steering wheel holds most of the controls; others are stationed in pods angled toward the driver. The central tunnel features a Prancing Horse logo and has a storage compartment, “which allows small items to be hidden from prying eyes when the car is parked with the top down.” The Spider also comes with Apple CarPlay and a new version of Ferrari's infotainment system.
The Ferrari 488 Spider goes on sale in the first half of 2016 with an approximate price of $270,000.
Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/frankfurt-motor-show/ferrari-488-spider-drops-its-top-frankfurt-motor-show
Insuring the Uninsurable
The debate over Obama's contraceptive mandate pits conscience against coercion.
(Page 2 of 2)
Fine, but what’s it got to do with insurance?
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- Barack Obama
- Barbara Boxer
“Some 99% of women in the U.S. who are or have been sexually
active at some point in their lives have used birth control,
including 98% of Catholic women, according to the Guttmacher
Fine, but what’s it got to do with—oh never mind. I’ll answer
myself: It’s got nothing to do with insurance.
Insurance arose as a way for individuals to pool their risk of
some low-probability/high-cost misfortune befalling them.
It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out, but coming of
child-bearing age and choosing to use contraception is not an
insurable event. It’s a volitional act. It may have good
consequences for the person taking the action and society at large,
but it is still a volitional act. It makes no sense to talk about
insuring against the eventuality that a particular person will use
contraception. Strictly speaking, contraception has nothing to do
Unfortunately, we don’t speak strictly about health insurance.
One reason we don’t is the tax code. Since World War II
compensation for labor in the form of employment-based health
insurance does not count as taxable income. (Money spent
independently on health insurance does count.) The tax code thus
creates perverse incentives to 1) depend on one’s employer for
medical insurance, 2) shift income from liquid cash to restricted
insurance benefits, and 3) define uninsurable events as insurable.
Would someone care to explain how well-baby care can be
So we have taxation to thank for yet another feature of the
modern world: the corruption of language. In the medical realm
insurance no long means insurance.
Instead it’s a game by which we get other people to pay for
stuff. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It’s actually a game in
which we pretend that other people pay for stuff. Look,
contraception, mammograms, colonoscopies, and well-baby care are
not free. (See my “There’s No Such Thing as
a Free Mammogram.”) They require labor and resources for which
the owners wish—not unreasonably—to be compensated. Someone has
to pay. If employers are compelled nominally to pay for the
coverage, does anyone seriously doubt that employees will actually
pay through lower cash wages? Employers are not charities. So even
without a copayment, we all know deep down that we as workers pay
for the coverage. (Which by the way is likely to be more expensive
than the services would be in a freed market, since insurance
companies will charge overhead and more for their trouble. Also
subsidized demand raises prices.) Nevertheless, the truth is so
obscured that people can pretend they’re getting something for
So the government-generated system treats us like children, and
alas most of us seem happy to be treated that way.
Under pressure, the Obama administration was expected to
“compromise” under which exempt Catholic employers would not
have to pay for contraception coverage. Instead, insurance
companies would provide the coverage directly to employees. Since
under Health and Human Services rules, this coverage must be free,
the Obama administration is in effect directing insurers to eat the
cost. But insurers are profit-making companies, not charities, so
we may expect them to pass the cost to someone else. But to whom?
There’s only one possibility: nonexempt employers, which means in
fact employees of nonexempt companies. So the grand compromise
shifts the cost from a small minority of employees to the vast
majority — all in the name of religious freedom. All workers in
nonexempt companies and institutions will take a pay cut.
Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article
Sheldon Richman is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and chairman of the board of trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society. He blogs at Free Association and has authored several books including, most recently, America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited.
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