23/08/2011 Ferrari 458 Spider to debut in Frankfurt
Well, here’s something no one expected. The open-top version of the Ferrari 458 Italia doesn’t have a classic fabric top after all, but an electrically powered aluminum roof. The new 458 Spider will be unveiled in September at the IAA in Frankfurt.
It’s good news for soft-top purists who moan that a heavy, retractable roof ruins the character of a lightweight sports car. According to Ferrari, the aluminium structure not only weighs some 25kg less than a fabric roof, it can also be opened faster. It takes just 14 seconds for the coupé to be transformed to the Spider, with the hardtop folding down into the space behind the seats. Other neat design touches include the ‘fins’ behind the seatbacks directing the air-flow more effectively to the air-intakes of the engine compartment, and a large, electrically adjustable wind deflector making life inside the cabin a pleasant experience, even at 100mph-plus.
As you’d expect, Ferrari has worked hard to offer a superb driving experience, and we’re told that the car has the same rigidity, roof open or closed. The engine is the award-winning 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 from the coupé version, promising a maximum output of 570HP and 540Nm of torque. The 0-100km/h (62mph) figure is a cheerfully brisk 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 320km/h, and a weight of 1430kg that’s just 50kg more than its closed-top cousin.
Even the fuel consumption seems – miraculously – to have fallen, with CO2 emissions dropping to 275g/km. Not exactly eco-warrior territory, perhaps, but pretty impressive for a car with this outrageous performance. Full details, including pricing, will be announced at the IAA in Frankfurt in September, precisely two years after the world premiere of the Ferrari 458 Italia.