Ferrari unveils 458 Spider

Ferrari has released the first details and images of its 458 Spider convertible.

Joining the Italia in Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 lineup, the Spider features a Ferrari patented, fully-retractable hard top, making it the world’s first mid-engined drop-top.

The Spider’s all-aluminium, folding steel roof offers a weight reduction of 25 kg over traditional soft-tops, and roof deployment in just 14 seconds. Fully-integrated into the vehicle’s styling, the harp-top sits just in front of the engine bay and leaves room for a luggage bench behind the seats. Minor styling changes to the rear of the car optimise air flow into the engine intakes and clutch, and gearbox oil radiators, while the addition of an adjustable electric wind stop is said to allow for normal conversations even when travelling at over 200 km/h. Structural rigidity is also unchanged thanks to engineering tweaks to the chassis.

The 458 Spider is powered by the same 425 kW, naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5-litre V8 as the Italia, which was nominated as the 2011 International Engine of the Year. However the accelerator pedal mapping and multilink suspension damping have been re-calibrated to ensure that the performance and overall driving experience remain unchanged. The engine note has also been sharpened for top-down cruising.

The 458 Spider will make its official debut the Frankfurt International Motor Show next month.

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