Ferrari takes the top off the 458 with the new Spider Model

Drop top Italian performance.

The newest edition to the Ferrari lineup just took its top off down the streets of Maranello. The new Ferrari 458 Spider joins the ranks of the Italian super cars with innovative features, technology, and, of course, otherworldly performance. For the first time ever in a sports car in this segment, Ferrari has unveiled a new fully-retractable hard top.

Behind the cockpit sits the award-winning 4.5-liter V-8 engine producing 560 horsepower at screaming 9,000 RPM horsepower and 389 lb-ft. of torque at 6,000 RPM. All that power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch paddle shift transmission and E-diff. To aid drivers, F1-Trac traction control and high performance ABS systems come standard. Customers can also choose to option their 458 Spider with forged wheels and racing seats for even better performance.

To say that the new Ferrari 458 Italia Spider is just a topless 458 is insensitive. Ferrari has reworked and redesigned many parts of the super car so that it provides the same thrilling drive that the Italian automaker is known for. Small aspects such as the accelerator pedal mapping, suspension damping, and the engine’s exhaust note have been tuned to create an exciting drive.

At first glance the Ferrari 458 Spider is truly a special convertible. Two buttresses protrude from the rear of the car and extend to the edge of the cockpit where air freely flows. Each buttress was designed to redirect cooling air into the engine intakes, clutch, and transmission oil radiators. But even more intriguing is the new patented Ferrari hard top. The innovative hard top reduces weight by 55 lbs. over a traditional folding soft top and deploys in just 14 seconds. Ferrari engineers developed a top that stows neatly inside a small space above the engine bay without affecting the overall aerodynamics and performance of the 458 Italia. The small storage area for the roof enabled designers to create a rear bench behind the two seats for luggage space. Another new innovation from Ferrari is the large adjustable wind stop. The wind stop slows the air moving inside the cockpit and allows for conversations at speeds up to 124 mph.

The new Ferrari 458 Italia Spider offers open top excitement and exhilarating Italian performance. Performance is not compromised with the top up or down and structural rigidity is not lost, making it one of the best open top sports cars available. Pricing and availability have not yet been released by the Italian automaker. The Ferrari 458 Italia Spider will make its official public debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider Specifications

Type: 90-degree V-8
Displacement: 4.5 liters
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Maximum Horsepower: 560 (425 kW) at 9,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 398 lb-ft. (540 Nm) at 6,000 RPM

Type: Seven-speed dual clutch F1 paddle shift
Drive: Rear-wheel

Acceleration 0-62 mph: Less than 3.4 seconds
Top Speed: Over 198 mph

Front: 235/35 ZR 20
Rear: 295/35 ZR 20

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider Gallery

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[Source: Ferrari]

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