The Ferrari 458 Italia loses the roof, gains 50 kg and we assume loses none of its handling abilities to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the Ferrari 458 Spider.
The 458 Spider features a retractable aluminium roof at is 25kg lighter than the conventional folding soft top. This is the first time that Ferrari has fitted a retractable folding roof to a mid engined berlinetta, a two seater coupe-ish car. Fully integrated into the styling of the car, the hard-top was engineered to fit neatly ahead of the engine bay without compromising aerodynamics or the performance of the car. The roof mechanism does not eat into the space behind the seats meant for luggage.
The buttresses at the rear have been designed to look good and also optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators. The 458 Spider features a large adjustable electric wind stop. The design was perfected to slow and diffuse the air in the cockpit, making sure you do not have to scream to be heard at speeds over 200 km/h.
Leave the screaming to Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5 litre V8 which was nominated as the 2011 International Engine of the Year for its engineering excellence in terms of driveability, performance, economy and refinement. The power is transferred to the road by Ferrari’sdual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission through the sophisticated E-Diff, itself integrated with the F1-Trac traction control and high-performance ABS for maximum handling dynamics.
This video from Ferrari shows the retracting mechanism of the roof.