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Ferrari 458 Spider Unveiled

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On: Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 3:29PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ferrari 458 Spider Unveiled

The Ferrari 458 Spider is official! Thanks to months of leaks and rumors, there really isn't anything new to report, but we have the full scoop complete with the extra authority of a company-issued press release. After a big leak earlier this week, Ferrari decided to unveil the 458 Spider ahead of its Frankfurt public debut.

As has been rumored, the 458 Spider uses a new retractable hard-top system rather than a folding soft-top. Ferrari calls it the "world's first mid-rear Berlinetta equipped with a retractable hard top." The Ferrari-patented aluminum hard-top system retracts in 14 seconds and cuts more than 50 lbs. of weight off the convertible when compared to a soft-top system. When opened, the top tucks neatly away in front of the engine bay and doesn't impede aerodynamics.

The car borrows the 458 Italia's 4.5-liter V-8 engine and dual-clutch, paddle-shift transmission. Though the powertrain remains the same, Ferrari has tuned components like the suspension, accelerator pedal mapping, and engine note to maximize performance in the convertible.

The rear end is characterized by smooth buttresses designed to maximize the flow of air into the engine. An adjustable electric wind stop enhances comfort with the top down, and the car's superior wind channeling allows for conversations at speeds up to 124 mph.

According to Ferrari's spec sheet, the Spider will barely lose step over its fully topped brother. The 0 to 62 mph is listed at the same < 3.4 seconds as the 458, and the top speed drops 4 mph down to 198.

No word on price yet, but we'll have more when the Frankfurt Motor Show gets underway next month.

PRESS RELEASE:

HE NEW FERRARI 458 SPIDER

The world's first mid-rear engined berlinetta equipped with a retractable hard top debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Maranello, 23rd August 2011 - The new 458 Spider joins the 458 Italia, widening the range of Ferrari's mid-rear engined V8s and offering the same uncompromising technological solutions, handling and performance in a refined open-top configuration. It is equipped with a Ferrari patented, fully retractable hard top, a world first for a sports car with this lay-out.

The 458 Spider is powered by 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's class-leading dual-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.

Certain features, such as its accelerator pedal mapping and the damping of the multilink suspension, have been calibrated to guarantee maximum sportiness and absolute driving pleasure with the top down, in line with Maranello's exclusive spider tradition. Even the engine soundtrack has been honed to ensure that the car's occupants are completely captivated by the drop-top driving experience.

Entirely in aluminium, the hard-top solution adopted for the 458 Spider offers a number of advantages over the traditional folding soft-top, including a reduction of 25 kg in weight and a deployment time of just 14 seconds. 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 small space needed to house the roof enables the designers to include a generous rear bench for luggage behind the seats.

The rear of the car is characterised by innovative forms with the buttresses designed to optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators. For maximum comfort whilst driving top down the 458 Spider features a generously-sized adjustable electric wind stop. The design was perfected to slow and diffuse the air in the cockpit, enabling normal conversation to be held even at speeds over 200 km/h.

New technical solutions adopted for the chassis guarantee identical levels of structural rigidity with the roof up or down. The result is a car that is truly exciting to drive, blending extreme performance with the responsiveness that has always characterised Ferrari's open-top berlinettas.

458 Spider technical specifications

Dimensions
Length4527 mm (178.2 in.)
Width1937 mm (76.3 in.)
Height1211 mm (47.7 in.)
Wheelbase2650 mm (104.3 in.)
Dry weight1430 kg (3153 lbs)*
Weight/power ratio2.51 kg/CV (7.42 lbs/kW)
Weight distribution fr/r42%/58%
Engine
Type90° V8
Displacement4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
Maximum power570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm
Maximum torque540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
Specific power output127 CV/l
Compression ratio12.5:1
Tyres
Front235/35 ZR20 8.5”
Rear295/35 ZR20 10.5”
Performance
Maximum speed>320 km/h (>198 mph)
0-100 km/h<3.4 s
Fuel consumption + emissions
Fuel consumption***11.8 l/100 km
Emissions***275 g CO2/km
Gearbox
Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1
Electronics
E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS

* With forged wheels and Racing seats

** Including 5 CV of ram effect

*** Combined cycle with HELE system (ECE+EUDC)


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