Undoubtedly the image which made us long the most for Frankfurt, and which was probably viewed most on the world wide web, was that of the Ferrari 458 Spider. This is a vehicle which in coupe form has one multiple awards, and has in the space of a year, has become one of the most easily identifiable Ferraris to date. With accolades such as “International Engine of the Year”, you know that the same engine in a slightly different looking beast is going to go down just great.
The biggest surprise a few weeks ago was news that the Ferrari Spider would feature a hard-top retractable roof, rather than a soft-top that has been seen on the 360 and F430 predecessor models. For me it makes total sense to have a hard-top; not only do you retain control over the vehicle and minimise weight-additions in the form of strengthening rods, but this car is made to handle like a racing car and to remove the roof is akin to telling Kim Kardashian to have buttock-reduction surgery. All the character is lost.
With a stonking V8 engine which releases 570bhp at a lofty 9,000rpm and a top speed of near 200mph, the 458 Spider will reach the 62mph mark in a lightning quick 3.4 seconds. That catapults it into “fastest convertible” realms and it’s no wonder that journalists yesterday were willing to be crushed to get a few snaps.
The marmite aspect of the car does arrive when you look more closely at the roof and the compromises that have had to be made. Gone is the transparent engine cover which features Maranello’s finest and instead is a painted cover which opens up and allows the hard-top roof to be retracted without the need for splitting or multiple folds in just 14 seconds. It’s a simple idea and has been easier to implement thanks to the fact the 458 is a two-seater supercar.
For more high definition images carrying on clicking the thumbnails below to really get a feel for the 458 Spider.