Ferrari 458 Spider: first pics

Ferrari releases details of the 458 Spider ahead of its Frankfurt debut

By Tim Kendall | 23rd August 2011

Ferrari 458 Spider revealed with folding hard top

Ferrari has peeled the lid off the 458 Italia to give us this – the 458 Spider. Equipped with an aluminium folding roof, Ferrari’s latest drop-top will debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

  • 458 Spider gets folding aluminium roof;
  • lighter than equivalent soft top;
  • on show at Frankfurt in September.

Ferrari 458 Spider

The retractable hard top is not only a world first for a car with the mid-rear engined open layout, but tips the scales at 25kg less than the 430 Spider’s soft top. It’ll also retract fully in just 14 seconds, ideal for catching the fleeting glimpses of sunshine which characterise British summertime.

The oily bits stay the same, so the 458 Spider uses the 562bhp 4.5-litre V8 and twin-clutch F1 gearbox of its fixed-roof cousin. Whilst the fundamentals haven’t been fiddled with, Maranello’s finest have been busy turning the topless Ferrari experience up to 11, with some fettling of the soundtrack said to make it even more ‘captivating’. Ferrari also say the damping has been honed and the accelerator mapping tweaked for optimum performance in top-down mode.

The transition from Italia to Spider body style adds 50kg to the 458, which blunts performance – if only slightly. As a result, the 0-62mph dash is despatched in 3.4 seconds – a tenth slower, whilst the drop-top car maxes out at around 198mph, 4mph down on the coupé.

Ferrari 458 Spider rear

The roof stows behind the front seats, just ahead of the engine, and is compact enough to leave a bench area behind the seats for luggage. Buttresses instead of a flat, 355 Spider-style rear-deck give it a slightly busy profile, but optimise airflow and cooling to the clutch and gearbox oil radiators.

Ferrari is also proud of the electrically-adjustable wind deflector fitted to the 458 Spider. Designed to slow and diffuse air in the cockpit, it allows occupants to carry on a normal conversation at up to 125mph. Handy for avoiding the indignity of raising one’s voice or disturbing the coiffured barnet on a top-down cross-continental blast.

Ferrari 458 Spider video:

Ferrari 458 Spider picture gallery:

By Tim Kendall
23rd August 2011

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