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Ferrari 458 Spider set to take Summer 2012 by storm

Expected to outsell 458 Coupe 3 to 1...

Ferrari officially revealed the new 458 Spider at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show and went on to be one of the stars of the show.

The 458 Spider gets a folding hard-top roof made out of aluminum which deploys in just 14 seconds and provides a 25 kg advantage over a soft-top option (given the safety engineering requirements needed to create a street-legal cabriolet) according to the boys in Maranello.

The roof pivots about the rear of the roof panel, reminiscent of the 575 Superamerica model and has made some question whether it is actually a convertible, or if it should be called a targa. We don't mind what it's called though, as it is stunning to look at and isn't spoiled at all by the addition of the folding roof. Lamborghini really are going to have to bring something stunning to the table when the Gallardo replacement is announced to take drivers away from the 458. Of course, also set to rival the 458 Spider is the forthcoming Convertible version of the McLaren MP4-12C.

The Spider unfortunately loses the clear glass engine cover of the coupe (much like the Gallardo Spyder) but this was required for the roof panel to have somewhere to be stowed when open. It does leave a very nicely contoured panel though with extra vents and curves to match the rest of the car, including two bear butresses which alsp act as the rollover protection. One thing guaranteed is that with an open roof you will be able to hear the glorious sound of an Italian V8 bouncing off any walls you may be passing.

Power is supplied by the same 4.5 liter V8 unit from the 458 Italia coupe which delivers 570 PS (425 kW / 563 bhp) and 540 Nm of torque (398 lb-ft) and the car weighs only 40kg more than the coupe so performance will still be electrifying.

Speaking of the build quality and sound insulation of this open-top 458, Ferrari says that you can have a "normal conversation...at speeds over 200 km/h (124 mph)."

Now sit back and watch the theatre of the roof working, and just listen to the sound of Maranello's finest V8...

Images and video courtesy of Ferrari SpA

 

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more