• Jun 7, 2010
These interwebs are full or rumor and conjecture. The juiciest tidbits we publish here for your consideration and amusement. The latest? That the upcoming roadster version of the Ferrari 458 Italia will receive a retractable hard top.

Now if you're thinking – given the "unavoidable" extra weight – that a hard top on a performance exotic makes about as much sense as a screen door on a proverbial submarine, we dare to challenge that assumption. Maybe that was once the case, and arguably still is for most automakers, but Ferrari's carved out a niche for itself as an expert in lightweight construction and advanced design.

Say what you will about the Ferrari California, but during its development Maranello claims to have found the use of a hard-top convertible mechanism was actually lighter in weight than an equivalent fabric roof would have been. (Not to mention that, in true Prancing Horse style, it's the fastest in the business.) And remember the Superamerica it made out of the 575M with that innovative flip-top invented by former Pininfarina designer (and deputy Ferrari GM) Leonardo Fioravanti?

Couple those past experiences with reports that the convertible version of arch-rival McLaren's MP4-12C could also go drop-tin-top, and suddenly a 458 Spider with a hard top doesn't seem quite so far-fetched.



[Source: Teamspeed.com via Motor Authority]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      i'm gonna have to call BS on this one
      • 4 Years Ago
      ...

      This is easily the most gorgeous Ferrari have produced in the last decade.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Miata is available with a folding hard top that's only marginally heavier than the soft top no?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't care what anyone says, the california isn't soft and it isn't slow. Slower than other Ferraris? sure, but it's still a Ferrari, it's the rawest hard top roadster out there and and you really can't ask for more. It's still fast, still handles well and still has that great V8. Anyone who has a problem with that is nit picky. It's not like you can afford it anyways.

      I am fully confident that Ferrari can make an effective hard top 458. Pagani's roadsters are actually better than their hardtops, so why can't Ferrari do the same?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Shiftright: I agree with you. Funny thing is though, that I only see men driving around in the California around Beverly Hills. All the women I see are driving F430s
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just saw a 458 drive past me on full throttle, sounds like God.

      Chop off the roof, let the driver and passenger enjoy the wall of sound I say!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It will be a hardtop. The best Ferrari ever just got better!
      • 4 Years Ago
      just curious, does anyone make a carbon-fiber hardtop?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe Ferrari soon?
      • 4 Years Ago
      No mid-engine production car has yet offered a retractable hardtop convertible, and considering the complexity and packaging parameters, it would be a neat trick if Ferrari found a beautiful solution. Still, what benefit screams for the retractable hardtop over a traditional fabric top? Especially with front engine cars, I just don't see why anyone would prefer a retractable hardtop that eats up all their trunk space and adds so much more weight. I've driven the Mercedes SL63 and E63 back-to-back at an AMG driving event and found the SL63 to be softer and less crisp handling than the E63 ... even the pro drivers hired by Mercedes admit the retractable hardtop adds weight and makes the SL more ponderous to flick around.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you're purchasing a convertible then you're not going for performance anyway. I say do it!

      I'd love to get my hands on a California.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There are performance convertibes. The SL AMG and the honda s2000 come to mind.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've owned 2 S2000's and I wouldn't really consider that car a "true" performance car. THE S2000 and Miata and light nimble weekend drivers. They aren't 100% focused on performance the way say a 911 GT3 is. And this is a Ferrari fellas, not some car that some people mix between daily driving and weekend autocross. So what it's worth, people who can afford this car and want a true sports car that will be used for it's true purpose like a GT3 wouldn't opt for the convertible. That's just the truth of the matter. The S2000 and Miata's don't even have that option, but if they did, the hardcore drivers would probably purchase the coupe versions of the models.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good luck, it's mid-engined.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say this every time I see a 458. This thing is UGLY!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really? I was just checking in here to say how gorgeous the 458 looks. It oozes sex like no other current Ferrari.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's funny...I say the same thing every time I see your mom.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ummm....see
      a hard top requires room behind the driver...that makes that feat hard when your car is mid engined!!! -.-

      good luck with that...
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