2012 Ferrari 458 Spider is a topless dream machine [w/video]

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When you chop the top of a sports car, you often lose the lines that originally draws crowds to gasp in excitement as it rolls past into the sunset. Ferrari has just hacked the lid off its 458 Italia and the resulting 458 Spider is the tradition-bucking result. The convertible 458 puts your ears closer to the engine, allows all of your senses to to explode without getting the upholstery messy and guns down nearly every other car in your path.

Nestled behind your soon-to-be-mussed coif sits the 458's 4.5-liter V8 heart that pumps out 562 horsepower and life-changing affirmations. Be it the Italian countryside or California coast, this is a car we'd want to be piloting when the sun is shining and the roads are empty. If you need us, we'll be clicking through our gallery of high-resolution photos and watching the drama-soaked video after the jump in an endless loop.

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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

4527 mm (178.2 in.)
1937 mm (76.3 in.)
1211 mm (47.7 in.)
2650 mm (104.3 in.)
Dry weight
1430 kg (3153 lbs)*
Weight/power ratio
2.51 kg/CV (7.42 lbs/kW)
Weight distribution fr/r

90° V8
4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
Maximum power
570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm
Maximum torque
540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
Specific power output
127 CV/l
Compression ratio

235/35 ZR20 8.5"
295/35 ZR20 10.5"

Maximum speed
>320 km/h (>198 mph)
0-100 km/h
<3.4 s

Fuel consumption + emissions
Fuel consumption***
11.8 l/100 km
275 g CO2/km

Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1

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)

Ferrari 458 Italia Information

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