Ferrari Unveils Drop-top 458 Spider Ahead of Frankfurt Debut

By Trevor Dorchies | August 23, 2011
When Ferrari introduced the 458 Italia coupe in 2009, its success was as near-instantaneous as its acceleration. With the popular coupe only two years old, what can Ferrari do to top its success? It's simple: Just take the top off. The 458 Spider is basically an Italia coupe, but with a retractable hard-top roof that can fold away at the driver's discretion. Both the 458 Italia and Spider share the same 4.5 liter V-8 engine directing 570 prancing ponies to the pavement. The main differences, besides the removable roof, are tweaks to the suspension, accelerator and engine acoustics to, as Ferrari puts it, "ensure that the car's occupants are completely captivated by the drop-top driving experience."  Ferrari claims the Spider can go from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds and will reach a top speed of over 198 mph. Ferrari says the retractable hard-top is the first ever in a mid-rear engine vehicle like the 456. It folds away in only 14 seconds, making it possible to switch it up at a traffic light or just in traffic. Ferrari built the hard-top to fold in sections and tuck itself away in front of the engine bay without letting performance of the Spider suffer. You can check out the Spider in action losing its top in the video below.
The driver also has the ability to control a windscreen electronically that Ferrari says enables "normal conversation" at speeds of up to 124 mph. There are two sloped buttress spanning from behind the headrests down to the rear spoiler boosting aerodynamics for the Spider when the top is down too. It's still to be seen how much the Spider will go for and when it will hit the dealership floor. However we expect to see it at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month and learn more about the Spider then. What do you think about Ferrari adding a hard-top convertible to its lineup? Which one would you rather have, the Italia or Spider? Tell us about it in the comment section below. Source: Ferrari