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Ferrari outs Roma Spider convertible

Rag top offering follows classic front-engine, rear-drive formula; pricing unconfirmed

20 Mar 2023

FERRARI has unveiled a rag top Spider version of its sensuous Roma front engine sports coupe at an as yet unknown price.


For convertible fans, the Roma Spider provides the opportunity to be seen while at the same time pursuing pleasure and gaining a deep suntan driving in a high-performance, high-speed roadster.


Its appearance adds to the surprisingly numerous choices available in the premium, soft top sports car segment.


The Roma tin top coupe version sells here for $409,888 plus on-road costs so buyers can expect something north of that when the sleek 2+ convertible Spider arrives.


Choices available in the segment include the likes of Lamborghini’s Huracan 5.2 Evo rear-wheel drive from $422,606, McLaren’s 570S Spider from $435,750, Maserati’s MC 20 Cielo from $528,000 and the Aston Martin 5.2 Volante DBS from $569,712, all plus on road costs.


In classic sports car configuration, the Roma Spider features a front engine with rear-wheel drive under its lithe body that highlight the Fazza’s rag top able to be deployed at speeds up to 60km/h in 13.5 seconds.


Ferrari says the soft top, available with ‘bespoke’ fabric, boasts acoustic comfort on a par with retractable hard tops due in part to a wind deflector integrated into the rear seat backrests.


Similar wind buffeting solutions have been effectively used for decades but the Roma’s system goes a step further to the point where the iconic sports car manufacturer has patented its system.


The Spider is the latest addition to the Ferrari line up and eschews any sort of powertrain electrical assistance. It is motivated by pure ICE power from a bellowing 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine rated at a healthy 456kW and 760Nm.


Prospective Roma Spider ‘clients’ were treated at the reveal in Morocco with, “A view back in time as the Roma Spider is a contemporary take on timelessly elegant, high-performance Ferrari sports cars from the 1950s and 60s”.


Ferrari says the car carries over the proportions, volumes and specifications of the Roma’s V8 2+ predecessors with soft top roofs that makes a welcome return to the Prancing Horse on a front-engined car 54 years after the 1969 365 GTS4.


At a functional level, the fast-acting soft top is compact and yields a larger than expected boot increasing the car’s versatility. The wind deflector is operated by a button on the central tunnel.


The strikingly good-looking vehicle was designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre headed by Flavio Manzoni, with a mission to move the La Nuova Dolce Vita (The New Sweet Life) concept beyond city limits for elegant, carefree driving in the fresh air.


Manzoni was able to redesign the coupe’s tapering, fastback roofline and rear screen to incorporate it into the soft top so that it could fold below the tonneau cover when open. Special fabric weaves were selected and developed in colour combinations that highlight the car’s elegant and sporty characteristics.


Ferrari says the Roma Spider retains the same dynamic capabilities as the hard top coupe with a best-in-class power to weight ratio thanks in part to the abbreviated soft top and associated mechanism, the all-aluminium chassis and all alloy V8 engine coupled with Ferrari’s quick shifting eight-speed DCT gearbox.


On top of that, the engine/exhaust ‘soundtrack’ has been given special attention to satisfy an attuned ear.


Standard kit includes necessities like a decent size boot which includes a hatch via the rear seat backrests to allow larger items to be carried, standard wireless connectivity by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi, 18-way-adjustable heated ergonomic seats that are also available with an optional neck warmer for colder days.


The technology adopted inside is derived from the Ferrari Roma and includes an integrated digital instrument cluster with a twin cockpit design. F1 style gearbox controls have been set into a metal plate which references the iconic gear lever gate.


The car’s V8 engine belongs to a family of engines that have won International Engine of the Year accolades for four consecutive years and also been voted Best Engine of the Last 20 Years in 2018.


The 3.9-litre unit can rev to 7500rpm with 80 per cent of torque available from just 1900rpm thanks to the turbo system. It has a fast pressurising oil pump for cold starts, and instant throttle response courtesy of the flat plane crankshaft with reduced rotating mass.


Compact twin scroll turbos are featured with have a lower moment of inertia to increases the pressure of the exhaust pulses for maximum power. Gear specific boost management optimises fuel economy while also maximising power when needed.

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