The first images of 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider have finally been revealed ahead of Frankfurt Auto Show. Described by the Italian carmaker as the first mid-rear-engine supercar to feature a retractable roof, the 458 Italia Spider is set to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2012.
The 458 Spider is powered by a naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5 liter V8 unit from the 458 Italia coupe which delivers 570 hp and 398 lb-ft. The power is transferred to the road by a dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission through the E-Diff, itself integrated with the F1-Trac traction control and ABS. Ferrari claims a 0-to-62-mph time of 3.5 seconds, or a tenth of a second slower than the fixed-roof model, and a top speed of 198 mph.
The new Ferrari 458 Spider is a hard-top convertible with a top made of aluminum, offering a weight reduction of 4.4 pounds in weight. Made from aluminum, the patented structure is claimed to automatically retract back to a dedicated stowage area behind the seats, in front of the engine bay, in just 14 seconds. It’s said to be compact, too. Ferrari says there is a small luggage bench behind the front seats to carry a few bags.
Ferrari also includes an electrically adjustable wind deflector, which bosses claim allows occupants to have a normal conversation even at speeds of up to 124mph. 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. Changes have also been made to the dampers and throttle mapping, although Ferrari hasn’t revealed any further details on these tweaks. The wailing engine note from the 458’s triple exhausts is already one of the finest sounds in motoring, but Ferrari has fettled it further in a bid to give the Spider the perfect top-down soundtrack.
The Ferrari 458 Spider will be on display in Frankfurt in September, and price list and exact on sale date will be announced later.