Confirming Buddha’s assertion that you cannot long hide the sun, moon, and stars, the convertible roof on Ferrari’s new Roma Spider drops in just 13.5sec. After which you’ve got plenty of time to gaze up and chew over the great questions of the universe.
One of which is thus: Is this now the prettiest, most attractive two-seat compact supercar on sale today? Ferrari’s Roma Coupe is a brilliantly executed piece of design of course, with its devotion to—and celebration of—’50s and ’60s Italiana.
Though surely, a convertible is a better way to experience la dolce vita of which the Roma series is so keen to represent. Ferrari’s gone to great lengths to ensure the lines of the Spider carry the Roma’s remit from “beyond city limits” to “en plein air.”
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While the bulk of the Roma’s slender lines remains as per the coupe, the rear has most obviously been reworked to incorporate the new folding roof. Comprised of special weaves and five layers, it’s the first time fabric has been deployed as a roofing material on a front-engined Ferrari since the 365 GTS4 back in 1969.
As such, Ferrari design supremo Flavio Manzoni and team re-proportioned the overhang into a form said to ‘hug’ the rear of the car, itself subject to tweaks underneath to accommodate the softer roof. Ferrari said it uses technical solutions deployed on the Portofino M, which throws up another question about what happens to that car.
This Spider is exactly 84kg heavier than the Roma Coupe, thanks in part—says Ferrari—to the new and very clever wind deflector, which when deployed rotates the backrest of the rear seats (sans passengers, of course) into position behind the front two’s heads. This itself is as much a comfort solution—less turbulence—as it is an aerodynamic one.
Ferrari also worked on the rear spoiler’s geometry and added a 5mm nolder on the windscreen header rail along with the new deflector, itself deployable by a small button on the center console.
The addition of which is the only interior change over the coupe. There’s the Roma’s familiar wraparound ‘dual-cockpit’ concept enforced by that high central console, itself containing a neat nod back to Ferrari’s open-gate-gearbox roots, and the 8.4-inch floating display. The driver gets their own digital display, of course, reflecting the V8’s current state.
And with 612hp on offer, there will be many states. Mostly excitable. The 3.9-liter V8 turbo comes in unchanged from the Roma Coupe, along with the same eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, a new exhaust tune for better noise, and the ability to run 0-100kph in 3.4sec. Flat out, it’s just shy of 322kph.
Ferrari as ever claims the dynamic ability of the Spider matches the Coupe, featuring the latest version of the company’s supernatural Side Slip Control (6.0). “The Ferrari Roma Spider is not just rewardingly easy to drive, it is also extremely dynamic and responsive,” says Ferrari. After all, as Buddha didn't say, it is better to executive a perfect drift than arrive.
Ferrari Roma Spider photos:
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.