Ferrari has finally debuted the 458 Spider, which is based on the 458 Italia mid-engined sports car but comes with a fully-retractable aluminum hard-top, a world first for a sports car with this layout.
According to Ferrari, the 4548 Spider's innovative new hard-top is not only 25kg lighter than the traditional folding soft-top used in its predecessor, the F430 Spider; it's also quieter and more thermally efficient when raised. Besides taking only 14 seconds to open or close, the hard-top was engineered to occupy a very small space when stored, allowing Ferrari engineers and designers to include a generous rear bench for luggage behind the two seats.
With the hard-top stowed away, the rear windscreen serves as an effective, electrically adjustable wind-stop that reduces buffeting in the cockpit.
Powering the 458 Spider is the same 4.5-liter V8 engine used by the 458 Italia. Coupled with Ferrari's class-leading dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission, the 458 Spider can run from zero to 100kph in 3.4 seconds before it reaches its top speed of 320kph.
Despite these impressive performance numbers, the 458 Spider also boasts of class-leading fuel consumption and emissions levels with a combined urban cycle of 8.474km/L and carbon dioxide emissions of 275g/km.