Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider

Some have in the recent past been complaining of cars losing their verve and vim, their pizzazz and panache, and more importantly losing their spirit and soul. And all this hullabaloo is attributable to reforms and restrictions of different regulatory bodies around the world that have barred this generation from experiencing what the past ones have seen and felt when it came to cars - real exotic cars, that is. Fortunately enough, there are just a few of them left that have been carrying the burden of making cars with boundless passion, that are carefree and just about oblivious enough of rules and regulations for us to enjoy them. One of them is Ferrari and with their new addition - 458 Spider - they've rekindled that magic again.

Over the years, Ferrari has been churning out one after another model to soothe the souls of petrolheads around the world, but motoring journalists always felt that Ferrari gets easily distracted with their Formula-1 commitments, which shows in their road cars. Now that Ferrari hasn't been doing all that well lately in F1, thanks to Sebastian Vettel, it looks like that complain of journalists have also been addressed, first by that gorgeous looking Ferrari 458 Italia and now with this utterly, jaw-droppingly and mesmerisingly beautiful, Ferrari 458 Spider. We think it looks absolutely brilliant.

Ever since the launch of 458 Italia a couple of years ago, it has been racking a lot of positive, at times drooling, reviews from every one, for its looks, its performance and mainly for it to bring back that intrinsic Ferrari-ness about itself. So with such a great response from all over, it was necessary that Fezza doesn't let it slip away with their new, yet predictable, creation where they hack off the top of the standard 458 to make it 458 Spider.

The engine of the Ferrari 458 Spider is still the same 4.5-liter V8, the one in the hard-top. The resulting output of the engine is mind-numbingly 570 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 400 lb./ft of torque at 6,000 rpm. The whole setup is mated to a seven-speed  dual clutch transmission and an electronic differential, a technology that the Ferrari had conveniently taken from their Formula-1 cars in their road-cars.

This mid-engine snorter hasn't also lost much of those performance-figures which it inherits from its older brother even though the Spider has put on an extra 50kgs to compensate the loss of the roof by strengthening the chassis. In fact with an extra weight of 50kgs also, the Spider doesn't loses to the hard-top in its race from zero to sixty – 3.4 seconds. However, while the hard-top wouldn't stop till it reaches 202mph, the soft-top has to make do with 198mph, though mind you it isn't exactly slow.

This Ferrari 458 Spider has a couple of immediate competitors in Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster and Audi R8 GT Spyder, which are, make no mistake, absolutely fantastic cars where you get pin-point accuracy of German engineering and with the roof off, they bring in more style and drama. Having said that, the design of the 458 Spider is something that has blown us away, quite literally (check the images below). With Ferrari bringing out the Spider later than Mercedes' Roadster and Audi's Spyder, it would be safe to say that the Fezza has turned the tables over in its favour.

Specifications and Performance

Two-door two-seater coupe
Engine capacity (cc):
Engine layout:
Mid-engine rear-drive
8 in 90.0° vee, naturally aspirated engine
Maximum Power:
570 PS / 562 bhp / 425 kW @ 9000 rpm
Maximum Torque:
540.0 Nm / 400 @ 6000 rpm
7-speed sequential dual-clutch
Acceleration (0-100kph):
3.4 seconds
Top Speed:
Fuel Consumption:
Weight Distribution (fr/r):
$257,000 (starting)

 Photo Courtesy: Ferrari Italy

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