Ferrari unveils Roma Spider convertible
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Ferrari unveils Roma Spider convertible

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By GoAuto - 20 April 2023

BY PETER BARNWELL

FERRARI’s gorgeous rag top ‘Spider’ version of the sensuous Roma front engine sports coupe has been revealed at an as yet unknown price.

Possibly the ultimate convertible in this configuration, the Roma Spider would undoubtedly elevate its owner to celebrity status driving around with the roof off waving at people; and get a suntan in the process.

Gauged off the Roma tin top’s local price of $409,888 plus on roads, the convertible Spider will certainly eclipse that.

Roma Spider would undoubtedly elevate its owner to celebrity status

Plenty of choices in the roadster space are available but the Fazza has it over most thanks to its lineage, the front engine, rear drive layout, the drop dead gorgeous styling and the brute performance from an old school wailing ICE engine that would easily wake the neighbours at 2.30am.

Competition comes from 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.

Apart from everything else, the Roma Spider’s rag top can be deployed at speeds up to 60km/h in 13.5 seconds which is slow compared to its 0-100km/h capability.

No electrical assistance is fitted to the Roma Spider’s powertrain

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. Such a system has been successfully used before on many different makes and is a cost effective noise abatement system in a sports car.

But Ferrari says its system is better and underlines the point by lodging a patent application for it.

No electrical assistance is fitted to the Roma Spider’s powertrain despite growing uptake elsewhere. It’s pure ICE powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine rated at a healthy 456kW and 760Nm.

The rag top was revealed recently at a gig in sunny Morocco with Ferrari spruiking it as “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”.

Roma Spider retains the same dynamic capabilities as the hard top coupe

Ferrari says proportions, volumes and specification of the Roma Spider owe their existence to a V8 Prancing Horse predecessor back 54 years… the 1969 365 GTS4.

More than just a pretty face, the functional Spider’s 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 vehicle was designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre headed by Flavio Manzoni, who was charged 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”.

OK then….he seems to have succeeded.

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.

The engine and exhaust ‘soundtrack’ has been given special attention

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 and exhaust ‘soundtrack’ has been given special attention to satisfy an attuned ear.

Standard kit includes boot access via a hatch in the rear seats, 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 coupe 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 is based on a unit that has 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 rag top was revealed recently at a gig in sunny Morocco

The unit, actual capacity 3.9-litres, can rev to 7500rpm with 80 per cent of torque available from just 1900rpm thanks to the twin 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 which 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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