FERRARI 458 SPIDER GOES TOPLESS
Who doesn’t know the iconic prancing horse from Italy? Imagine 458 of them snuggled in the mid-rear engine of a V8, topless just like an F1 Ferrari with paddle-shift transmission and Trac traction control. This Ferrari accelerates to 100km/h in a mere 3.4 seconds and with those horses in full gallop can reach a dazzling 320 km/h.
This is Ferrari’s first midengine retractable-hardtop convertible, with a seamless integration the brilliant operability of the Ferrari California’s disappearing hardtop with the Tantric sports-car ecstasy of the 458. Fascinating design, exquisite stick-and-rudder handling, raw power like an Asian Dragon, the 458 is absolutely a head turner by far. Cutting the top off doesn’t make it any subtler, however. In the Spider, you belong to the proud stable of society’s limited fast lane.
The two-panel aluminum roof folds like window blinds as the assembly goes vertical and dives into a compartment behind the seat, as the twin-buttress rear deck opens and shuts. The one-button cycling process takes a mere 14 seconds, which means that you can put the top up or down at stoplights with time to spare, superb engineering by Ferrari in conjunction with Webasto at its best.
The sound of a volcano eruption. Here’s where the Spider really starts to earn its wealth management price. The orchestrated melody of the flat-crank 4.5-liter V8, the fiery spall of the overrun note, the tach-rapping flexibility of the 9,000-rpm engine as you gear-bang the seven-speed dual clutch tranny, the sound of the machine takes up the very center of the experience, a high-octane chord of surpassing transcendence resonating in your forebrain, not to mention anyone who might be close to you, ear plugs please.
Thanks to the 458 Italia’s active exhaust system, the Spider is able to burr quietly and without resentment at low speeds around town, thus avoiding receiving hand gestures along your journey through serene streets. But when the revs roll above about 4,000 rpm, the valve in the three-pipe exhaust opens up and, that’s when the Seraphims’ brass section comes in. Pure adrenaline rush that wakes you up from any dream, pinch me, is this for real? Another nice feature of the Spider is the two-position motorized backlight—what we call the rear window.
This small tab of safety glass rises up between the deck buttresses as a draft-stop, helping to keep the high-priced eight rings of fire just outside the cockpit.
It all adds up to a supercar with the most comfortable, accessible and aurally compelling open-air experience. Tropical rain in Asia, why wouldn’t you have the top down? Don’t want to get wet? Go faster.
But no car delivers the holistic, pilot-focused experience, the synaptic download that the Ferrari does. From the seating position and cockpit ergonomics—the vibratory timbre, position and hand-fit of the steering wheel, for instance—the 458 just tingles all your senses immensely.
FERRARI FF Table for Four?
At the 81st Geneva International Motor Show, Prancing Horse debuts the revolutionary Ferrari FF, but it departs from the Ferrari gospel in two tremendous ways: It’s the first all-wheel-drive prancing horse, and it’s a two-door station wagon, four-seater with a mid-front growling V12 soul.
The Ferrari FF makes its eagerly-waited debut at Geneva after the huge build-up of expectation and interest. To our eyes, it is absolutely stunning. The FF, says Ferrari, seats four comfortably and offers ample space for luggage. Now since this is a Ferrari, many people aren’t too optimistic about the rear room available, but Ferrari has stated that the FF will offer ample room for up to four people. They even went as far as to specify that the measurements for the front and rear are 1.95 and 1.85 meters, so accommodating tall passengers won’t be a problem.
The revolutionary Ferrari FF offers a completely new take on the sporting Grand Tourer theme. It is not only the first Ferrari with four-wheel drive, but, more significantly, a model that hails a major break with the past, effortlessly melding extreme sports car performance with the versatility and usability of a genuine GT and boasting an extremely innovative design.
Every single area of the Ferrari FF brims with innovation, not least its engine, the first GDI V12 to be coupled with the seven-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox. This beast unleashes a massive 660 CV at 8,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 683 Nm at 6,000 rpm with 500 Nm already available at just 1,000 rpm. This ensures the performance figures of an extreme sports car, with the 0-100 km/h sprint covered in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 km/h. Efficiency has been significantly boosted too, with fuel consumption now standing at just 15.4 litres per 100 km, and CO2 emissions at 360 g/km, a 25 per cent reduction compared to the previous V12s, thanks in part to the HELE (High Emotions- Low Emissions) System which incorporates Stop&Start technology.
Styled by Pininfarina, the Ferrari FF’s lines effortlessly reflect its signature uncompromising balance of sportiness and versatility. It can comfortably accommodate four in its bodyhugging seats and spacious cabin. Its 450 litre boot can also be extended to 800 litres as the rear seats fold down independently. This means that the Ferrari FF offers more luggage space not only than any other car in its category, but also many four-door saloons, too.
Everything aboard the Ferrari FF is tailored specifically to the needs and tastes of its driver with a choice of six exclusive colours and the finest Frau aniline leathers specially treated to enhance their natural softness. The Ferrari FF’s exceptional specification enhances in-car enjoyment for all four occupants. There will also be a new infotainment system with dual 5-inch screen on the instrument panel, center dash touch screen and an optional third screen positioned in front of the passenger, displaying speed, rpm and gear