In 1969, Pinanfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti catapulted Ferrari into a contemporary styling renaissance when his Daytona coupe and convertible arrived to replace the much-rounder 275 GTB/4. More than a half-century later, it’s more than fitting that the Roma Spider unveiled this week—the first front-engined Ferrari to offer a soft-top since that Daytona Spyder—is again another sleek Prancing Horse two-door at the precipice of fundamental change for the company.
The Ferrari Roma Spider is another reminder that Maranello’s heart is in two doors, even if its wallet now leans toward tall-riding four doors. Not much has changed in the Roma with the subtraction of the hard roof: it’s still powered by a 3.9-liter twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8 that spins out 612 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, still seats up to four (albeit rear passengers would be better off without legs), and is still just as decadent and gorgeous as before. The soft top, which is available in an elegant or sporty finish, operates at speeds up to about 37 mph and closes or opens in less than 15 seconds.
Ferrari says making the spider stronger and stiffer to accommodate the lack of a roof only added 185 pounds to the overall weight, an insignificant amount to the overall power-to-weight ratio of the car to begin with. What’s left is a plein air cruiser that takes the mantle from the Portofino M as the most likely Ferrari to be spotted on the Riviera—pick any Riviera.
The details on the Roma Spider are equally impressive, too. Ferrari estimates the Roma will accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, with a braking distance of fewer than 100 feet to bring it back to a standstill. The Roma’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is ported over to the Spider, and Ferrari says it’s revised the oil pump to speed up cold starts and increase flow in the medium rev range.
A wind deflector shields all passengers from the turbulent wind outside, and a new spoiler adjusts in three positions, depending on speed, low-, medium-, and high-downforce positions. Ferrari said it also incorporated the latest version of its Slip Slide Control System to control lateral movement in the twisties, just please put the top down before drifting the Roma Spider to offer passengers an easy out when the inevitable happens.
Ferrari didn’t say how much the Roma Spider would cost, nor when it would arrive.
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