Wednesday, 14 September 2011 9:17 AM
The seductive slanted headlamps of the new eight-cylinder Ferrari 458 Spider appear to be making eyes at passers-by at the Frankfurt Motor Show - and the seduction continues with the wicked low lines and a very cheeky rear-end.
Once on the road in one of these mid-rear-engined, two-seater babies, there is a fully retractable aluminium roof for further automotive flirtation. The aluminium hard-top is 25kg lighter than a traditional soft, folding roof, it is super-quiet when raised or lowered in just 14 seconds and it was designed to take up less luggage space when the top is down. Perfect for a naughty weekend away.
To keep the fresh air flowing without messing up the barnet, the rear windscreen can be adjusted. When the roof is retracted, the wind-stopping windscreen opens to the height that guarantees the most efficient dynamics, cutting down on buffering in the cockpit.
Potent performance is promised with the 4,499cc V8 that was crowned International Engine of the Year 2011. Transmission is via dual-clutch F1 paddleshifters. The 0-62mph dash takes less than 3.4 seconds and the top speed is 200mph (or 320km/h if you prefer the more impressive-sounding metric stat).
An all-aluminium chassis with new alloys and castings has been adopted to keep the new 458 Spyder strong as well as safe.
Fuel consumption may seem like a moot point when you can afford a Ferrari but this one is actually more frugal than the Mitsubishi Pajero formerly owned by this writer at 11.8L/100km. CO2 emissions are 275g/km.
Naturally, if you’ve got a six-figure sum to spend on a car, you’re going to want it exactly as you like it so Ferrari announced at Frankfurt a new service where you can personalise your 458 Spyder in tremendous detail. The Tailor-Made-Programme offers a range of exclusive cloth trim, colours, finishes and technical materials inspired by classic Ferraris and the brand’s motorsport heritage. There are three collections - Classica, Scuderia and Inedita - designed by Ferrari’s Styling Centre. There is also the Carrozzeria Scaglietti programme with even more personalisation options.
Other stunners on the Ferrari stand include the sex-on-wheels 458 Italia with a sporty V8 berlinetta, the ever-so-pretty Ferrari California in two-tone Bianco Fuji with a Nero Daytona roof and Bordeaux interior (that’s a foxy black and white exterior with a red-wine coloured interior, in other words...), the 12-cylinder FF four-seater and the 599 GTB for the purists. Oh, an F1 single-seater is there too...
Enjoying the show so far? Why not check out our Frankfurt Motor Show 2011 mega gallery of hot new models…
By Georgia Lewis
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