Matthew Jones23 August 2011

Pics and video: Ferrari 458 Spider

World’s first convertible tin-top berlinetta gets ready for the launch pad. You want one

Ferrarists! Start panting! This is the latest eyegasmic Spider from Maranello ahead of its launch at the Frankfurt motor show. Isn't it a peach?

This rather pleasant thing shuffles alongside the 458 Italia (watch Jeremy drive one here) in Ferrari's lineup, and despite the fully retractable hard top, keeps its mid-rear engined layout. In fact, it's the first in the world to feature both. 

See more pics of the 458 Spider

Like the California, the roof's made out of aluminium alloy, which saves 25kg over a folding rag-top. But it's still 50kg heavier than the fixed head. That said, it gets from 0-62mph in the same time - a dizzying 3.4 seconds.

When flaccid, the top stows itself neatly in front of the engine bay, which allows for what Ferrari describes as "a generous rear bench" for luggage. There's also a wind stop that enables what the Italians describe as "normal conversation" to be held at speeds over 125mph.

Like the fixed head, it's powered by a naturally aspirated, direct-injection 4.5-litre V8, which runs through a flappy paddle dual-clutch ‘box and the snazzy E-Diff system.

Its pricetag remains a mystery for now, but if the 430 price structure's anything to go by, it'll be around £9,000 more than the tin-top, which'll make it £182,000. 

This is all very well. But this rather delicious-looking 198mph 'vert begs the question - what happens to the California?

Now watch Jeremy spanking a 430

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