The Ferrari Roma Spider, the latest model from the Maranello marque, was recently unveiled at an exclusive event at the El Badi Palace in Marrakesh. This timelessly elegant, high-performance car is a contemporary take on the chic, pleasure-seeking Italian lifestyle of the 1950s and 60s. This spider carries over the proportions, volumes and specifications of the Ferrari Roma’s hugely successful V8 2+ concept, but what makes it so striking is the adoption of a soft top, a solution making a welcome return to the Prancing Horse range on a front-engine car 54 years after the 1969 365 GTS4.
There’s a novel and modern take on the soft-top design that underlines the Ferrari Roma Spider’s exuberant character, with extensive personalisation options that include sophisticated, bespoke fabrics and contrasting stitching. On a functional level, the soft top deploys in just 13.5 seconds and can be actioned at up to 60 km/h. The fact that it is so compact also yields a larger boot and boosts the car’s versatility. A new, patented wind deflector integrated into the backrest of the rear bench can be deployed by a button on the central tunnel, guaranteeing exceptional in-car occupant comfort without taking up any space in the car.
The Ferrari Roma Spider retains the Ferrari Roma’s excellent dynamic characteristics: it boasts a best-in-class weight/power ratio thanks not only to its soft top, but also to its all-aluminium chassis and 620 cv V8 from the engine family that was heralded as the International Engine of the Year on four consecutive occasions. The engine is coupled with Ferrari’s universally-acclaimed 8-speed DCT known for its incredibly fast shift times as well as excellent standards of comfort and mechanical efficiency.
The Ferrari Roma Spider is not just rewardingly easy to drive, it is also extremely dynamic and responsive: this makes it the perfect companion on out-of-town weekends and longer journeys alike. Always, of course, with the exhilarating Ferrari V8 soundtrack playing the background. A number of features are designed to make this car superbly versatile, including a category-topping boot size which includes a hatch via the rear seat backrests to allow larger items to be carried, and standard wireless connectivity by Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay® Wi-Fi. Not forgetting, of course, 18-way-adjustable heated ergonomic seats that are also available with an optional neck warmer for colder days.
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre headed by Flavio Manzoni, the Ferrari Roma Spider aims to move the “La Nuova Dolce Vita” concept beyond city limits for elegant, carefree driving ‘en plein air’. This 2+ spider boasts a sophisticated fabric soft top, which is designed not just to maintain, but to enhance the flawless proportions of the coupé on which it is based without modifying that car’s elegantly flowing silhouette.
The stylistic approach taken for the Ferrari Roma Spider’s exterior centres around a clean design and absolute symbiosis between its various elements. Its harmonious proportions and pure, elegant volumes are very much in line with Ferrari’s front-engined GT tradition. That said, the designers have created a modern take on those classic proportions, giving the car a sophisticated, contemporary style.
For the Ferrari Ferrari Roma Spider’s cabin, the Ferrari Styling Centre designers took the same approach to volumes and forms introduced on the Ferrari Roma. Two separate spaces, one each for driver and passenger, were created in an evolution of the dual cockpit concept, which has its roots deep in the marque’s history with cars from the 1970s. The innovative look of this dual cockpit was achieved by extending the philosophy applied to the dash to the entire cabin. Hence the vision of two modules that wrap around the driver and passenger and that extend and integrate with the two rear seats.
The Ferrari Roma Spider is powered by an engine belonging to the V8 turbo family named “International Engine of the Year” for four consecutive years and also voted “Best Engine of the Last 20 Years” in 2018. The 3,855 cc power unit can punch out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm, the equivalent of 161 cv/l, which it combines with the flexibility of low-end pick-up, thanks to 80% of the torque being available at just 1900 rpm.
The goal of the Ferrari Ferrari Roma Spider’s vehicle dynamics development was to deliver superior driving thrills and handling precision on a par with the Ferrari Roma, thanks to the Side Slip Control concept which uses an algorithm developed by Ferrari that provides an instantaneous estimate of side slip to all the various on-board control systems. This data is then used to coordinate and implement interventions in a rapid, timely, and accurate manner.
The Ferrari Roma Spider’s chassis is derived from the Ferrari Roma, but features new components, with the rear section inspired by the solution used on the Ferrari Portofino M. The sill, a fundamentally important structural element, was developed specifically for the Ferrari Roma Spider, as were some elements required to install the soft top, and the A-pillar/windscreen surround.
The bodyshell retains the fundamental elements of the Ferrari Roma’s design: the modifications made focused mainly on the rear and on harmonising the Ferrari Roma Spider’s lines so that they retain their elegance with the top down. Exceptional torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures for the bodyshell and chassis have been achieved despite an increase in weight of just 84 kg for a weight/power ratio of 2.5 kg/cv, which remains at the very top of the high-performance 2+ spider category. This impressive result also ensures that the Ferrari Roma Spider benefits from the same excellent handling and performance as the Ferrari Roma.
Watch this space for the drive review soon!