Ferrari’s elegant GT is now even more opulent as open-top four seater Roma Spider
Ferrari has revealed a new convertible ‘Spider’ variant of its Roma, adding the second luxury drop-top GT car to its range alongside the existing Portofino M. Unsurprisingly, the Roma Spider shares most of its technical underpinnings with the coupe, but replaces the solid metal roof with a folding fabric soft-top for a full open-air experience.
The new Roma Spider utilises a modified version of the coupe’s aluminium chassis, making up for inherent structural compromises of the convertible’s roof by adding strengthening elements to the sills and underbody.
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The roof itself is a new Z-folding unit that can be raised and lowered at up to 37mph, taking just 13.5 seconds to operate. The roof mechanism slips under a fabric-covered tonneau behind the rear seats when folded down. Combined, the new folding roof and additional chassis strengthening add an extra 84kg to the coupe’s mass, giving the Spider a (dry) weight of 1,556kg.
The roof is made up of five different layers, topped by a new woven fabric in one of four standard colours. It can also be optioned with an iridescent technical fabric. Despite also needing to leave space for the folding roof, the Roma Spider’s boot is only 17 litres smaller than the fixed-roof car’s, at 255 litres. The Spider also features an access hatch through the rear seats for longer items.
Ferrari has concentrated on making the open-top driving experience as pleasant as possible, with a few new tricks designed to reduce wind buffeting. The first element is an electronically-operated wind deflector across the rear seats that’s capable of being deployed at up to 105mph. Once in its active position the wind deflector will remain in place right up to the Roma’s 198mph-plus top speed. There’s also a small 5mm spoiler on the leading edge of the windscreen rail to help lift the airflow, which together with the deflector is claimed to reduce turbulence by around 30 per cent compared with Ferrari’s other open-top four-seater models.
The rest of the technical package is unchanged from the coupe and is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine that produces 611bhp and 760Nm of torque, but due to Ferrari’s clever active torque mapping that full figure isn’t reached until eighth gear.
Performance is identical to the coupe reaching 62mph in 3.4 seconds and 124mph in 9.7 seconds. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is integrated into a rear-mounted transaxle, with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. Due to this, and the engine’s placement entirely behind the front axle, Ferrari quotes a weight balance of 48/52 front to rear.
The design of the Roma has been kept largely as is by Ferrari chief designer Flavio Manzoni and his team, with the roof’s integration into the bodywork ensuring it maintains a similar silhouette to the coupe. The rear tonneau is all-new, though, and integrates a similar active spoiler to the coupe. Changes to the roof aside, the interior is also mostly unchanged, save for some subtle alterations to the user interface – namely the addition of little ridges on the touch-sensitive controls to help guide your fingers.
Ferrari is yet to confirm UK pricing, but expect a five-figure rise over the coupe, which currently starts from just under £175,000.
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