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Promising to bring occupants closer to the sweet tune of Ferrari's V8, the Roma Spider's roof can be opened in just 13.5 seconds at speeds of up to 60km/h.

18 Mar 2023 | International News : Italy

La Nuova Dolce Vita - the new good life has begun, said Ferrari when it introduced the mid-front-engined Roma back in 2020. Roma, of course, refers to the Italian capital city, with the car meant to represent the 'carefree, pleasurable way of life' that had characterised it in the 1950s and 1960s.

That new good life now has an extra chapter - and it comes in the form of a grand tourer with a soft-top. Unveiling the gorgeos Roma Spider, Ferrari says that the convertible is meant to move the 'La Nuova Dolce Vita' concept beyond the city for carefree driving 'en plein air' - or open air. Lopping the hard top off for a fabric roof isn't supposed to simply maintain the Roma's well-proportioned form, but enhance it further in an elegantly flowing silhouette. 

The Spider's fabric roof will fold away in just 13.5 seconds, and at speeds of up to 60km/h
For starters, the car has a modified rear screen that can be incorporated into the soft top, which folds below the tonneau cover when the roof is open. Additionally, Ferrari says that on the Roma Spider, it dispensed with the 'more usual basic fabrics' seen on most convertibles for a bespoke material with special fabric weaves just to give the Spider an added air of sophistication.

The active aero spoiler on the Roma? That's been retained, too, and has been engineered to connect seamlessly to the rear bench and head rests when the roof is down. 

Speaking of the roof itself, its light yet resilient mechanism follows a Z-shaped movement that apparently pushes new limits in technical performance. The soft top will fold away in just 13.5 seconds, and up to a speed of 60km/h, meaning it can be operated quite non-disruptively on the go. It's also only 220mm tall when stowed, thus eating less into boot space (you want to take this car out for the weekend road trip, after all), which stands at 255 litres with the top up.

Ferrari says the Roma Spider boasts the same dynamism as the Roma, thanks to the exceptional torsional rigidity and beam stiffness of its chassis
Painstaking effort was also dedicated to ensuring that the emotional driving experience of the Roma would not be eroded. Despite the mechanical constraints that often come with the coupe-to-convertible conversion, Ferrari says the Roma Spider boasts downforce when handling and at high speeds comparable with its hard-top twin. 

A weight gain of 84kg (roof mechanism aside, that comes from a new integrated wind deflector, and additional headrests for the rear seats) is mitigated by exceptional torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures achieved by the car's body shell and lightweight, all-aluminium chassis.

Perhaps most importantly, of course, the beating heart of the action that aids Ferrari’s claim of the Roma Spider having a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio is Maranello's twin-turbo V8.

Powered by a twin-turbo V8, the Roma Spider will completely the century sprint in just 3.4 seconds
The 3.9-litre power unit kicks out 612bhp and peak torque of 760Nm, 80% of which is already usable from 1,900rpm, giving the Roma Spider excellent low-end punch. This is mated to an F1-derived eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox first seen on the hybrid SF90 Stradale. As a result, the century sprint is shredded within 3.4 seconds, while 0 to 200km/h is completed in scant 9.7 seconds. The Roma Spider will go on to achieve a top speed in excess of 320km/h.

Underneath, the Roma Spider also introduces an evolved oil pump which allows for a 70% reduction of time-to-pressure in cold starts, and increases the flow rate at medium revs. 

The story is impressively familiar on the inside. 

The same 'dual cockpit' concept applied in the Roma finds its way into the Spider as well
The Roma is known to have based its interior design on the 'dual cockpit' concept first seen on Ferrari’s cars from the 1970s, in which the impression of separate spaces wrapped around the driver and passenger is created. 

The Roma Spider’s cabin likewise employs an almost symmetrical layout which is intended to make the passenger feel involved in the driving experience - almost like a co-driver, Ferrari says. Between the two cockpits sits an 8.4-inch central display for infotainment and other functions, floating partially mid-way of the dashboard and tunnel.

Finally, even as one of the key draws of the Roma Spider is the heightened opportunity it provides to appreciate the sonority of its V8, Ferrari has also made sure that the wind-in-your-hair experience does not become too aggressive. 

Ferrari believes the Roma Spider honours the stylish and exciting spirit of its front-engined grand tourers
Much attention was centred on aerodynamic comfort with the top down, through minimising cabin turbulence and wind noise. Helping to create an aerodynamic 'bubble' effect around the convertible, firstly, is a 5mm nolder on the new windscreen header rail. Secondly, the wind deflector mentioned earlier can be deployed at the touch of a button. and without the car stopping.

Ultimately, Ferrari believes the Roma Spider honours the spirit of its front-engined grand tourers - fusing breathtaking performance with a classically proportioned car in the form a stylish and contemporary GT fit for the modern age.

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ferrari  roma  roma spider  v8  soft-top  convertible