The first 458 Spider in Adelaide

Luck has a heavy hand in the unexpected at times. The other day I received a tip off that the first Ferrari 458 Spider in Adelaide was sitting on the showroom floor at Belcar, but would only be there for a matter of hours. The only proper reaction to a tip off like this was to drop everything to take a look.

I’m usually not a fan of the Spider version of Ferrari’s mid engined V8’s. From the 308 through 348, 355, 360 and 430, I’ve always felt that the loss of the roof detracts from the visual flow of the car with the roof down, and looks downright dog ugly with it up. But the 458 Spider is a different story.

I actually think that with the top down the Spider looks better than the coupe, and looks just as good with it up.

The secret lies in the rapid technological advancement of folding hardtop technology over the past decade. This is Ferrari’s first folding hardtop on a mid engined car, and borrows technology from the California, Ferrari’s first folding hardtop.

The aluminium top weighs 25kg less than the fabric roof of the 430 Spider, and can be raised or lowered in just 14 seconds.

The major downside is that access to the engine is extremely limited in the Spider, and you have to crane off the entire roof and mechanism to perform even basic maintenance on the  4.5 litre V8. But hey, Ferrari’s were never meant to make rational sense, right?

The cockpit is still a little sci-fi for my tastes, but fit and finish is superb, as you would expect. It still has an incredible sense of occasion and it’s a very special place to be, so in that respect it lives up to the Ferrari tradition despite not having the timeless beauty of, say, the cockpit of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.

I think the seats are a little reactionary – as much of a beautiful design statement as they are, I can definitely feel some contemporary Lamborghini design language coming through.

This is about the biggest boot I’ve seen in a Ferrari… it’s almost, dare I say it, practical.

Inside lives the tool kit…

… the fitted car cover…

… and the paint code, heaven forbid you need it for anything.

So what’s it like to drive? Well sadly we don’t know. But if the new owner happens to be reading this and would like us to find out, we’re definitely open to the idea!

For the time being, this video will have to do. Alonso is probably a better driver, anyway.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom Gilbert October 10, 2012 Reply

    Awesome. Your right, it looks sensational with roof down. Must sound insane as well. Great pics

  2. Viano October 10, 2012 Reply

    First Ferrari Spider to look beautiful with the roof up. Seriously green with envy that I wasn't there !!!!

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