The Ferrari Roma Spider, the latest model from the Maranello marque, was presented to clients today 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-engined 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 in 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.
Redesigning the coupé’s tapering, fastback roofline meant modifying the rear screen to incorporate it into the soft top so that it can fold below the tonneau cover when open. On the Ferrari Roma Spider, the original styling theme has become a body-colour band running across the base of the roof that divides the carbon-fibre active spoiler from the roof and rear screen, creating a seamlessly integrated tonneau cover. When the soft top is lowered, the active spoiler visually connects with the rear bench and head rests.
Unlike the more usual basic fabrics seen on most convertibles, a new material has been used for the Ferrari Roma Spider’s soft-top, giving it a sophisticated air. Special fabric weaves were selected and developed in colour combinations that highlight the car’s twin souls, one more elegant and the other sportier. The bespoke finish with two-tone weave draws on a palette of four colours highlighting the refined, haute couture nature of the fabric. The optional technical fabric developed specifically for this car gives it a sporty yet very sophisticated allure with an innovative weave creating an extremely striking iridescent red finish that further enhances the roof’s 3D surface.
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 stylishness.
The long front bonnet underscores the spare silhouette of the flanks, lending a sense of sleekness to the entire body and a dynamic look. The sober, spare front of the car looks as if it were sculpted from single block of metal, creating an overhanging, sharknose effect.
The bonnet and sinuous wings flow into one another yet also effortlessly harmonise with Ferrari’s traditional styling cues. The designers sought to preserve the minimalist elegance of the car’s forms by removing any vents or superfluous decorative features. In fact, the launch configuration does not even include the Scuderia Ferrari side shields, reflecting the approach taken with the road cars of the 1950s.
Engine cooling is guaranteed by the perforated surfaces, only where strictly necessary, creating a new interpretation of the grille concept: this distinctive solution is finished in the same colour as the bodywork, rendering it seamless with the styling. The edges of the front grille flow into two linear, full-LED headlights which lend the front of the car a distinctive character all of its own. They are traversed by a horizontal DRL strip that hints at the structure beneath the car’s skin, an element that brings a sense of tension to the entire circumference of the car.
The fastback cabin volume is compact and set back, ending in a subtle nolder beneath which the designers have created a modern take on the signature Ferrari tail. The Ferrari Roma Spider’s long rear overhang, which is a characteristic of the Ferraris of the 1950s and 60s, has been re-proportioned here, resulting in a low, compact volume which hugs the rear axle. The wraparound tail of the car is characterised by the purity and modernity of the transom styling. Technological advances made it possible to reduce the dimensions of the tail light assembly, resulting in a minimalist and iconic design. The rear is completed by a compact aerodynamic diffuser that incorporates the fence and exhaust tailpipes.
CHASSIS AND BODYWORK
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.
This increase was due in part to two factors. Firstly, the addition of the unique integrated wind deflector, which significantly improves occupant comfort. Secondly, the addition of headrests for the rear seats that visually integrate into the tonneau cover design.
The automatic fabric soft top guarantees occupant comfort on a par with the retractable hard top system equipping the other spider models in the range. The large rear glass screen is fully integrated into the soft-top geometry. The five-layer fabric dampens wind and road noise, making it quiet even at high speeds. During development, special attention was also paid to reducing the ballooning effect typical of soft tops. The technical solutions adopted by Ferrari’s engineers have thus guaranteed class-leading performance in these areas.
The soft-top mechanism was designed to be light yet resilient: it pushes technical performance limits to new heights thanks to a Z-shaped movement that folds the soft top away in a mere 13.5 seconds and up to a maximum speed of 60 km/h. When stowed, the roof occupies a height of just 220mm, which is the lowest in the category, and that, in turn, ensures a roomy boot (a class-leading 255 litres with the top up).
The gas springs used to extend the wind deflector were meticulously designed and developed to deliver controlled, smooth action at all stages of movement and in all conditions. The wind deflector can be opened at up to 170 km/h. The chance of opening the mechanism is automatically speed-limited to ensure that it can be deployed in safety. Once in place, the wind deflector can be used at any speed in open configuration.
The wind deflector retains all the features unique to a real backrest: the surface the rear occupants rest on is padded for comfort, while it is shaped to open even when the front seats are pushed back. The central duct compensates for the air pressure acting either side, improving the efficiency of its movement. The system’s kinematic points are the result of an in-depth study of the entire back seat and boot area, optimising their position in relation to movement and weight.
*Article Source https://media.ferrari.com/