Ferrari 360 Spider

From Ferrari press: The Ferrari 360 Spider features a fully automatic roof. The driver needs only to slow below 3mph and press a button to have the roof totally disappear into - or reappear from - the special well between the engine and cabin in a mere 20 seconds. No matter the seating positions, the roof can close to form a total seal with the windshield or open to let in all the sunshine. The mechanism involves a complex two-stage action in which the roof folds double before it slips inside its compartment to be covered by its own special tonneau made of high-density SMC to reduce noise. The roof's invisible frame is made from a combination of cast aluminum and pressed steel elements, driven by electro-hydraulic actuators. The roof is available in four colours.

Like the Ferrari 360 Modena, the Ferrari 360 Spider is made primarily of aluminum. It is thus extremely light and extremely strong. Thanks to its aluminum alloy body and frame, bonded with special Feran welds, the Ferrari 360 Spider is as torsionally and flexionally rigid as its berlinetta counterpart. While most of the body is of aluminum, the rigid tonneau that covers the folded roof, and the tub in which the folded roof and mechanism reside, are formed from sound-reducing SMC. The roof itself is made from bonded fabrics and features an interchangeable PVC rear screen.

For the Spider, the Ferrari 360 Modena's chassis has been adapted to optimise static and dynamic rigidity. This involved strengthening the sills, stiffening the front of the floorpan and redesigning the windscreen frame. The rear bulkhead has also been stiffened to isolate the cabin from engine sounds. The result is a structural efficiency and a dynamic response that sets new standards for open car chassis and body shell construction. The occupants of the Ferrari 360 Spider are ensconced by an ultra-protective safetycage, backed up by two tubular steel roll hoops that form an integral part of the hood system and work with the windscreen reinforcement to offer maximum resistance in rollover situations. The entire roll bar structure is also coated in a special material that progressively absorbs energy in the area around the occupants' heads under its soft Connolly leather trim.

The Ferrari 360 Spider's 5-valve per cylinder, 3.6 liter V8 engine produces 400bhp and is centrally mounted with dry-sump lubrication. The oil tank is placed, F1-style, on the spacer between the longitudinal engine and unitary gearbox. Pick-up is spectacular thanks to excellent torque peaking at 275lb-ft at 4750rpm, 80% of that available at just 3000rpm. The engine's flexibility means that the car is relaxing and easy to drive even in heavy traffic. Power output is a record-breaking 400bhp at 8,500rpm (112bhp per liter) the highest specific output yet achieved by a naturally-aspirated V8 production engine. The power unit features a variable geometry intake system, five-main bearing crankshaft with counter-balanced 180° crank throws, titanium con rods, 5 valves per cylinder (3 intake, 2 exhaust, the latter with variable valve timing for improved performance at high speeds) and a Bosch ME 7.3 electronic engine management system which, via the CAN - Controlled Area Network - allows the injection system to transmit and receive data from the ignition which is integrated with the drive-by-wire electronic accelerator connected to the ASR traction control and, where fitted, the system that manages the F1 electro-hydraulic transmission.

Gallery: Ferrari 360 Spider