2012 Ferarri 458 Italia, what car reviews, The big news for the Ferrari faithful for 2012 is the addition of the 458 Spider to the lineup. Unlike its predecessors, Ferrari has ditched the fabric convertible mechanism for a superamerica flip top. Where the Superamerica’s transparent roof flipped over and atop the rear lid, the 458 Spider’s small rear glass and bulk of the roof separate three quarters of the way into the roof, before both stack and flip under a raised tonneau cover. Ferrari says its patented design keeps the folded roof from intruding into rear engine compartment or cabin area and even leaves room for a small luggage bench behind the two chairs.
Made entirely from aluminum, the 458 Spider’s top apparatus weighs 55 pounds less than a traditional soft-top and opens and closes in a fast-for-a-hardtop 14 seconds. Altogether, Ferrari says the 458 Spider (it dropped the Italia in all the convertible’s press materials) is 111 pounds heavier than the coupe for a dry weight of 3,153 pounds; we anticipate its curb weight to be around 3,400 pounds. Ferrari says it will run zero-to-62 mph in 3.5 seconds and top out at more than 198 mph, a modest increase of 0.1 of a second and decrease of four miles per hour compared to the coupe.
The new rear cover features two large and six smaller intakes feeding the engine and cooling the radiators for the clutch and gearbox oil. Air is diverted inward by two large roll hoops behind and on either side of the passengers’ chairs. The visuals provided by the intake vents and buttresses, especially from an angle above the car, are nothing short of mesmerizing. The rest of the Pininfarina-penned coupe’s aerodynamically sculpted lines and compact shape are retained. The only item we will miss is the transparent rear window with easy visual access to the 4.5-liter V-8 engine.
Like the coupe, and an often-unmentioned aspect of the 458 italia, the car’s screaming engine normally creates 557 hp and only makes the full 562 when the little deformable flaps in the front intakes are flattened at very high speeds. The V-8 features direct fuel injection for less fuel consumption and emissions while improving performance. Despite its high-revving nature, the power plant puts out 80 percent of its 398 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. The coupe’s traditional flat-plane racing crankshaft and triple exhaust parlay with the 9,000-rpm redline to produce a mechanical aria that is as patriotic sounding to Italian car lovers as the car’s name. Ferrari says it tweaked the 458 Spider’s exhaust note further for even more ear splendor within the cabin.
2012 Ferarri 458 Italia specs
Engine 4.5-liter V-8
Horsepower 562 hp @ 9,000 rpm
Torque 398 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
Transmission 7-speed DCT
0–60 mph 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 198 mph
Weight 3,400 lb (estimated)
Length 178 inches
Tires Front: 235/35ZR-20, Rear: 295/35ZR-20
2012 Ferarri 458 Italia price
The base price of ferarri is $260,000 (estimated).