Ferrari Roma Spider – A Soft-Top Convertible From Ferrari After 18 Years

Recalling the Italian lifestyle of the 1950s and 1960s

With the new Spider variant of the Roma, Ferrari adds another convertible to its range which also replaces the Portofino M that was launched in 2020. The Roma Spider has much of its platform similar to the coupe (which was introduced in Malaysia in September 2021) but with a folding fabric soft-top in place of the solid metal roof.

Recalling the Italian lifestyle of the 1950s and 1960s, the Roma Spider marks a return of a soft-top to the sportscar maker’s range on a front-engined model 54 years after the 1969 365 GTS4. It’s also the first soft-top convertible from Ferrari since the F430 18 years ago.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, its styling retains the proportions of the coupe on without alteration of the flowing silhouette. The bodyshell retains the fundamental elements of the Roma’s design, with modifications made mainly on the rear. Despite not having a roof structure, there is said to be exceptional torsional rigidity and beam stiffness for the bodyshell and chassis which have an increased weight of 84 kgs.

The adoption of a fabric soft top and its indirect impact on the car’s bodywork geometries provided the starting point for the aero development. To retain the Ferrari Roma’s low drag, combined with the possibility of generating efficient downforce, the line of the roof and its curvature over the frontal section were subjected to in-depth numerical analysis.

The modifications to the bodywork required new mobile spoiler geometry. Similar to the Roma, this element is designed to extend and retract in a calibrated way specific to the spider as a function of the car’s speed, and the longitudinal and transverse acceleration acting on the body.

The solutions selected were driven by the need to simplify the transition from top-up to top-down driving, by introducing automatic movements for the surfaces tasked with creating an aerodynamic ‘bubble’ effect over the cockpit for comfort.

Redesigning the coupe’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. The original styling theme of the Roma has thus become a body-colour band running across the base of the roof that divides the carbonfibre active spoiler from the roof and rear screen.

This creates a seamlessly integrated tonneau cover. When the soft top is lowered, the active spoiler visually connects with the rear bench and headrests. The fact that it is so compact allows for a 255-litre boot volume, about 7.7% less than the coupe.

A new, patented wind deflector integrated into the backrest of the rear bench can be deployed by a button on the central tunnel, ensuring occupant comfort without taking up any space in the car. On a functional level, the soft top deploys in just 13.5 seconds and can be operated up to 60 km/h.

Unlike the more basic fabrics seen on most convertibles, a new material has been used for the 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 elegant and sporty souls. An optional technical fabric with an innovative weave creates an extremely striking iridescent red finish that further enhances the roof’s 3D surface.

Most of the technical specifications are shared with the coupe, including the twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 engine that produces 620 ps/760Nm of torque. The engine is coupled with Ferrari’s 8-speed DCT well known for its quick shift times and mechanical efficiency.

Power flows to the rear wheels from the rear-mounted transaxle through an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. With the positioning of the engine behind the front axle line, weight distribution is biased towards the rear half in a 48:52 ratio.

The price of the Roma Spider has not been announced but when the Portofino M was launched in Malaysia, it has a price of RM998,000 (without duties). The Roma Spider would certainly go some way past the RM1 million mark but we’ll have to wait and see if the new distributor for Malaysia offers it.

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