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Ferrari Roma Spider returns a front-engined soft top to the lineup
Know the last Ferrari introduced front-engined convertible with a soft top? The 1969 365 GTB/4, otherwise known as the Daytona coupe and Spyder, which went out of production in 1973. The new Roma Spider introduced to Ferrari clients in Morocco brings that absence to an end after 50 years with the same formula we've grown used to over the past couple of decades: It's everything you love about the Roma plus a little extra weight and a retractable roof. The 185 pounds of additional heft compared to the coupe is more like a housekeeping note than bad news, because there's still a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 in front that makes revs to 7,500 rpm, makes 612 horsepower and 561 of torque, and will sound even more glorious without any obstacle between the pipes and the cabin. The fabric weave roof comes in two flavors, one leaning toward elegance, one in a technical fabric emphasizing sportiness. Personalization options encompass a two-tone weave palette in four colors, plus a range of contrast stitching colors for the few hours the the top is both us and moving slow enough to be savored. One of the options bestows an iridescent red finish. The mechanism raises and lowers the roof in 13.5 seconds at up to nearly 37 miles per hour. A few revisions to the body serve occupant comfort. The top rail of the windscreen features an aero device called a nolder to separate and manage airflow over the cabin, and at the press of a button, the headrests on the rear seats slide forward and up to create a wind deflector. The deploying rear spoiler also slots into three positions to provide downforce levels commensurate with the coupe whether the Spider's top is up or down. A few ergonomic, cosmetic, and performance revisions make their way in as well. The steering wheel buttons are said to be easier to use, the start button now glows red, oil pump's been tweaked to reduce the time it takes to reach system operating pressure, and the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox benefits from changes to improve fuel economy. Ferrari didn't mention a Roma Spider arrival date nor a price, but as with that fuel economy tweak, we're certain buyers aren't concerned. As a baseline to know where to start lobbing racks of cash, the coupe starts at $247,310.