Ferrari brings the same show-stopping performance and techno know-how of the 458 Italia to its new Spider with its patented, fully-retractable hard top. The latest addition to the 458 range is powered by Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5-litre V8 with 425kW at 9000rpm and 540 Nm at 6000rpm on offer – same as the fixed-roof Italia.Power provided by the holder of the 2011 best performance engine in the International Engine of the Year awards is channelled by a dual-clutch seven-speed F1 paddle-shift transmission to the rear wheels via an E-Diff with F1-Trac traction control and high-performance ABS for top dynamics. The 458 Spider covers the 0 – 100kph sprint in 3.4 seconds – a fraction slower than the Italia. TIGHT CHASSISImprovements to the chassis provide identical levels of structural rigidity, whether the Spider’s roof is up or down, the company said, should not detract from the extreme performance promised.The 458 Spider is equipped with a Ferrari patented, fully retractable hard top (a world first for a sports car with this lay-out) and certain features, such as the throttle mapping, suspension damping and engine note have been calibrated for maximum sportiness and enjoyment when the top is down.Ferrari bypassed a traditional folding soft-top and settled instead on an aluminium hard-top that deploys in 14 seconds and allows a weight-saving of 25 kg, Maranello says. An adjustable electric wind deflector calms the air inside the cabin and enables, Ferrari says, “normal conversation at speeds over 200km/h”. The 458 Spider has a top speed of 320kph, Ferrari claims.SHOW DEBUTSince the 458 Spider, like the Italia, has a mid-rear engined V8, the folding top was engineered to fit ahead of the engine bay without interfering with the car’s aerodynamics or performance. Of course, this means there’s no luggage area to speak of; Ferrari refers to the “generous rear bench” for these purposes… Ferrari’s 458 Italia will be officially unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.