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Ferrari's 310km/h Spider thunders in

2005-02-11 07:30

Ferrari's new drop-top includes a number of important technical features which give hints of the car's F1 pedigree, starting with the innovative electronic differential - first developed by the racing division for the Scuderia's all-conquering F1 cars - which improves traction and roadholding.

The Spider also features the steering wheel-mounted commutator switch, known to the Scuderia's drivers as the "manettino", which allows the car's set-up to be adjusted easily and quickly.

Designed by Pininfarina, the F430 Spider's sinuous lines, in fact, were fine-tuned using state-of-the-art computer aerodynamics simulation programmes usually employed exclusively by the F1 team.

The F430 Spider's shape is the result of lengthy testing and features a pronounced nolder which is integrated into the end of the engine cover, new bigger rear air intakes that emphasise the car's muscular stance, and a new rear valance that incorporates a diffuser of competition derivation.

The engine itself is set below a glass cover.

Just like the berlinetta, the new Spider incorporates two elliptical air intakes that feed the front radiators.

Inspired by classic racing cars

The shape of the intakes is inspired by Ferrari's racing cars from the 1961 season, especially the 156 F1 which Phil Hill drove to that year's F1 Championship title.

The spoiler that joins the two intakes at their bottom edge is highly effective in directing the central air flow towards the flat underbody.

The F430 Spider boasts a compact, fully automatic electric engine cover that allows the engine to be seen in all its glory at all times and which, once lowered, takes up relatively little space, despite the uncompromising central-rear engine layout.

The F430 Spider is powered by Ferrari's new 4 308cc V8 which is capable of pushing the car to a top speed of over 310 km/h and covering the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 4.1 seconds.

Its power output is a potent 360.3 kW at 8 500 r/min while it boasts a torque figure of 465 Nm at 5 250 r/min.

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