A NEW STORY BEGINS
FERRARI ROMA SPIDER
The Ferrari Roma Spider is a timelessly elegant, high-performance car, but also a contemporary take on the chic, pleasure-seeking Italian lifestyle of the 1950s and 60s. This spider carries over the proportions, volumes and specifications of the Ferrari Roma’s hugely successful concept, but what makes it so striking is the adoption of a soft top, a solution making a welcome return to the Prancing Horse range on a front-engined car 54 years after the launch of the 1969 365 GTS4
The sober, spare front of the car looks as if it were sculpted from a single block of metal, creating an overhanging, sharknose effect. Engine cooling is guaranteed by the perforated surfaces, creating a new interpretation of the grille concept. The edges of the front grille flow into two linear, full-LED headlights, which are traversed by a horizontal DRL strip that brings a sense of tension to the entire circumference of the car
A bespoke material has been used for the Ferrari Roma Spider’s soft-top. Special fabric weaves were selected and developed in colour combinations that highlight the car’s twin souls, one more elegant and the other sportier. The automatic fabric soft top guarantees occupant comfort on a par with the retractable hard top system. The five-layer fabric dampens wind and road noise, making it quiet even at high speeds. During development, special attention was also paid to reducing the ballooning effect typical of soft tops
The soft-top mechanism was designed to be light yet resilient: its Z-shaped movement folds the soft top away in a mere 13.5 seconds and up to a maximum speed of 60 km/h. When stowed, the roof occupies a height of just 220mm, which is the lowest in the category, and that, in turn, ensures a roomy boot (a class-leading 255 litres with the top up)
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre headed by Flavio Manzoni, the Ferrari Roma Spider is a 2+ spider which boasts a sophisticated fabric soft top, designed to enhance the flawless proportions of the Ferrari Roma without modifying that car’s elegantly flowing silhouette
For the Ferrari Roma Spider’s cabin, the Ferrari Styling Centre designers took the same approach to volumes and forms introduced on the Ferrari Roma. Two separate spaces, one each for driver and passenger, were created in an evolution of the dual cockpit concept, which has its roots deep in the marque’s history with cars from the 1970s. The innovative look of this dual cockpit was achieved by extending the philosophy applied to the dash to the entire cabin. Hence the vision of two modules that wrap around driver and passenger and that extend and integrate with the two rear seats
The steering wheel’s HMI is a further honed and refined version of that seen on the Ferrari Roma with touch controls on its spokes. The left-hand spoke has indents corresponding to the touch controls. The track pad on the right-hand spoke has been improved – there is now an indent that makes it easier to swipe. These solutions help the driver know where the controls are, in line with the Ferrari philosophy “Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel”
The Ferrari Roma Spider is powered by an engine belonging to the V8 turbo family named “International Engine of the Year” for four consecutive years and also voted “Best Engine of the Last 20 Years” in 2018. The 3,855 cc power unit can punch out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm, the equivalent of 161 cv/l, which it combines with the flexibility of low-end pick-up, thanks to 80% of the torque being available at just 1900 rpm.
The Ferrari Roma Spider features a patented wind deflector that can be deployed by the driver without stopping the car. If the client wants to deploy the wind deflector, they simply press a button on the central tunnel and the backrest of the rear seats (in the absence of passengers) will rotate into position. In this configuration, an area of still air around the occupants is created, reducing the turbulence around the heads of taller drivers by around 30% compared to previous 2+ spider applications.
The gas springs used to extend the wind deflector were developed to deliver controlled, smooth action at all stages of movement and in all conditions. The wind deflector can be opened at up to 170 km/h, a limit controlled electronically to ensure it can be deployed safely. Once in place, the wind deflector can be used at any speed in open configuration.
The wind deflector retains all the features unique to a real backrest: the surface the rear occupants rest on is padded for comfort, while it is shaped to open even when the front seats are pushed back. The central duct compensates for the air pressure acting either side, improving the efficiency of its movement
The increase in front downforce is due for the most part to a pair of vortex generators, which have been optimised for this particular model. They create a ground effect by introducing concentrated and coherent vortices into the area whilst simultaneously managing the wake from the front wheels with the ultimate aim of guaranteeing very efficient downforce generation
The modifications to the Ferrari Roma Spider’s bodywork also required new mobile spoiler geometry. In fact, the design of the latter has been meticulously honed to reflect the car’s styling and new roof line. 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 acceleration acting on the body. This guarantees three different spoiler positions (Low drag – LD, Medium Downforce – MD, High Downforce – HD)., specifically calibrated for top-down driving. The result is that the F169S has downforce in handling situations and at high speeds comparable with the Ferrari Roma, ensuring the car is able to deliver the same driving thrills
Until the car hits a speed of 100 km/h, the spoiler is into low drag position. At speeds of over 300 km/h, the spoiler is in MD mode. This choice was made because in these conditions, the preference is for a better balanced car. In speed ranges in which downforce plays a pivotal role in performance, the spoiler is in MD position and its movement to the HD position depends on the car’s longitudinal and lateral acceleration. The threshold value is variable and linked to the Manettino position.
In medium downforce mode (MD), the mobile element is at a 150-degree angle to the rear screen. In this configuration, it can generate around 30% of maximum downforce. In high-performance handling situations, the mobile element automatically moves to HD configuration, creating a 135 degree angle with the surface of the rear screen, thus generating around 95 kg of downforce at 250 km/h, yet increasing drag by a mere 4%
The adoption of a soft top and its indirect impact on the car’s bodywork geometries provided the starting point for the aero development of the Ferrari Roma Spider. 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 longitudinal section were subjected to in-depth CFD analysis
The goal of the Ferrari Roma Spider’s vehicle dynamics development was to deliver a car that delivered driving thrills and handling precision on a par with the Ferrari Roma, thanks to the Side Slip Control concept which uses an algorithm developed by Ferrari that delivers an instantaneous estimate of side slip to all the various on-board control systems. This data is then used to coordinate and implement interventions in a rapid, timely and accurate manner
Version 6.0 of the Side Slip Control System (SSC) integrates all the car’s vehicle dynamics systems, most notably the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, active solely in the Manettino’s Race position. The FDE is a lateral dynamics control system that rapidly adjusts the hydraulic brake pressure at the callipers on all four wheels consistent with the dynamic situation requiring control. It is designed to make the evolution of the car’s lateral dynamics more predictable through and exiting corners