N.GINE Archives | Ferrari 458 Spider

BY Burnpavement

The already sexy Ferrari 458 goes topless! Dr Kevin Co takes it for a spin to see if anyone notices the difference.

Bianco Fuji, Bianco Fuji, Bianco Fuji, the color of this 458 spider is permanently etched into my mind. The color is like a metallic pearl white with gold dust all over. Not an easy colour to describe. But it is absolutely stunning! Red is so yesterday. Now we know why Alonso has one in this exact color. Fantastico!

Okay back to the car… the 458 spider. It is ridiculously good, for the first time that after giving the car back, my Jag suddenly feels like it has lost a few cylinders. I was having pretty bad withdrawal symptoms for the next few days.

This car is what a Ferrari is all about, the epitome of Italian engineering. The 458 beauty looks even more desirable with the top off. The aggressive stance remains unchanged. The unique triple exhaust outlets are still there. The all aluminum drop top is even lighter than the soft version and it opens in a relatively quick 14 seconds, so you can easily make it during the traffic light stop (or for showing off).

The two-piece folding roof does make a very interesting spectacle. The dramatic back sloping buttresses that is accentuated with the roof down acts as the nicest roll over protection I have ever seen. The only bad thing is the mechanism permanently covers the engine, which is such a shame, as the scarlet V8 is an enthralling sight by itself.

The 458 spider’s aesthetic appeal is just amazing, not only it has the pedestrians turned to look; even drivers and their passengers strain for a better view. So this is “THE” car to be seen in.

The 4.5litres V8 free revving engine pushes out 570hp at 9000rpm. With the 0-100km/hr less than 3.5 seconds, it is almost impossible to contain your smile while driving. The structure integrity is slightly compromised without the roof as Ferrari Engineers have noted but it is impossible to differentiate unless you spent a lot time on the track. In fact, you feel faster with the roof down, it always feels faster with the roof down. That is the beauty of convertibles; the roof-opening button should be renamed as the sport mode button instead.

If you keep the revs below 4000rpm, the car purrs along without much drama but the moment you floor the accelerator all hell breaks loose and the exhaust soundtrack is better than any audio system in the world.

The 458 spider as expected feels really planted as I go through the winding roads, even with all the humps and potholes, the ride is surprisingly comfortable. The standard carbon ceramic brakes give you the assurance that the car will still stop at command. Definitely a through-and-through purebred Ferrari, with the manettino switch at “race” it can tackled any track session you throw at it. You can even fully off all electronic aids, for car that cost a mind blowing 1 million dollars, the insurance company will probably hope you are not that “crazy”.

In the driver’s seat the car seems to wrap itself around you, the visibility is so good you tend to forget how wide the 458 really is, and that is with the top up! The suspension is adjustable so the humps are of no issue. I was brave (foolish) enough to try going into the basement carpark at marina square and emerged unscathed. It’s pleasantly easy to maneuver in tight areas. The boot is obviously not going to be very big and there are only two seats, but of course these are the last things you would notice.

Although the hot weather in Singapore is not that conducive for open top driving, most people will still go for the convertible, and just to hear that “noise” when you are driving is all worth getting that tan line.