The 2024 Ferrari Roma Spider: A Taste of Italy's Dolce Vita

The Italian brand recently unveiled the soft top version of the timelessly elegant Ferrari Roma, acquiring the Spider designation. Showcased in picturesque surroundings, basking under the Marrakesh sun at the El Badi Palace, the 2024 Ferrari Roma Spider is a tribute to the chic Italian lifestyle of the 1950s and 60s.
Ferrari Roma Spider 13 photos
Photo: Ferrari
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Named after Italy's capital city, a centuries-old center of glamour and culture, the Roma was initially introduced to the public in 2019 as a two-door hardtop coupe with a 2+2 seating configuration featuring a sleek and harmonious silhouette that exudes timeless beauty that took inspiration from the classic Ferrari grand touring models such as the 250 GT Lusso and the 250 GT 2+2.

But the Roma is not just a pretty face. Both the Coupe and the Spider boast the same powerful heart under their hoods: a 3.9-liter twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8 engine that produces 620 ps (612 hp; 456 kW) and 561 lb-ft (760 Nm ) at 7,500 rpm. Based on the Ferrari Portofino, but with significant improvements, the Roma has a front mid-engine rear-wheel-drive layout that ensures optimal weight distribution and dynamic balance.

It also features an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers smooth and fast shifts, enabling an acceleration time from zero to 62 mph (100 kph) in just 3.4 seconds and reaching a top speed of over 199 mph (320 kph).

First of its kind in modern times

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Ferrari Styling Centre created the Ferrari Roma Spider under the leadership of Flavio Manzoni to expand the "La Nuova Dolce Vita" concept for open-air driving outside of the city. The vehicle features a soft fabric top that perfectly complements the original coupe's proportions without altering its sleek silhouette. It is the Maranello-based brand's first front-engined soft top in more than half a century, precisely 54 years from the birth of the 1969 365 GTS4.

The tapering, fastback roofline was altered to incorporate the soft top that folds below the tonneau cover when open. An active rear-mounted spoiler visually connects with the rear bench and headrests when the soft top is lowered, and a body-color band now separates the spoiler from the roof and rear screen, creating a seamless tonneau cover.

The soft top's fabric was specially chosen and developed with color combinations that highlight the car's dual nature of elegance and sportiness. The material's refined, haute couture quality is emphasized by the bespoke two-tone weave, which comes in four colors. Additionally, an optional technical fabric has been developed specifically for this car. Its striking iridescent red finish enhances the roof's 3D surface, giving it a sporty yet sophisticated allure.

True beauty from every angle

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Ferrari Roma Spider's exterior design perfectly combines classic Ferrari proportions and modern sophistication. Its harmonious, sleek silhouette pays tribute to Ferrari's front-engined GT tradition with a contemporary twist.

The long front hood and sinuous wings flow seamlessly into each other, creating an overhanging, shark-nose effect, producing a sculpted from a single block of metal appearance of the front end. The designers have managed to preserve the car's minimalist elegance by removing any vents or superfluous decorative features, resulting in a clean, sculpted design.

The perforated surfaces, located only where necessary, provide engine cooling and create a new interpretation of the grille concept. They are finished in the same shade as the rest of the bodywork, rendering them seamless with the styling.

The full-LED headlights, traversed by a horizontal DRL strip, add a distinctive character to the front of the car. At the same time, the compact and set-back fastback cabin volume, ending in a subtle nolder beneath, offers a modern take on the signature Ferrari tail.

The Ferrari Roma Spider's wrap-around tail is made possible by implementing the modern transom styling, with a minimalist yet technologically-advanced design that reduces the dimensions of the rear light assembly. The rear of the vehicle is complemented by a stylish, aerodynamic diffuser that also integrates the exhausts.

Top-notch aerodynamics

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Ferrari Roma Spider boasts impressive aerodynamics, providing efficient downforce and low drag. Its soft top design required meticulous analysis of the roof line's curvature to ensure its aerodynamic targets were met while retaining its unmistakable demeanor.

Complement the car's styling even more, the Roma Spider's mobile spoiler geometry was carefully honed, allowing it to extend and retract in response to the car's speed and acceleration. This design enables the vehicle to remain controllable even at high speeds, delivering the same driving exhilaration as the Roma.

Ferrari's in-house Aerodynamic Department also paid close attention to passenger comfort when the top is down. In this regard, they introduced two automatic features that provide an aerodynamic "bubble" effect over the cockpit.

The first is a 5mm (0.2") nolder that reduces flow separation in the new windscreen header rail area. The second is an automatic wind deflector that the driver can deploy at the press of a button without stopping the car.

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
When activated, the wind deflector reduces turbulence and wind noise around the heads of taller drivers by 30% compared to previous models. The design of this part and its optimized permeability were developed through a combination of CFD simulation and wind tunnel sessions.

Another noteworthy active aerodynamic feature of the Ferrari Roma Spider's aerodynamics is its active spoiler. This is concealed in the rear lid and can deploy into three positions (Low Drag, Medium Downforce, and High Downforce) depending on the car's speed and acceleration.

The spoiler's movement to the High Downforce position is determined by the Manettino position and the car's longitudinal and lateral acceleration. In High Downforce mode, the mobile element positions itself at a 135-degree angle with the surface of the rear screen, generating about 209 lbs (95 kg) of downforce at 155 mph (250 kph) but increasing drag by only 4%.

In addition, a pair of vortex generators increase the front downforce by forming a ground effect forming concentrated and coherent vortices in the front area of the car. This design also reduces unwanted aerodynamic disturbances from the front wheels, thus increasing the efficiency of downforce generation.

It's all in the driving experience

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
When it comes to driving a Ferrari, there's no doubt that it's all about the thrill. And the Ferrari Roma Spider certainly delivers on that front, with its vehicle dynamics development focused on providing exceptional driving experiences and precise handling comparable to its coupe counterpart.

To achieve this, Ferrari has developed an innovative algorithm known as the Side Slip Control system. This system is so capable that it can instantaneously estimate side slippage levels to all the various onboard control systems, which, in turn, take the data provided and act accordingly, intervening in a much more timely and accurate manner, regardless of the road surface ahead.

The result is a smooth and responsive driving experience that any car enthusiast would appreciate, from the experienced racing pilot to the average-skilled weekend driver.

In addition to the Side Slip Control system, the Ferrari Roma Spider also features the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE). The FDE system is a lateral dynamics control unit that can adjust the hydraulic brake pressure on all four wheels, making the evolution of the car's lateral dynamics more predictable, especially while exiting corners. Ultimately, the system ensures that the driver's control of the steering wheel and throttle is more intuitive, making for an even more enjoyable ride.

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Manettino, a standard feature of many Ferrari models, also makes a successful appearance in the all-new Roma Spider. With five positions available, including the new Race position, the Manettino allows for enhanced handling and optimal traction performance. Backed up by the FDE, as mentioned earlier, the Race setting is designed to boost the fun factor when behind the wheel.

Although derived from the Ferrari Roma coupe, the chassis features bespoke components developed specifically for the Spider, including the sill and the A-pillar/windscreen surround. The bodyshell of the Spider maintains the fundamental elements of Roma's design but with slight inspiration from the solution used in the Portofino M, with modifications that focused mainly on the rear section to create harmony and seamless elegance when the top is down.

In particular, the addition of the integrated wind deflector and rear seat headrests increased the car's weight by 185 lbs (84 kg). Still, the high torsional rigidity compensates for this, and beam stiffness figures were achieved, resulting in a weight/power ratio of only 2.5 kg/ps (5.6 lb/hp), making the top of its class.

Even more, the soft-top mechanism was meticulously designed and developed to ensure smooth and controlled action, and it can be deployed in a mere 13.5-second time, working at speeds of up to 60 kph (37.3 mph). It is aided by a set of gas springs that extend the wind deflector, providing additional comfort for rear occupants.

Beauty comes (also) from the inside

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Ferrari Roma Spider boasts a beautifully crafted cabin that seamlessly blends technology, functionality, and design- featuring the same dual-cockpit layout as the Roma coupe. The designers at the Ferrari Styling Centre took a novel approach to volumes and forms, resulting in two separate spaces, one for the driver and one for the passenger.

The cabin has an almost symmetrical layout, creating an organic distribution of areas and functional elements. The result is that the passenger feels a part of the driving experience, almost like a co-driver.

The dual-cockpit design creates an almost cocoon-like environment that wraps around the driver and passenger, extending seamlessly from the dashboard to the rear seats, integrating the dash, doors, rear bench, and center tunnel.

The Ferrari Roma Spider also boasts advanced technology, such as the 16" digital instrument cluster, integrated with the volumes around it and protected by an anti-glare binnacle that extends naturally from the dash.

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The passenger has an optional display that allows them to share driving information. In contrast, the central 8.4-inch display set between the two cockpits incorporates infotainment and climate control functions for easy accessibility for both driver and passenger.

The F1-style gearbox controls have been set into a modern metal plate, referencing the iconic gear lever gate, and located in the tunnel's center, making it easier for the driver to reach and see.

The steering wheel's button layout has also been refined, now featuring touch controls on its spokes and a trackpad on the right-hand spoke, making it easier to swipe. These solutions should help the driver know where each command is, in line with Ferrari's "Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel" philosophy.

Lastly, the engine start button is now backlit in red, further underscoring the excitement of the moment the Ferrari twin-turbo engine springs to life.

Ferrari Roma Spider
Photo: Ferrari
The Ferrari Roma Spider is a work of art that embodies the spirit of the Italian Dolce Vita. It's a symphony of form and function, a tribute to Ferrari's timeless design so beloved in the early 50s and 60s, combined with today's modern technologies and manufacturing. With the Roma Spider, Ferrari adds a whole new dimension to an already extraordinary experience.

With its beautiful lines, alluring curves, and retractable hardtops, the Roma Spider has its own place in the "engineering work-of-art" category. It's a car that's meant to be driven, to be experienced, to be savored. And while it's certainly not a car for everyone, for those who appreciate the best things in life, it's worth every penny.

Speaking of pennies, the Roma Spider is not cheap by any means. Ferrari did not yet disclose any pricing details, but a reasonable estimate could be around $280-$290k, considering the $247,310 starting tag of the Roma coupe.

Although a car for a select few, those lucky enough to park one on their driveway, will undoubtedly relish endless joy and excitement, whether driving along winding roads, cruising through the city, or simply basking in the sun with the top down.

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About the author: Dan Marinescu
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Since his early childhood, Dan developed an avid passion for cars and, now he sees himself as a genuine petrolhead. His enthusiasm comes from his father, an automotive engineer. They love to reminisce about the days when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and why everything does what it does.
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