The Impeccable Ferrari 458 Spider

The Ferrari 458 Spider has been named as the winner of the Performance Car category in the 2014 Car Magazine Best Buys Awards in association with Tracker.

A hotly-contested competition as always, the 2014 Car Best Buys Awards have seen a host of worthy vehicles win their respective categories, with the 458 Spider out-performing formidable rivals to take the honours in its category.

“Our category win in this trusted and respected vehicle survey is an honour,” says Viglietti Motors CEO, Mervyn Eagles. “Being named as the Best Performance Car is an important accolade where, in the South African market, our 458 Spider competes against significant rivals in a region where supercars find favour with a relatively large customer base. This accolade reinforces what the Ferrari 458 Spider represents – the very best of open-top, mid-engined supercar motoring.”

Having launched in South Africa in 2012 the Ferrari 458 Spider is coined as the world’s first mid-rear-engined Berlinetta with a retractable hard top. Joining the formidable Ferrari 458 Italia, the Spider offers the same uncompromising technological solutions, handling and performance, with the added bonus of open-top motoring.

It was the 458 that helped the company achieve its best ever year. They decided to reduce the number of cars sold to maintain a high level of exclusivity and increasing their value over the time, improving results. The concept worked and there were reduced sales in 2013, but record turnover, profits and finances.

The 458 Spider is powered by Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated, direct injection 4.5-litre V8 (425 kW and 540 Nm) which was nominated as the 2011 Engine of the Year for its engineering excellence in terms of driveability, performance, economy and refinement. The 458 Spider dispatches the 0-100 kmh sprint in less than 3.4 seconds and tops out at 320 kmh.

Power is transferred to the road via Ferrari’s class-leading 7-speed dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission through the sophisticated E-Diff, itself integrated with the F1-Trac traction control system and high-performance ABS for maximum handling dynamics.

Certain characteristics like throttle mapping and the multi-link suspension’s damping have been calibrated for maximum sportiness and absolute driving pleasure with the top down, in line with Maranello’s exclusive spider tradition. Even the engine sound track has been honed to ensure the car’s occupants are completely captivated by the drop-top motoring experience at all times.

Entirely aluminium, the hard-top solution adopted for the 458 Spider offers a number of aantages over the traditional folding soft-top, including a 25 kilogram weight reduction and a deployment time of just 14 seconds. Fully-integrated into the Spider’s styling, the roof was engineered to fit neatly ahead of the engine bay without compromising aerodynamics or performance. The small space needed to store the roof when folded enabled the designers to include a generous rear bench for luggage behind the seats.

The car’s rear is characterised by innovative forms with the buttresses designed to optimise air flow to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators. The 458 Spider also features a generously-sized adjustable electric wind stop for maximum comfort whilst driving with the top down. Its design was perfected to slow and diffuse the air in the cockpit, enabling normal conversation to be held even at speeds over 200 kmh.

New technical solutions adopted for the chassis guarantee identical levels of structural rigidity with the roof up or down, resulting in a car that is truly exciting to drive, blending extreme performance with the responsiveness that has always characterised Ferrari’s open-top Berlinettas.

In the meantime, leading London-based brand valuation experts, Brand Finance, have named Ferrari the world’s Most Powerful Brand for the second consecutive year, awarding it an AAA+ rating that puts it ahead of highly- respected and established multinational consumer companies such as Apple and Microsoft.

Ferrari also enjoys an excellent online and social network presence. The official Ferrari website attracted over 40 million visitors while the brand is one of the leading lights of the global social media scene with 12.5 million fans on Facebook, up 25% from 2012.

Source : The Namibian