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New Ferrari Roma Spider Debuts with 611-HP V8 and Drop-Top

Ferrari chops the roof off the Roma while making some minor updates to its stunning front-engine sports car

Ferrari Roma Spider front exterior
  • The new Ferrari Roma Spider arrives with 611 horsepower and a clever ragtop.
  • The Roma Spider is the first vehicle in 54 years to add a true soft top to a front-engine Ferrari.
  • Ferrari claims its new soft top is nearly as quiet as a hardtop.

After 54 years, there is a new front-engine Ferrari with an incorporated soft top. The last time Maranello had one on offer was the 1969 365 GTS4 (vehicles like the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina did have a removable soft top, but weren't intended to be in place at highway speeds). The Ferrari Roma Spider, part of Ferrari's self-proclaimed "La Nuova Dolce Vita" renaissance, is keen on pushing the brand forward while making numerous callbacks to the styling cues of days past. Take the Roma's existing homage to the manual transmission — a gear selector shaped like the gated H-pattern of Ferraris past.

The idea of a Ferrari from yesteryear brought to life for the modern era is something that permeates throughout the Roma. Ferrari wants you to think of top-down motoring (perhaps somewhere on the Amalfi) with some guys called "The Beach Boys" on the newfangled in-car radio like you're in the '60s, but with a raft of modern niceties. Don't forget about the car's neckwarmers and to plug into Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Those, by the way, are finally standard after years of being an option that cost thousands.

Ferrari Roma Spider rear three-quarters view

Obviously, the most significant update to the Roma Spider is its new roof, made with entirely new material that gives off a 3D look. Ferrari says the top can be operated at up to 38 mph. It'll also open or close in roughly 13.5 seconds. This top is able to fold itself up in an extremely compact manner, allowing owners to lean into the Roma's GT nature. Owners will be able to personalize the top as well, with a number of colors, personalization choices and stitching options available. To keep harsher gusts of wind out, Ferrari has integrated a wind deflector into the rear seats that can be folded away into the seatbacks at the touch of a button, and the trunk can also be accessed from behind these new seats.

Ferrari Roma Spider exterior profile

Maranello maintains some small aesthetic updates have been made to the Roma Spider, but aside from the new skylight, they're tough to spot. In order to more properly reflect the drop-top Ferraris from days past, the launch spec pictured here doesn't offer the usual Ferrari crest on the fenders. The brand also states the rear has been subtly restyled. We'll leave final judgment on that to you.

Inside, things are largely unchanged when compared to the hardtop Roma. The car's admittedly frustrating touch-centric interface remains. It's received some changes, however. Ferrari has added Braille-like indents to the lefthand controls to help drivers feel which buttons need pressing. The right-hand trackpad gets the same treatment. Apparently responding to criticism over the death of the iconic "ENGINE START" button, Ferrari has added red backlighting to the still capacitive-touch start button.

Ferrari Roma Spider interior

Speaking of starting the engine, Ferrari changes little with the Roma Spider's powertrain — it's best not to mess with success. The same 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 sits in front of the driver, tucked back behind the front axle to give it those classic Ferrari front mid-engine handling traits. Here, outputs are 611 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque, and power is sent to the rear wheels via Ferrari's whip-crack quick eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

A new oil pump "reduces time-to-pressure in cold starts by 70%." It also increases flow rates in midrange rpm. The result of the new changes are relatively minor. The Roma Spider hits 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and 124 mph in 9.7 seconds. While the former figure is the same as the coupe, the Spider is 0.4 second slower to 124 — though we doubt that anyone will be able to tell from the seat of their pants. This is rather impressive considering the extra weight the Spider carries. Much of this comes from the roof, but that power wind deflector is also part of the equation.

For now, Ferrari has not specified pricing for the U.S. market, but you can expect to see these cruising along PCH before the end of this year.

Ferrari Roma Spider rear exterior

Edmunds says

The Ferrari Roma Spider proves that cutting the roof off a sports car doesn't always make it uglier. However, Ferrari continues to dodge the manual transmission and its infuriating touch-centric interface remains. That said, it'll be tough to complain about these foibles with a 600-plus-horsepower V8 in front of you and the wind in your hair.