Ferrari introduces the 458 Spider in Japan

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 16, 2011

Around 350 customers, Ferrari fans and collectors took part in the charity auction recently held at Zojoji, the principal temple of the Jodo-Buddhists, making for a stunning view at the base of the Tokyo Tower. At the Japan Premiere of 458 Spider, which is Ferrari’s new distinctive 8-cylinder model, the company held a special charity public sale to help the city of Ishinomaki -- the area hit hard by the March quake in Japan.

The sale was attended by surprise guests, the F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who had just completed the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka during the weekend.

The auction was a huge success. Special items, such as the nose cone of the 150th Italia, the F1 automobile with the popular “Gambare Nippon” note exhibited at the opening Grand Prix of 2011 season in Melbourne were auctioned. It comes after the charity auction held in July at the FF Japan Launch at the Italian Embassy where Ferrari produced more than 53 million yen.

Approximately 12 million yen was generated by the Ferrari Owners Club of Japan, which will be added to this event’s donation of an additional 8 million yen.

Ferrari has received donations amounting to more than 70 million yen, allowing Ishinomaki to construct two after-school establishments. The 458 Spider's powertrain is equivalent to that of the 458 Italia coupe -- a normally aspirated 4.5-liter V-8 providing 570 hp along with a Getrag seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 458 Spider can sprint from 0 to 100kph (62 mph) in less than 3.4 seconds. Its top speed is 320kph.

Every model that has come out from Ferrari has been, by definition, ground-breaking. Over the span of its long history though, there have been models that instead of following the current line-up, have made its own mark.

This in fact described by the new 458 Italia as it gives the brand’s mid-rear engine sports car that important leap forward. No matter what angle it is looked at, everything is new. From its design, to the ergonomics and aerodynamics, and all the way to the handling, all are completely new. Even the instrumentation and engine are new as well.

Indeed, the new 458 Italia is clearly a combination of passion, creativeness, style, and advanced technology. All of these are the qualities that made Italy celebrated as a nation.

This is why in addition to the 458, which symbolizes the displacement of the model and the number of its cylinders, Ferrari also added the name of its origin. As expected from the brand, the 458 Italia gets a big help from its experience at Formula 1, something that has become tradition when it comes to its road-going models. Proof of this is how the two-seater berlinetta responds with precision and speed on the inputs made by the driver.

Even if the power is higher, as well as the overall displacement, when compared to the F430, the 458 Italia offers lower fuel consumption as the internal friction present in the engine has been lowered. While the track experience of the brand can be observed in the 458 Italia, this is limited to technological transfer. There is also an emotional layer involved considering that this model focuses strongly on the car and its mutual relationship with the driver.

Due to the dashboard and the new steering wheel, both of which have been inspired by racing practice, it gives the 459 Italia that novel driving environment. As with some of the previous projects, celebrated race car driver Michael Schumacher had an important role to play as he was also part of this right from the beginning.

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