The 360 Spider is Ferrari’s twentieth road-going convertible.
The 360 was designed with a Spider variant in mind; since removing the roof of a coupe reduces the torsional rigidity, the 360 was built for strength in other areas. Ferrari designers strengthened the sills, stiffened the front of the floorpan and redesigned the windscreen frame. The rear bulkhead had to be stiffened to cut out engine noise from the cabin. The convertible’s necessary dynamic rigidity is provided by additional side reinforcements and a cross brace in front of the engine. Passenger safety is ensured by a strengthened windscreen frame and roll bars.
As with the Modena version, its 3.6 litre V8 with 294 kW (400 PS; 395 bhp) is on display under a glass hood. The engine — confined in space by the convertible’s top’s storage area — acquires additional air supply through especially large side grills. The intake manifolds were moved toward the center of the engine between the air supply conduits in the Spider engine compartment, as opposed to lying apart as with the Modena. In terms of performance, the 0-60 mph time was slightly slower due to the slight weight increase, and the top speed was reduced.
Despite the car’s mid-mounted V8 engine, the electrically operated top is able to stow into the compartment when not in use. The convertible top was available in black, blue, grey and beige colors. The transformation from a closed top to an open-air convertible is a two-stage folding-action that has been dubbed “a stunning 20 second mechanical symphony”.