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news on the 360 replacement

Discussion in '360/430' started by nberry, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    Sometime ago I posted that Ferrari will produce a model with a retractable top similar to the MB and Lexus. My source indicated it would be the new 575M. However Autoexpress has a quote below which I picked up from the Rennteam site which indicates that possibly the 360 will be getting one as well.


    "It was all hands to the pump at Ferrari's top-secret research and development facility at Maranello, Italy, when the building caught fire. Although some reports claim virtually nothing was lost "except a few 612 Scaglietti-badged raincoats", Auto Express has learned the area affected contained a number of priceless prototypes, as well as the office of Dario Benuzzi, the company's top test driver.

    With work on the 612 finished, Benuzzi is said to be concentrating on a 360 replacement. Powered by a 4.2-litre V8, the car will feature an all-new roof system inspired by the Fioravante Alfa concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2001. Ferrari is interested in a metal-roofed convertible because of their improved refinement and aerodynamics. Traditional Mercedes SLK-style tops are heavy and can alter a vehicle's centre of gravity, depending on if they are open or closed. The newcomer, expected next year, gets around this with hi-tech light materials, and a unique 'single-panel' top."
     
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  3. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
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    Sounds nice. I never did like how the roadsters looked with there tops up, but I always thought they looked better with them down then the hardtops looked normally. This would be a best of both worlds type of thing given they can do it correctly and not have to worry about weight and other things.
     
  4. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Repost, but a good one.
     
  5. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    That would be a nice design feature. I am assuming that if they succeed with this type of design, it should eliminate the plastic rear window. That was my major pet peeve with the Spider. Of course, if the new car has 550hp, I could care less about a plastic rear window. ;)
     
  6. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
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    Well, I hope it's available as a standard coupe also. I couldn't care less about lowering the roof, it just means more weight, cost, and complexity.

    Gary
     
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  8. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Important point is that if this IS true, then the 420 IMO cannot look like the 360 or a 360 with minor exterior modifications.

    There is no way you could put a retracatable hard top on that body shape because the cockpit now is just much of a bubble. Think about the spider (flat glass panel over the hood to see engine) and the coupe (the rear window is integral to the coupe's shape) of the 360. What you would end up with, if there were a retractable hard top on a 360-like body, is two rather different looking cars, because the spyder with the hard top up would be a coupe, just a totally different looking one.

    And I think that would be weird. The whole point of having a retractable hard top is so that you can have a coupe AND a spyder in one. But the point is that it's a coupe with the top up. they should'nt do that with a 360 bodytype because then you would have two coupes that look too disimilar. So, I think the 420 will have a different body type than maybe we are expecting.

    I'm not being articulate at all, but maybe someone will understand what I'm trying to say...
     
  9. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Don't worry, Zippy, I know what you're saying. And you're not far off, at least if what I know about the coupe is any indication. And my sources have never expressed that a hard-top syder would take the place of the coupe. So if this is true, it means that there will be a spider with a retractable hard top (cool) as well as the coupe.
     
  10. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    You make a good point. Would Ferrari make only one model 360/420? Based on how well the Spider has been selling, they could certainly justify one model in light of their very limited production.

    A light CLEAR retractable top would be very different and set the standard for future styling...a Ferrari attribute.
     
  11. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    It won't happen. It will be at least a two car model - coupe and spider.
     
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  13. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Exactly. And - do you guys see what I'm saying? That means that the COUPE version has got to be designed in such a way that the spyder version (with it's top up) looks the same. Which means a total redesign of the 360.
     
  14. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    I honestly do not understand the logic of producing two models if they are going to a retractable top. Would not the retractable top serve as a coupe?

    Keep in mind they are only producing approximately 2000 worldwide per year. To incur the expense of designing a model with a retractable top and yet sell one with a fixed top is expensive and not very cost efficient. This differs from a soft top Spider and a fixed hardtop coupe. Two different cars. I assume that would not be the case with a retractable top model and a fixed top coupe.
     
  15. Victory

    Victory Formula Junior

    Jan 28, 2004
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    The space occupied by the retractable roof is significant and I don't see it being possible on a mid-engine car without compromising the rear cabin space.
     
  16. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Another good point. Unless it looked really stretched and ungainly, how could they use this on anything but the 575 replacement?
     
  17. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
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    potomac
    i agree with both of the above.../no way the next spider has a hard roof....you can bet the house on that....and whats the point? it makes for a lot of comprimises .....a ferrari spider is not intended as an only or everday car.....actually, the current soft topo is very quiet and well insulated!!!
     

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