The 458 Spider today joined its coupe sister, the 458 Italia, in the local Ferrari lineup, and rolls in at a starting baseline price of RM1.9 million, going up to RM2.2 million or so depending on the level of customisation you load on it.

The Spider, which debuted in Frankfurt last year, is powered by a normally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5 litre V8 with 570 cheval vapeur (CV), which translates to 562 hp at 9,000 rpm and 540 Nm at 6,000 rpm.

The mill is coupled to a dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift seven-speed transmission with E-Diff, which integrates F1-Trac traction control and high-performance ABS. Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of under 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 320 km/h.

Equipped with a fully-retractable aluminium hard-top, the 458 Spider is the world’s first sports car with this layout. It’s 25 kg lighter than a traditional folding soft-top, and is also quieter and thermally more efficient when raised.

Aside from taking just 14 seconds to open or close, the hard-top – which is fully integrated into the styling of the car – was engineered to occupy a very small space when stored, affording a generous rear bench for luggage behind the two seats.

The Spider, which sits on 20-inch wheels and 235/35 front and 295/35 rear rubbers, has a generously-sized adjustable electric wind stop which opens to a height that promises efficient aerodynamics, reducing buffeting in the cockpit and enabling normal conversation to be held even at speeds over 200 km/h.

The rear also features buttresses designed to optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes as well as the clutch and gearbox oil radiators.

In related news, the launch of the 458 Spider also saw the Malaysian introduction of Ferrari Tailor-Made, a personalisation programme developed specifically for customers wishing to make their Ferrari unique. The service features three innovative collections – Classica, Scuderia and Inedita, with a multitude of customisation options to be had.