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Mike Stevens | Nov 11, 2008

A gloomy fog may have settled over world financial markets but that hasn't stopped Ferrari from cocking its nose at all the depressing carry-on. It has just released a hugely expensive convertible version of the F430 Scuderia, limited to just 499 examples worldwide.

The F430 Scuderia, you may be aware, is Ferrari's fastest and most track-focused car of the moment (with an exhaust note to send supercar lovers into spasmic shock). So, lopping the roof off can surely only heighten the experience. Ferrari has used the celebrations of winning this year's F1 Constructors' Championship victory as the excuse to come running from the factory with this new special edition of what was already a special car. The '16m' of the car's name flags the F1 Constructors' Championship win as Ferrari's 16th title win.

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The convertible is based on the 430 Scuderia launched last year and comes with the same 4.3 litre V8 engine producing 375kW (510hp) of power and a 0-110kph acceleration time of just 3.7 seconds. Being a convertible, some weight was added to strengthen the car's chassis, but this still brings it in 80 kilograms lighter than the standard F430 spider. This gives the Scuderia Spider 16m a power-to-weight ratio of 2.6 kg/hp, blitzing most of the existing Ferrari product range off the line, including the previous classic roofless supercar the F50.

F430 Scuderia F1-inspired components are brought across to this model like the six-speed F1-Trac gear system with dry clutch, and the electronic trick E-diff stability control system controlled simply by the steering wheel-mounted Manettino switch. These driver's aids enable the driver to pilot the car to its top speed of 315kph, although Ferrari does not say if this is a good idea with the roof up or down!

Showing its limited edition identity atop the centre of the dashboard is a '16M Scuderia Spider Limited 499' build-plate, and on the rear grille another badge is shown commemorating Ferrari's Constructors' title.

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The Scuderia Spider 16M is available in a choice of two new signature colour schemes: the standard version is black with grey trim, while a tricolour livery is also available as part of the Carrozzeria Scaglietti Personalisation Programme featuring yellow and red schemes.

Ferrari is aiming the car at markets outside Europe and the US (anything to do with the current financial situation I wonder?) with a slim chance of some of the models appearing on Australian shores. With the normal F430 Scuderia selling in Australia for AUD$575k, expect the new 16M Spider version to come in at a premium above that.

Check out the gallery of high-res photos below, but be warned, this is a seriously sexy looking car.

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