Ferrari 360 Spider Convertible
Roberto is the proud owner of this stunning Ferrari 360 Spider. The F360, which is also available as a Modena coupe', is powered by a mid-mounted 3.6-liter V8 that pumps out a raucous 400 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. The all-important 0-100 km (0-62 mph) sprint is accomplished in a blistering 4.3 seconds. Roberto's F360 also sports the F1 automated clutch manual gearbox that is shifted via column-mounted shift paddles in a lightning-quick 150 milliseconds. This system was developed by Ferrari specifically for their Formula 1 race team, and debuted in the Type 640 cars driven by Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger in 1989. Ferrari realized that no matter how fast a driver could accomplish a manual gear shift with a clutch pedal and a traditional stick shift, speed was being lost during the cumbersome shifting process. In addition, the shifting process required drivers to take one of their hands off of the steering wheel. The answer was to develop a computer controlled, hydraulically actuated clutch system that would replace all of the actions performed by the driver during the shifting process. Shifting the Ferrari F1 gearbox is accomplished via paddles located behind the steering wheel, thereby eliminating all the problems with the traditional manual transmission.
Ferrari's F1 robotic gearbox is often credited as being one of the most significant advancements in the history of Formula 1 racing. Transmissions and clutch systems in Formula 1 cars will certainly never stop evolving, but it was Ferrari's paddle-shift gearbox concept that forever eliminated the clutch pedal in F1 cars.