Spider Engineering Leaps into the Digital Age

As our loyal followers are aware, aftermarket development of the Fiat Spider has been moribund since the 1990’s. Roadster Salon has been the leading creative source for engineering improvements of the original spider design. We’ve stood alone, championing upgrades intended to enhance the Spider’s driving experience and overall safety.

For years, our engineers took an old school approach to design and development. This involved literally “drawing up changes on a napkin” and countless hours of trial and error during fabrication. It would take months or even years to bring concepts to a prototype stage. It was a well-meaning effort, but a costly way to make even minor improvements in performance, road manners and reliability.

Roadster Salon has now fully advanced into the digital age. Director Rob Baird said, “While we still originate our own design concepts in house, we are contracting with an outside engineering firm to computerize them so we can work exclusively in the digital domain. This Fall, our engineering firm spent several days doing complete digital scans of the spider chassis and major components. They used sophisticated laser interpolation and tens of thousands of dollars in modeling software to create a full digital picture of the Spider,” said Baird.

“We now have precise measurements of every critical part of the original car. Modeling of newly designed components can now be tested within a computerized environment for precise fitment. Changes and updates are made easily. Strength and durability of new components can be measured and tested theoretically without ever installing them in a Spider. Specifications for new parts can be quickly finalized and put into production. It’s a game changer.”

The coming year looks to be the most creative period in Roadster Salon’s history. New designs include high performance crate engines/transmissions, next generation chassis upgrades, an improved turbo system and our latest EV design. Watch this space as these new products come to market.