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Mike Stevens | Jul 20, 2011

Ferrari's upcoming 458 Italia Spider will reportedly replace its predecessor's fabric roof with a folding hard-top, taking a leaf from the entry-level California's book.

Details remain thin on the ground, although enthusiast website PistonHeads reports that a Ferrari insider has confirmed that the 458 Spider's engineers have overcome the heavier roof's weight issues.

It is unclear whether the roof will be a glass or metal affair (the 575M Superamerica featured a rotating glass roof), although the report claims the 458's transparent engine cover has been ditched.

Little else is known about the new Spider, but its styling is expected to retain most of the lines of the hardtop, but with roll hoops and engine cover integrated into the moving rear deck.

The 458 Spider's powerplant reportedly remains unchanged, its 4.5 litre V8 engine producing 425kW. The Spider can be expected to benefit from chassis reinforcement to ensure the roof's absence does not rob the car of the track-ready handling Ferrari has engineered into the 458 Italia hardtop.

The topless 458 is expected to make its global debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

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