2012 Ferrari 458 Italia Spider Sneaks Online Photo:
Mike Stevens | Aug, 21 2011 | 2 Comments

Ferrari's upcoming 458 Italia Spider has been forced into an unceremonious debut ahead of its Frankfurt unveiling next month, with images of the convertible supercar surfacing online this weekend.

Few details are available at this early stage, but according to enthusiast website Cheers & Gears, the 458 Spider is packing a retractable folding hardtop under that rear panel.

The question of the Spider's roof has been the subject of some speculation in recent weeks, with different reports pointing to a California-inspired hardtop or a softtop like its predecessor.

Little else is known about the new Spider, but its powerplant is expected to remain unchanged, its 4.5 litre V8 engine producing 425kW.

The convertible 458 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.

Watch for more details to come as the 458 Spider makes its debut at Frankfurt next month.

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