The Ferrari 488 Spider breaks cover in its first live photos

Driving with the top down is always special, but in a Ferrari Spider, it’s a different type of special. The air feels electric and rarified, and few things are more stimulating than the unrestricted scream of an Italian-built performance engine.

The 488 Spider is the latest in a long line of Ferrari convertibles, and it’s a special car indeed. Its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show is rapidly approaching, but before that happens, a photographer in China has managed to snap a few pictures of the car sans camouflage. Some cars just photograph well, and despite the lack of professional lighting and high-end equipment, the 488 you see above is clearly a natural in front the camera. The photos come via Car News China.

Based on the Ferrari 488 GTB, the 488 Spider features major design cues from the fantastic 458 Italia, but its body has been redesigned to be more athletic and menacing. It’s also more aerodynamic, as the berlinetta version boasts 50 percent more downforce than the 458. We’re sure the Spider will put down similar figures with the folding hardtop up, which takes only 14 seconds to manage.

As far as performance goes, the 488 Spider is simply the most powerful convertible Ferrari has ever made. Its engine is actually smaller than the 458’s powerplant at 3.9 liters, but it enlists twin turbochargers to pump out 661 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. It’s a legitimate 10-second car in the quarter-mile, and smashes through 60 in 3.0 seconds flat. 0 to 120 mph comes in just 8.7 seconds — a tad less impressive than the coupe’s 8.3 — and top speed falls from 205 mph to 203 mph with the Spider badge. We don’t think you’ll care, though.

The 488 Spider is set to go on sale in spring 2016 for around $275,000.

Business

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ breaks records, ‘Mortal Engines’ sputters

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse webbed up a winning weekend as the top movie in theaters, earning $35.4 million and setting a new record for animated features premiering in December.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.