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.