29 October 2004

Ferrari will unveil a dramatic 575 convertible at the Detroit Motor Show in January next year. The 575 Super America will have a strictly limited production run of 500 and, unlike its topless 550 Barchetta predecessor (above), will also feature a clever new folding roof system. Insiders say that the Super America will have a more powerful version of the 575’s 5.0-litre V12 engine, with power up from 508bhp to 540bhp.

The new car was unveiled to potential buyers at California’s Pebble Beach in the summer. Favoured UK customers have also been given a sneak preview.

The clever targa-style roof was original developed by Italian styling house Fioravanti and demonstrated on the LF concept car (right). Insiders say that it’s made up of a single glass panel mounted in a carbonfibre frame. To prevent the driver frying in direct sunlight, the glass panel can be electronically tinted in five steps from opaque to clear. It retracts by pivoting out of the way and flipping upside down into a modified engine cover.

When the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina was launched in 2001 it cost £172,000: expect the 575 Super America to break the £180k mark.

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Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster soft-top sports car, and which of its variants has the edge over the others?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week