Maserati’s imposing new Spyder has been caught testing near the Nurburgring ahead of its unveiling early next year.
From these pictures it appears that the Italian sports car maker has abandoned plans to shorten the GT’s platform to create the cabrio.
The previous generation Spyder had been considerably shorter than its coupe sibling and Maserati was expected to reduce the GT’s formidable 4881mm length to create a more agile convertible.
However, a source at Maserati told Autocar that the car will be a “four seater with full seats in the back”.
As a result it is likely a folding canvas roof will be used instead of a folding hardtop, giving more space while adding less weight to the GT’s already portly 1880kg.
In addition, a folding hardtop could take sales from the standard hardtop version of the car, which would be rendered almost obsolete if the Spyder was dynamically similar.
Although Maserati has done a good job of disguising the rear of the car during testing, there is a hint of rear window that appears to closely follow the look of the coupe.
The front and rear lights have been concealed, but it is likely they will be mildly tweaked versions of the existing set-up.
There will to be two versions of the Spyder, both mechanically identical to the coupe’s two-car line-up.
The base model gets a 399bhp 4.2-litre V8 and an “S” version gets the 434bhp 4.7-litre V8, with a choice of either a robotised-manual or a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
Buyers can expect to pay a significant premium over the £88,000 “S” GT and the standard £78,210 version, with prices starting at around £90,000 for the basic Spyder.
Interestingly, Maserati’s next Spyder is one of the few Fiat Group cars that hasn’t been delayed.
According to PR chief Luca Dal Monte, its development is continuing at the Bolognese car-maker in preparation for a debut at the Geneva motor show in April 2010.
“With one hand we are cutting back in order to ensure that we make a profit in 2009,” he told Autocar, “but with the other we continue to prepare for a successful 2010. There are no delays.”
The Spyder will be in UK showrooms by mid-2010.