On circuit the Performante Spyder will undoubtedly give away a few tenths to the Performante Coupe. Out on the road, however, where these topless cars will almost exclusively live, the Spyder is every bit as spectacular to drive as the hardtop. It is a masterstroke.
If you rattle it over a really rough patch of tarmac at speed, you’ll be aware of the structure shuddering slightly around you. And in the middle of third gear with the the throttle wide open it perhaps doesn’t feel as effortlessly accelerative as it might - although by the time 6000rpm has come and gone you won’t believe there could possibly be another car on the road that’s as fast.
You might also be faintly aware of the chassis getting a touch flustered when you ask it to do several things at once; turn into a corner while you’re hard on the brakes just at the moment the road drops away, for instance.
If you really go looking for them - as in, look so intently that you’re actually paying no attention to anything else - you can identify the handful of ways in which the Performante Spyder is compromised over the Coupe. Otherwise, though, there’s scarcely anything between them.
That titan of an engine - more vocal now thanks to the trick exhaust system and even better appreciated with the canvas hood stowed away - is arguably the most exhilarating combustion engine you can buy right now.
The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, meanwhile, is so rapid on upshifts that it seems to swap gears even before you’ve pulled the paddle. The ride and damping are exquisite (on optional adaptive dampers, at least, which cost £5148 with a front axle lift included), body control is absolute, grip levels beggar belief and with four-wheel drive traction seems to be infinite.
The steering, meanwhile, with its variable assistance and variable ratio, takes some getting used to. It is too sharp and overly responsive, which makes the car feel a touch nervous to begin with.
Headroom with the roof in place is very tight, too, but it’s the fixed-back bucket seats that really let the side down. It’s as though they’ve been designed specifically to remind you of the comforts of home, like church pews.
After 90 minutes at the wheel you’ll have to stop and go for a short walk, just to straighten your spine out.