There is a strange allure to spy pics, but when they are taken after a car is unveiled it is even stranger. Take the grainy Ferrari 458 Italia shots yesterday.

The car was launched two weeks ago and to accompany it there was a smorgasbord of different shots showing every angle in polished detail. But if you are anything like me (and judging by the amount of hits on the story plenty of you are) there is something equally as fascinating about the latest shots taken in Northern Italy.

Ferrari 458s

Two Ferrari 458s spied

Admittedly they were probably taken by a man steering his car down the autoroute with his knees, hanging out of the window waving a camera phone, but at least they show the car in the real world (where it looks great in my opinion).

The official Ferrari shots have no context and, pretty as they are, they hide any odd proportions on the 458. It may not sit right on the road too, and the scale of the car only becomes clear when we see it in comparison to the real world.

Aside from all this, the spy shot itself draws us in because it is always a story in itself, be it cold photographers sitting chatting around the Nurburgring or a chance encounter with a new car on a motorway. Then the pictures find their way to the internet surrounded by an illicit aura that makes them all the more interesting.

But perhaps I’m wrong, maybe the official pictures tell us more? Official or unofficial – take your pic.