Anyone who doesn’t like cars must find it astonishing that anyone would want to stare at a picture of something that resembles a pile of cardboard boxes on four wheels.

But I’m sure I’m not alone in finding spy pics fascinating.

Sometimes you can’t really see the car, or it may even be a mule with the body of a car that’s been on sale for years, but throw in a shady backstreet or a camera-shy engineer and it’s the perfect mix.

Take the Maserati Spyder for example, it is not what you can see but what you can’t that draws you in.

It is clear that the front and rear of the car will be pretty much the same as the GranTurismo, but what can’t be seen is the roof.

Spied: New Maserati Spyder

Will it be a folding hardtop or canvas item? From the shots it is almost impossible to tell, but that doesn’t stop the viewer hunting for tell-tale signs. Is the windscreen the same angle? Is that the window line we can see?

The car was expected to have a shorter wheelbase, as in the previous coupe and Spyder, but by the looks of the pictures if there is any change it is miniscule. But then if it is almost invisible to the naked eye then why do it at all?

If the car is a hardtop it will probably need all the wheelbase it can get to fit in four seats, a boot and the folding hardware.

Should Maserati go for a fabric roof it will be lighter and more space efficient. But despite car makers like Audi shunning the folding hardtop route people are getting used to them, especially in America where convertible Mercs sell very well.

Would a coupe-cabrio steal sales from the GT coupe? Maybe, but that didn’t seem to bother BMW with its 3-series. Perhaps another reason Maserati may not chop the chassis for the cabrio is that would suggest the car is more nimble, more sporty.

But with the extra weight it won’t be the sporting choice, leaving the drop-top for boulevard cruising and the GT coupe for exploring the mountains.

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