Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The F430 Spider employs the same 4.3-litre V8 as its tin-top brother. Located behind the seats it produces a might 483bhp at 8500rpm along with a wonderful sound. As with the coupé you have the choice of a conventional six-speed manual gearbox or the optional racing-style automated manual, also with six speeds but operated via a pair of paddles behind the steering wheel.

The latter is massively more popular despite the option carrying a £5000 premium. There's no difference in performance between the two but the Spider is fractionally slower than the lighter coupé, recording 4.1 seconds to 62mph and 193mph flat out compared with 4 seconds and 196mph for the solid-roofed car. But you'd gladly trade that virtually undetectable loss of go for the Spider's even more incredible soundtrack.

Chopping the top off a coupé inevitably leads to some dynamic compromises. There's the extra weight added in the form of the folding roof mechanism and floorpan bracing (in this case a modest 70kg), but even with that extra strength, the structure is never as stiff. Some though, like Ferrari, make a better job of it than others. On smooth roads there's little to differentiate the Spider from the coupe and even bumpy roads reveal only a little scuttle shake felt and a fractional dulling of the slightly softer chassis.

Even that would only be noticed after a back-to-back drive in the coupé and Spider. In isolation the Spider displays all the fabulous trademark qualities of its closed roof brother: fine steering that's accurate, light and communicative, a keenness to turn in to corners thanks to the mid-engined layout and tremendous traction despite all 483bhp being delivered to the rear wheels which is down to the brilliant E-diff electronic differential.