Rumours of a drop-top version of the incredible Ferrari 599 have been rife for months, but all that speculation can now come to an end. Not only has Ferrari confirmed the car exists, it's also confirmed it'll be called the Ferrari 599 SA Aperta.

The car was created in honour of the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina, the design company that's had a hand in the styling of Ferrari's most successful road cars. Aperta means 'open' in Italian, while the 'SA' in the name stands for Sergio (Pininfarina's honorary chairman) and Andrea Pininfarina (the grandson of company founder Battista 'Pinin' Farina).

The car will look fairly familiar to anyone who's seen its coupé cousin, which we tested earlier this year. But, whereas that car was a proper berlinetta (that's posh Italian speak for coupé), this one goes the way of the roadster (fancy motoring speak for a car without a roof).

The car's design comes as something of a surprise. Many people, including us, had expected Ferrari to use a mechanically folding roof, as seen on the Ferrari California. But its designers have instead opted for a soft top. This, the company says, must only be resorted to if the weather gets 'particularly bad'.

We wouldn't worry about getting too wet, as the 599 SA Aperta is probably quick enough to outrun just about any form of weather. Under that long bonnet lies the same 6-litre, 12-cylinder engine found in the 599 GTO. That, friends, pushes out a frankly terrifying 660bhp -- considerably more than the 620bhp found in the standard 599 coupé.

Ferrari's issued no statement as to how much the car will cost, but the word on the Internet is that it'll have a price tag of around £340,000. Don't bother  scraping your pennies together, though. Only 80 examples of the car will be created and every single one's already been sold.

Still, it's worth looking at. Take a gander through the photo gallery above and check back in a couple of days, when we'll have a proper hands-on session with the car from the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

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Ferrari's opted for a soft top, rather than the mechanically folding metal roof seen on the California.

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The car uses the same 660bhp engine found in the 599 GTO.

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