Ferrari F450 spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ferrari normally tests its future supercars wearing body panels from the prior version, and so earlier spy shots of the upcoming F450 have all been of mules wearing F430 body panels. Today that ends, as our snoops have caught an honest-to-goodness F450 prototype in its own skin. While still covered in camo that obscures the details, it's evident that the body is taking shape and close to finalization.

While we've reported that the F450 may feature a turbocharged, direct-inject V8 engine and possibly a mild hybrid system based on patents filed by Ferrari, Autocar is reporting that the Prancing Horse intends to launch the F430 successor without those advanced technologies. While Ferrari may unveil a hybrid F450 concept at the LA Auto Show later this year in order to be the first to establish a road-going version of the KERS system used in Formula One, the thought is that customers might not be ready for such a green version of the exotic automaker's best-selling model and that new European emissions standards can initially be met by substantially cutting weight and further developing direct injection for its current crop of engines. Stay tuned as we inch closer to the F450's unveiling later this year.

[Photos: KGP Photography]

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