Ferrari is privately offering selected individuals the chance to buy a spider version of its LaFerrari hypercar ahead of a 2017 launch.

New CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed in an interview with the Automobile website that a LaFerrari Spider was in development. Potential customers have already been shown the car. It is an opentop version of the fixed-head LaFerrari, all 499 units of which have already been sold.

The biggest difference between the LaFerrari coupé and spider will, of course, be the roof. Ferrari’s most recent convertible models, the 488 Spider and California, have been folding hard-tops, and the same is expected for the LaFerrari Spider.

A removable targa-style top is an option rather than a fully retractable hard-top, due to the extra weight of a full convertible and the tight packaging of the mid-mounted V12 engine and hybrid system.

Whichever option Ferrari chooses, the exceptional rigidity of the LaFerrari’s carbonfibre chassis should mean no loss in torsional stiffness in the transformation from coupé to spider.

The hybrid system from the LaFerrari coupé, which mixes a naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine with an electric motor and battery pack for a combined 950bhp, is expected to make it over to the spider version unchanged.

The production run of the LaFerrari Spider is likely to be even shorter than the coupé’s and the price even greater than the £1 million of the coupé.

It is not uncommon for all of the models to be sold out before the wider world gets to see or hear about it, such is the demand, desirability and exclusivity of such Ferraris and the way they are sold.

However, Autocar has heard from one private broker who claims to be able to source a brand-new LaFerrari Spider for €3.5 million (£2.8m) before taxes for 2017 delivery.