|Rev To The Limit|
REV TO THE LIMIT
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is one of the craziest Ferraris ever and that's coming directly from the guys at Ferrari.
Setting a New Standard by Which Supercars Are Now Judged
Ferrari is on a real roll these days, they continue to deliver absolutely cracking cars. Is it weird that we want every single one? We wrote about the Ferrari F12berlinetta which every car lover and journalist agrees is superb and is definitely on top of our list. Now comes the Ferrari 458 Speciale.
Traditionally, the Speciale models are the most focussed version of Ferrari's cars. It is no different with the 458 Speciale. Ferrari says this incarnation of the 458 Italia is more fun than a Ferrari F40. That's saying a lot and is one hell of a way to drop the gaunlet. Luckily Ferrari has at least equipped it to compete. It makes 597bhp, revs to 9000rpm and weighs 90kg less than the standard car. It also has a new manettino setting that allows the driver to go sideways with the ESP still engaged. It is, by any stretch, a truly great supercar. But can it deliver on the promise of being more fun than an F40? If you can't wait, just scroll down to see the Steve Sutcliffe video, it beats just reading about it.
597 horsepower & 9000-rpm redline !!!!!
The 458 Speciale's mid-rear-mounted engine is the most powerful naturally aspirated Ferrari 8-cylinder ever developed, punching out 597hp at 9000 rpm and maximum torque of 540 Nm at 6000 rpm, while its record 135 cv/l specific power output is also the highest ever achieved by a naturally-aspirated road-going engine.
The engine is produced in the factory's in-house foundry using the same machinery and processes as employed by the F1 team for complex components with the extreme structural and dimensional characteristics needed for a naturally-aspirated engine capable of hitting 9000 rpm.
The other main challenge aside from boosting power was to improve torque across the entire power curve. This involved increasing the compression ratio to an exceptional 14:1, the highest value ever achieved by a naturally-aspirated V8, which was achieved by modifying piston geometries.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale sees the introduction of Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) for more effortless car control on the limit, thereby greatly enhancing driver enjoyment. It is basically some fancy new software, which computes lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle and speed and carries out instantaneous analysis of the car's side slip angle....ok, getting too complicated....basically it allows you to have smooth, controllable oversteer and look like a rockstar.
With the Manettino set at RACE or CT OFF, the 458 Speciale will then make the most of available grip for improved acceleration out of corners, greater ease and control on the limit, and more consistent performance.
Smashing the throttle lights up all your senses and with a sprint to 60 in less than three seconds and a sub-11-second quarter-mile time you know it. More good news includes a howling V8 soundtrack that will wake the dead.
According to Steve Sutcliff from Autocar, "the Speciale's most outstanding party trick arrives courtesy of its new SSC system, which stands for side slip control. It's basically a new setting within the now familiar manettino set up that allows you to go slightly sideways in the car but with the ESP system still fully engaged."
Ferrari 458 Speciale Video Test
Ferrari 458 Speciale Photo Gallery
The Ferrari 458 was already one of the prettiest Ferrari's ever. The Speciale take that design and tightens it up. Aerodynamic requirements guided the work of the Ferrari Styling Centre which collaborated on the project with Pininfarina to sculpt forms that are more performance-oriented than ever, balancing aerodynamic requirements while staying true to Ferrari's aesthetic philosophy.
Most of the bodywork panels have been redesigned without modifying either the passenger cell or the signature design features of the 458 Italia. The composite bumpers have been redesigned and the front bonnet now features two deep air outlets to channel away the air exiting the radiator.