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FERRARI 458 SPECIALE
FERRARI 458 SPECIALE
More Than Just a Ferrari With Stripes, This Is One Speciale Machine.
FERRARI 458 SPECIALE
Maranello finally went ahead and smothered the Ferrari 458 Italia with some very special sauce to create the new Ferrari 458 Speciale. To these cynics, Ferrari’s new 458 Speciale is merely a louder and quicker take on the 458 Italia that has been terrorizing this the world since it was released a few years ago. The 458 Speciale is loaded with improvements that you wouldn’t have thought necessary if you’ve driven the 458 Italia. It shifts faster, turns in quicker, and stops shorter and has some cool tricks that let you better execute and control tail out sideways action.
Add some more horsepower and less weight and this car is a little faster than the original. Best of all, Ferrari has improved on the 458’s sublime chassis with a fresh dose of clever technology and engineering. This car amplifies your skills, strokes your ego, and stimulates your pleasure center, all while possessing limits high enough to humble any driver.
ABOUT THE FERRARI 458 SPECIALE
Ferrari has basically taken its best engineering ideas and implemented them into the 458 Speciale. The updated engine produces 596hp, 34hp more than a standard 458. Torque and redline of 9,000 rpm stay the same. The basic result is that for 25% more money than a standard Ferrari 458, you get to brag that your car has the best ever time around the Fiorano test track. Seems worth it.
Shifts from the dual clutch unit come 25% faster and 0-60mph in 3.0sec dead. In typical special edition Ferrari style, they have reduced weight by 200 pounds largely by removing all the things that make life
comfortable in a car, doing away with glovebox, door armrests, thinner glass, lighter Lexan and stereo and navigation as optional extras.
Other improvements include serious changes in the aerodynamics department, with drag and downforce now being affected by active and passive controls. Spring-loaded air flaps in the front nose and three flaps in the rear enhance downforce for higher speed cornering capability and turn off in a straight line for higher top speeds.
Perhaps the coolest (and most advanced) featured of the 458 Speciale is the Side-slip angle control (SSC for short). This is basically some very custom algorithms that control the 458 Speciale's electronically controlled diff and traction control systems. If you need more stability in a corner, it senses it and helps you out, likewise if you need more agility, it comes to the party and does the work.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
FERRARI 458 SPECIALE VIDEOS
458 SPECIALE SPECS
Power is up to 597hp while torque stays the same and revs max out at 9,000 rpm. The compression ratio is up from 12.5:1 to 14:1, which is pure engine porn. At this level, differences in fuel can wreak havoc,
so you know Ferrari's engineers are doing some other-worldly electrical control magic.
Specific output is up to 133hp per liter, a new high for naturally aspirated engine.
What's amazing according to those who sat through Ferrari's presentation is just how far they continue to push innovation on a technical level. We heard that the 10 years of research went into the design of the v8's combustion chamber.
FERRARI 458 SPECIALE PERFORMANCE
Lap times at Fiorano come crashing down, now making it the fastest car there with a time of 1 min 23.5 seconds. Power to weight ratio of 2.33 kg per hp give the Ferrari 458 Speciale a 0-60mph time of 3.0 sec flat and a 0-124mph time of a scarcely believable 9.1 seconds. Top speed is 202 mph.
DRIVING A 458 SPECIALE
It is still like driving a 458, just a little sharper.
It's still a vocal car, especially when howling toward the top of the rev range, I guess we didn't need that radio after all, this sounds insane. Acceleration and responses are cat-like instantaneous, more so than the standard 458 Italia. With more direct steering ratio and improved brakes, the Speciale reacts with awesome speed and superb accuracy.
In trying to best describe the feeling of the new SSC system, the best I can manage is to say that it basically manages oversteer, letting you have lots of fun with wild drift angles the further to the right you turn the switch. It is subtle and really makes you feel like you're a better driver than you really are, the kind of helping hand we like.
The cool thing about the Speciale is that the new tech, aero aids and other improvements are hidden from the driver. You may have read the owners manual and all the articles written on how springs open flaps in the front and that 200 pounds of weight was stripped out or that improved brakes were added, but perhaps the best part of all of this is that you don't notice any single system working, it is just hidden
away. The 458 Speciale feels like a 458, just a little smoother, more refined at lower speeds, yet sharper, faster, louder at higher speeds and screaming through corners. It is the single best car Ferrari has made in recent years.
The 458 Speciale is beastly fast and feels quicker than the 458 Italia. Sprinting from corner to corner at an incredible pace never gets old. We just love the performance. We don't love the missing interior parts, an armrest would be awesome right about now.
Ultimately though, for those who want the 458 Speciale, these things don't matter as they already have a stable of cars with radios and glove boxes, this beast they want to unleash on the track.
FERRARI 458 SPECIALE GALLERY
The Ferrari 458 Speciale definitely looks different. You can thank the tricky active aero for that. The flaps at the front work passively, against simple springs so that as speed rises the air pushes them open and redirects airflow over the radiators to reduce drag. It means new vents on the bonnet and a slightly smaller trunk, leading to a more aggressive look vs the 358 Italia.
The back is all diffuser, where flaps are driven by small motors to aid in downforce. The change also means the move of the exhausts away from the middle of the car to a more standard set up.
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