Maranello’s latest track weapon.
The Ferrari 458 Italia has been overshadowed as of late by its higher-priced and more powerful siblings like the LaFerrari and F12Berlinetta, but that doesn’t mean that the Italian automaker forgot about the supercar – it means that they were just working on the hottest road-going version of it yet. Set to be unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the new Ferrari 458 Speciale is the most hardcore road-going 458 variant available, rivaled only by the 458 Challenge racers.
The new Ferrari 458 Speciale was designed to improve upon the driving experience and overall performance while giving drivers confidence. The newest technology and aerodynamics were integrated into the supercar in cooperation with Italian design house, Pininfarina to create a beautiful design where form follows function.
For the first time in a car in this model range, active aerodynamics are utilized. The Ferrari 458 Speciale wears active aerodynamic bodywork at the front and rear, and will trickle down into all Ferrari models in the future. These components help to reduce drag while generating sufficient downforce to achieve perfect balance and stability at high speeds. The new active aerodynamics also makes the Ferrari 458 Speciale the most aerodynamically efficient production car in the automakers history with an E Index of 1.5.
Working in conjunction with active aerodynamics is a number of other advanced vehicle dynamics systems. The Ferrari 458 Speciale features a more natural power oversteer system and better response for improved control at high speeds to give drivers more confidence. A new Side Slip angle Control (SSC) also works to make driving at the limits easier by using a new algorithm to determine the car’s slip and adjust the torque management with F1-trac control and torque distribution between the rear wheels though the E-Diff electronic differential. This system instantly alters various parameters and components to achieve maximum grip and control.
Complementing the aforementioned advanced electronics on the Ferrari 458 Speciale is a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires that claw at the asphalt. During the development phase, the tires were tested thoroughly to ensure they achieved maximum grip on dry asphalt and good traction in wet conditions. The tires help the supercar claw its way to an impressive 1.33 G of lateral acceleration and low 0.060-second response time – both the highest figures for a Ferrari production model.
Behind the cockpit is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V-8 engine ever made for a production car. The Ferrari 458 Speciale is catapulted to incredible speeds by a tuned 4.5-liter V-8 engine pumping out 596 hp (605 CV) and 398 lb-ft. of torque, giving it a superb power-to-weight ratio of 2.13kg/CV. Acceleration from 0-62 mph is incredible, as the supercar takes a mere 3.0 seconds to make the sprint, while 124 mph comes in only 9.1 ticks of the clock. The Ferrari 458 Speciale was just a few seconds behind its 458 Challenge racer sibling on the Fiorano track, completing a lap in just 1:23.5.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale will be unveiled in September at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show. Pricing and production numbers for the newest supercar from Maranello have not been announced.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Specifications
Displacement: 4.5 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
Maximum Horsepower: 596 / 605 CV at 9,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 398.23 lb-ft. / 540 Nm at 6,000 RPM
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 3.0 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: 9.1 seconds
Fiorano Lap Time: 1:23.5
Dry Weight: 2,843.9 lbs. / 1,290 kg
Power to Weight Ratio: 2.13 kg/CV
Ferrari 458 Speciale Gallery