Ferrari 458 Speciale Debuts in the U.K.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale debuted last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show to a crowd of thousands. The U.K. release was incredibly different; only 100 hand-picked Ferrari customers were invited to the unveiling of the Ferrari 458 Speciale at a private event hosted by the Carrs Ferrari and Maserati in Exeter, Devon.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is essentially a beefed up Ferrari 458 Italia. Improvements were made to the Speciale vs. the “conventional” 458 model (like anything at Ferrari is conventional) by focusing on the three most important factors of a supercar: power, grip, and aerodynamics. Performance was added to this 4.5L V-8, raising the horsepower to 605, while keeping the torque steady at 398.
This works out to be 133 horsepower per liter, making the Speciale the highest-output naturally aspirated V-8 Ferrari ever made. The 458 Speciale can launch from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat! Best-of-all, Ferrari says that even with improved performance, the 458 Speciale consumes less fuel than the 458 Italia.
Among the technological improvements that have increased the grip of the 458 Speciale, are changes to the algorithm of the Side Slip Angle Control system (SSC). This function’s purpose is to constantly analyze in real time, the vehicle’s lateral slip and compare it to the computer’s “ideal” values. This allows the SSC to split the torque between the rear wheels, enhancing the ability of the Speciale to take turns faster without sacrificing control. This is achieved through integration of the electronic differential and the vehicle’s traction control system.
Ferrari’s “advanced active aerodynamics” featured on the 458 Speciale include a noticeably larger heat extractor, a more chiseled lower grille and a more aggressive diffuser that sits just below the newly split exhaust. The purpose of the active aerodynamics is to improve downforce while reducing drag. Ferrari has stated that these advanced active aerodynamic features will become a standard feature on all future models.
The 458 Speciale is a variant of the 458 Italia that is available to be driven at Exotics Racing on a 1.2 mile road course. Exotics Racing now has two locations, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. For more information on how you can drive a 458 Italia, log onto www.exoticsracing.com or call 702-802-5653.