Revealed at September's Frankfurt motor show, the 458 Speciale is an enhanced version of the regular Ferrari 458 Italia, continuing the tradition started by the 360 Challenge Stradale and most recently extended by the 430 Scuderia.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale will cost from $550,000 in Australia, making it $24K more than the Italia on which it’s based.
Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth says only 50-60 Speciales will be produced for customers in Australia and New Zealand. He says the first year’s allocation is already sold out, and he expects the remaining cars to be snapped up at tonight’s customer showcase event in Sydney.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is powered by an uprated version of the Italia’s 4.5-litre V8 that now produces 445kW of power at 9000rpm and 540Nm of torque at 6000rpm – up 20kW on the regular tune.
The 458 Speciale’s engine is Ferrari’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8 in its history, and also claims to achieve the highest specific power output – 99kW per litre of engine capacity – of any road-going naturally aspirated engine.
Ferrari claims the Speciale accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds, making it almost half a second quicker than the Italia. It is also claimed to lap the iconic car maker’s famous Fiorano test tack in 1min23.5sec – 1.5sec quicker than the Enzo.
Key to the Speciale’s heightened performance is its advanced active aerodynamics – a first for a Ferrari production model and technology that will become standard throughout the entire line-up in the future.
Two electrically operated flaps at the front and three at the rear open and close automatically based on the car’s speed to better balance downforce for cornering and reduce drag on straights. Ferrari claims the technology makes the 458 Speciale the brand’s most aerodynamically efficient production car ever.
The 458 Speciale features unique design elements developed by the Ferrari Styling Centre in collaboration with Pininfarina, with the front bumper, bonnet, side skirts and rear end – now with two exhausts outlets rather than three and a larger diffuser – all exclusive to the new model.
At 1290kg, it’s also 90kg lighter than the 458 Italia, wearing lighter forged alloy wheels, substituting interior leathers and plastics with alcantara and carbonfibre, and removing the glovebox, carpets, infotainment system and other auxiliary items from the cabin.
The Speciale debuts the ‘Side Slip angle Control’ system (SSC), which aims to provide greater car control when driving on the limit by optimising torque management and distribution between the two rear wheels by applying a new algorithm to the electrics behind the car’s F1-Trac traction control and E-Diff electronic differential.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale also wears specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres that promise improved grip, particularly in the wet.