[Video] Ferrari 458 Speciale: The Fastest 458 Yet

Can you hold your breath until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September?  Because that’s how long we will have to wait until we get the full scoop on the über 458, the Ferrari 458 Speciale.  We’ve been waiting since since the Ferrari 458’s debut in 2009 for its mega version.  What’s another few weeks?  Thankfully, Ferrari has given us some good details, great photos and a teaser video to hold us over.

Like the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the 360 Challenge Stradale before it, the 458 Speciale is the very best Maranello has to offer for the current Ferrari mid-engine V8 in terms of technology, performance and all-out speed.  And, it looks good, too.

Here’s what we got starting with the most important bit… the engine.  Ferrari took the 4.5 liter V8 from the base 458 Italia and re-tuned it to pump out a massive 596 horse and 398 pound-feet of torque.  With a dry weight of 2,844 pounds resulting from a 198 pound diet, the 458 Speciale has a power-to-weight ratio of 4.77 pounds per horsepower.  Acceleration to 62 mph comes in a blink of an eye at 3 seconds dead (0-60 mph in ~2.8 seconds).  That’s Ferrari LaFerrari territory.  0-124 mph comes in 9.1 seconds.

On a lap around the Fiorano test track, the Ferrrari 458 Speciale ran a 1:23.5, half a second slower than the F12 Berlinetta.  That scooty-ness is no doubt owed to the 458 Speciale’s adaptive aerodynamics, which Ferrari will eventually integrate into all of their road cars.  The 458 Speciale is the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari road car ever.  Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s shoeing each wheel give the 458 Speciale significant grip at 1.33 g of lateral acceleration.  I think I’m getting sympathy whiplash.  Is that possible?

The rest of the details on the Ferrari 458 Speciale that the folks at the Prancing Horse have seen fit to give us are below in the tech specs and press release.  No word on price, but expect more than a 458 Italia and less than an F12 Berlinetta.  In other words… a lot.


 

Technical Specifications
Engine

  • Type: V8 – 90°
  • Total displacement: 4495 cm3 (4.5 liter)
  • Max. power output: 605 cv at 9000 rpm
  • Max. torque: 540 Nm at 6000 rpm

Weight

  • Dry weight: 1290 kg
  • Weight/power ratio: 2.13 kg/cv

Performance

  • 0-100 km/h: 3.0 seconds
  • 0 – 200 km/h: 9.1 seconds
  • Fiorano lap time: 1:23.5

Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle)
CO2 emissions: 275 gr/km **
**With HELE System

Press Release
Maranello, 20th August 2013 – The 458 Speciale is the latest product of Ferrari’s core philosophy of extreme technological innovation and research which, in this instance, has yielded powertrain, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics advances that transform the already exceptional 458 Italia into a car genuinely worthy of the “Speciale” moniker. The result is a completely new, uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept.

Many of the sophisticated solutions being applied for the very first time to an in-range car in the 458 Speciale, including its advanced active aerodynamics, will become a standard feature of all new Ferraris in the future.

Flanked in the Maranello marque’s range by the multi-award-winning 458 Italia and 458 Spider, the new mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta was designed to boost both performance and driving emotion to unprecedented levels, yet simultaneously guarantee smooth, effortless control in all kinds of situations.

Having lavished meticulous attention on the power unit that was named “Best Performance Engine” at the International Engine of the Year Awards for two consecutive years, Ferrari has now built its most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever (605 cv) with an extraordinary specific power output of 135 cv/l , the highest ever achieved by a road-going naturally aspirated engine.

Thanks to an equally exceptional weight/power ratio of just 2.13 kg/cv, the 458 Speciale can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.0” (0-200 km/h in 9.1”) and also clocked a lap time of just 1’23”5 at the Fiorano Circuit.

Aerodynamic requirements guided the work of the Ferrari Styling Centre, which led the project in cooperation with Pininfarina, to sculpt the car’s forms to ensure they were more performance-oriented than ever. The most notable features in this sense are the front and rear movable aerodynamics which balance downforce and cut drag, thus helping make the 458 Speciale the most aerodynamically efficient range production car in Ferrari history (E Index of 1.5)
The technology used in the vehicle dynamics subsystems which gives the driver instant confidence and control at high speeds, natural power oversteer management and precise response to commands are further advances in an area in which Ferrari is already a well-established leader.


One of the most innovative content of the 458 Speciale is the Side Slip angle Control system (SSC) which makes it easier to achieve car control on the limit, thereby greatly improving driving emotions. Thanks to the development of an accurate new algorithm SSC performs instant-to-instant analysis of the car’s side slip, comparing it with the target value and then optimising both torque management (via integration with F1-Trac traction control) and torque distribution between the two wheels (via integration with the E-Diff electronic differential).

Part and parcel of the car’s development included Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres which were specifically honed for it in an intensive collaboration programme involving, amongst other factors, numerous track test and simulator sessions. Conceived for the 458 Speciale, they boost performance over a single lap in the dry as well as improving performance consistency in subsequent laps. They also allow the car to avail of maximum available grip in the wet.

The abovementioned technical content has improved the 458 Speciale’s single lap time and also delivers repeatability of that performance on subsequent laps that is absolutely unprecedented for a car not designed exclusively for track use. The result is that the 458 Speciale has the fastest response time (0.060 s) and highest lateral acceleration (1.33 g) ever achieved by a car in the Prancing Horse range.

The 458 Speciale will receive its public world debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. 

Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of TickTickVroom.com.

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