Ferrari 458 Speciale:
The Ferrari 458 Speciale, inspired by the already exceptional 458 Italia and 458 Spider, is in production at the magical land of Maranello. If you have the means –– the new Prancing Stallion supercar carries an MSRP of $294,350, plus $52,000 of options you choose –– shift quickly to Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati, 18118 N. Scottsdale Road, just south of the Loop 101 in north Phoenix.
“This is a limited-edition Ferrari that offers unlimited driving thrills,” says Gary Simon, Ferrari brand manager for the Penske Automotive Dealership. Simon’s Ferrari team is led by Robert ‘Bob’ Gabardy, general manager, and includes Sales Manager Chad Morgan and marque-certified service technicians.
Outstanding numbers are the starting line for the 458 Speciale. The special-edition Ferrari has a compression ratio of 14:1 –– the highest production number ever by a naturally aspirated V-8. “It will run all day on 91-octane pump gas, thanks to the great work the engineers have done with the computer controls and fuel-delivery system,” Simon explains.
You’ll make start to 62 mph in less than three quick seconds, and in just 101.7 feet you can bring the new Prancing Stallion to a halt from that 62 mph. You’re there and back before most cars have just started to go. The maximum speed attainable with the direct-injection 274.4-cubic-inch powerplant is track-documented 202 mph. One professional driver, in fact, turned a lap with the car at Fiorano in just 1’23’’5.
To make these times, power is, of course, impressive: 597 horses at 9,000 rpm. And, torque comes on strong early to maximize off-the-line acceleration: 398 lb./ft. at just 6,000 rpm. Ensuring great agility and stability for performance at all speeds, the weight distribution is a commendable 42 front to 58 percent rear.
“You can push it to the limit on the track in the morning, and, on the way home that afternoon on the highway, you can experience the exhilaration of sports-car driving even at those reduced speeds,” Simon says. “Just a complete thrill wherever you go.”
In the spirit of Enzo Ferrari, who started all road car projects in the cockpit, the 458 Speciale is built looking straight at the track.
“It has a ready-to-race aerodynamic design, from its sculpted hood full-width grille to its Kamm tail and twin exhausts, and its advanced technology has been developed directly from F1 experience,” Simon says.
This track inspiration and mettle have significantly aided the design of the remarkable V-8, which is produced in the Ferrari’s foundry with the same machinery and processes employed by the factory racing team.
Through meticulous attention to incorporating even small performance gains for each component, Ferrari engineers have brought the V-8 to a new level of sophistication, making this the finest ever for Ferrari and perhaps the finest ever for any carmaker.
For instance; they’ve designed pistons and con-rod bushings with high-performance materials and a highly evolved knock control system that maximizes combustion. The fluid-dynamics of the combustion chamber have also been revised to optimize intake and exhaust.
In addition, intakes have been redesigned, a new cam profile increases valve lift to reduce average pressure during the pumping cycle, and the crankshaft has been improved for more efficient lubrication to the main bearings.
In turn, to improve the gearbox, the engineers have also been studying long into the night. The Speciale’s F-1 7-speed dual-clutch transmission features a new control logic that delivers even quicker response times to commands, resulting in 20 percent faster upshifts and 40 percent faster downshifts.
“Make improvements, even small everywhere, and integrate these into the overall system: The result is V-8 performance that will impress the most experienced Ferrari adherents, even V-12 devotees,” Simon notes.
The Conjunction of Design and Performance: Simply Moving
In conceiving the 458 Speciale, The Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina combined for an aerodynamic design that is more performance forward than ever, with details such as a new hood with two air outlets and louvers to the side of the headlights, recalling the 250 GTOs and F40s.
The engineering team also performed superbly in maximizing downforce for cornering agility and, in turn, minimizing drag on the straights where high speed is required.
For example, at the front end, vertical flaps close at lower speeds, bringing air into the radiators for increased engine cooling; at higher speeds, they open, reducing the volume of air into the radiators, and, in turn, drag. Turning vanes at either side of the front bumper also increase downforce, as do the aerodynamic fins ahead of the rear wheels and the large rear spoiler.
Among the features further optimizing car control, and driver enjoyment, is The Frequency-Shaped SCM-E Magnetorheological suspension control, which adjusts once every millisecond to deliver better response and control.
In addition, the Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) computes lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle and speed and works with the car’s F1-Trac traction control for precision torque management and the E-Diff electronic differential for maximum vehicle-response times.
With the wheel-mounted manettino at RACE or CT OFF, the 458 Speciale will grip the surface for better acceleration out of corners, show greater control while maneuvering at high speeds and deliver improved overall performance.
State-of-the-art stopping, even under severe conditions, is by way of the Brembo ABS/EBD high performance anti-lock braking system with its reformulated calipers, discs and front pads. On lightweight 20-inch wheels, available in gold, dark grey and black, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires incorporate a compound to improve single- and multi-lap performance as well as better grip during wet conditions.
“The 458 Speciale’s new technical features throughout ensure that, without needing to be a professional driver, you can attain unprecedented levels of driving pleasure, lap over lap, mile over mile,” Simon explains.
The Beauty Within
Inside, the racing-inspired interior features Alcantara and special race fabric trim, carbon fiber seats and details such as hand-stitching in the color of your choice, lightweight aluminum tread plates and other carbon fiber elements.
Controls are centered around the driver and on the steering wheel, which features large carbon fiber shift paddles and that famous manettino switch which allows the driver to tailor the car’s handling and response.
A huge tachometer faces the driver, and from the central tunnel rises a carbon fiber blade borrowed from the La Ferrari; this contains the remainder of the F1 control system.
The Speciale is built to a customer’s specifications, so, start by choosing one of 18 standard paints or choose from an unlimited selection of special or historical Ferrari paint colors. Then decide which of the 14 interior fabric colors works for you.
“Go best with your paint choice,” Simon suggests. Blend in a number of special carbon fiber options available for the exterior of the car, then finish with one of three custom racing stripes. The result is a limited-production Ferrari designed to meet your tastes and needs.
“Begin with a great car, like the 458, and improve it at all levels: styling, performance, agility, and you create a masterpiece of design and technology,” Simon explains. “Truly, the 458 Speciale is an exceptional, a very special, car, even for Ferrari.”
Scottsdale Ferrari, 888.964.6056, scottsdaleferrari.com, or [email protected]