What we have here is the Ferrari 458 Speciale – the successor to the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia, and the hard-core version of the 458 Italia. It was expected to carry the name Monte Carlo, but then Ferrari has never been fond of letting the press dictate what it would call its cars. But forget the nameplate: what really matters is what it's got to offer.
For starters, the award-winning, high-revving 4.5-liter V8 has been retuned to deliver 596 horsepower, up from 562 hp in the standard 458, while torque remains the same at 398 pound-feet. But the other side of the power-to-weight ratio (quoted at 2.13 kilogram per cheval vapeur or 4.77 pounds per horsepower) is the extra mass Ferrari has cut out of the equation: the 458 Speciale's dry weight is quoted at 2,844 pounds (1,290 kg) , representing a significant drop from the 458 Italia's 3,274 lbs (1,485 kg) curb weight.
The sum total is the quickest response time, highest lateral acceleration and slipperiest shape of any production road car Ferrari has ever made.
Adaptive aerodynamics – which Ferrari plans on integrating into all future road cars – further help the 458 Speciale run to 62 miles per hour in 3 seconds flat and to 124 mph in 9.1 seconds. It's also said to lap Fiorano in 1:23.5, half a tick behind the twelve-cylinder F12 Berlinetta. The engineers in Maranello have also cooked up a new Side Slip Angle Control system that interfaces with the electronic differential to help it handle on the limit, with specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber to help the Speciale grip at 1.33 g in lateral acceleration.
The sum total is what Ferrari claims as the highest specific output of any naturally-aspirated engine on the market and the quickest response time (whatever that refers to), highest lateral acceleration and slipperiest shape of any production road car it's ever made. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but you can expect to pay a substantial premium over the Italia's MSRP, if you can get your hands on one. Dive into the press release below the fold for more.
Extreme technology for an uncompromising new V8
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.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SUMMARY
Type V8 - 90°
Total displacement 4495 cm3
Max. power output 605 cv at 9000 rpm
Max. torque 540 Nm at 6000 rpm
Dry weight 1290 kg
Weight/power ratio 2.13 kg/cv
0 – 200 km/h 9.1"
Fiorano lap time 1'23"5
Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle)
CO2 emissions** 275 gr/km
**With HELE System