Having trouble choosing between a Ferrari 458 Italia and its convertible counterpart, the 458 Spider? First-world problems, we know, but let us make the decision a little simpler. Or more complicated. Feast your eyes on the new 458 Speciale. The successor to the 430 Scuderia and the 360 Challenge Stradale that came before, the new Ferrari 458 Speciale represents the pinnacle of the performance-focused, V8-powered supercar from the Prancing Horse marque.
Ferrari has retuned its high-revving 4.5-liter V8 engine to deliver 596 horsepower (34 more than standard) and trimmed a good 400 pounds off the vehicle's curb weight to give it one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in the business. It has also fitted the latest adaptive aerodynamics that vary depending on speed to help keep the engine and brakes cool, while also keeping the whole car glued to the road for better traction.
The result is a 0-62 time quoted at three seconds flat, lateral acceleration of 1.33g, and a lap time around Ferrari's own Fiorano test track clocked at 1:23.5, placing it only behind the more expensive (and V12-powered) LaFerrari and F12 Berlinetta. which are among the fastest road-going supercars the company has ever produced. And that's no small feat.
"The result is a completely new, uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept," says Ferrari. One that's also been designed to be even easier to drive at the limit, thanks to recalibrated electronics and specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires.
Having just debuted a few weeks ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it will take some time for the first examples of the new 458 Speciale to reach dealers. Considering the long waiting list to buy a new Ferrari, we'd consider ourselves lucky to get our hands on any of them.