Ferrari 458 Speciale

Make the encore to the Ferrari 458 Italy is like trying to blow off phase of U2 's stadium: it's one tough act to follow.

But skyrocketing new 458 Speciale in historic Ferrari Fiorano track in Maranello, Italy, it was clear that the company's engineers had $ 298,000 victory in their hands. They have taken one of the most heart-pounding world of sports, and hit a shot of adrenaline and fiery technology into a finely tuned the throats.

That includes V-8 technology is the most powerful of any roadgoing Ferrari in history: 597 hp from only 2.8 liters of displacement, up from 562 in Italy. In terms of horsepower for the size of the engine, it is also the strongest naturally aspirated engine in the history of car production, at nearly 133 horsepower per liter. That horrible output aided by 14: 01 crazy compression ratio, the highest of any V-8 in the world.

Like the previous Special Edition, mid-engine coupe Ferrari Berlinetta nature, such as the 360 Challenge Stradale and Scuderia 430 Speciale, who is the hardest of the hardcore. This is a stripped-down, shriekfest muscled-up, his brain teeming with a dirty little secret of the Ferrari Formula One playbook. This is not a Ferrari for poseurs South Beach or infant NFL bonus. Ferrari car called the training tools-with a learning curve, but it's still safe and approachable-for serious drivers who want to challenge and improve their skills. Company executives estimate that 50 percent of the buyers remained Speciale racetrack.
Weight 3086 lbs only slender sidewalks. , Nearly 200 fewer than Italy, Speciale doesn't even have a standard audio system. However, the owner can choose a telemetry system that records a lap race at USB, with the application of teaching-tool for detailed analysis of every lap and driving techniques.

Measured against the old 360 Stradale and Scuderia 430, Speciale also is a more extreme progress in performance over the standard version.

Ferrari actually call the new Extreme braking system Design: The carbon-ceramic binder which is taken directly from the new, approximately $ 1,300,000 LaFerrari supercar. They brake, opposed the big-is-better trend, actually smaller in front than those in Italy. However exotic, caliper disc brake pads and high-silicon hybrid materials reduce the distance stop and remove the fade in of the most brutal conditions.

Like his cousin, Italy Speciale also hotter than finding cool functional 434, with the V-8 is displayed under glass and hubba hubba-curve which remains grounded in a serious function. New active aerodynamics including vertical and horizontal flaps in the front fascia dramatically wide open or shaft speed and air pressure increases, increasing downforce and reduce drag. A rear spoiler is enlarged in a corner licking saucy, like Miley Cyrus ' tongue protrude, only sexier. A black diffuser looks angry and electronic flap moves under help slice through the air while Ferrari remain affixed to the asphalt.

An optional blue-white paint stripe, inspired by antique North American Racing Team (NART) Ferrari, divide the car's front-to-rear. Stripe seem to must-have, if only to remind people that you paid $ 60,000 extra for Speciale.

I encourage the Fiorano circuit with Speciale co-pilot at special: Marc gene, the Ferrari test driver and winner of the 24 hours of LeMans with both Audi and Peugeot. As I adjust to the surface of the morning are still sleek, body-smushing it Speciale-force acceleration 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds and up to 1.33 g lateral grip tires-which also gets warmed up, aided by specially developed, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tires on wheels forged Cup2. But the power to stop Ferrari is already in full force, such as the tendency towards my gut-checking final braking: "I do not believe we will create one corner," said Gene with a wink. " But their stunning brakes. "

As a former F1 driver, gene intimately involved with ongoing technology transfer from Ferrari F1. The Speciale all-star list including intelligent, the fastest version yet of the F1-Trac traction control, a F1 dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission and e-Diff electronic differential, locking and unlocking within milliseconds to divide traction to the rear wheels.

This is a mouthful of technical, sure, but it makes 458 Speciale sports car that seems to blend in, magically, with his drivers ' every thought and commands. But Ferrari never came off--like, say, a BMW M5 or a Nissan GT-R – as a dumbed-down, automatic robot that even Grandma can you drive fast. By design, it takes a trained hand to maximize system performance and Speciale.
Leaving the track and tear through the Emilia-Romagna region-House not only from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani and Ducati, but Italy goods of Reggiano Parmigiano cheese to Prosciutto di Parma and balsamic vinegar of Modena-I was quite famous in the Speciale.

Magnetic shocks Revision update their magnetic field every millisecond. Brush paddle shifters carbon fibers, and new teeth to explode to life seems to be before your fingers stop twitch: upshifts are 20 percent faster than the 430 Scuderia, with 44 percent downshifts more quickly.

As usual, the nerve center of the car's manettino: what sounds like a newfangled form of actual pasta red metal lever on the hex shaped, carbon fiber-wrapped steering wheel that adjusts every imaginable performance parameters.

Ferrari is particularly proud of a new Side Slip Angle control, which forged an algorithmic conspiracy between the suspension, steering, F1-Trac and e-Diff. The system mostly works behind the scenes, as stealthy and mysterious as the fictional Oswald accomplice on the Grassy Knoll. But it gives a real effect, acknowledging and rewarding driving skills. Real-time system opens the envelope performance during the driver remains in control, allowing him to aggressively pursue driving Nirvana – includes tire-spinning surprise dollops, tail-sliding oversteer. The system then maximize any kind of power through the rear wheels, while reducing the activity of the steering wheel by 14 percent. This catapult from a Ferrari proved to be faster than Italy, with a nervous little correction from the steering wheel.

I give in to the temptation to delinquency in the system a roundabout on the way back to the Ferrari HQ in Maranello: Hitting into first gear and squeeze the throttle, I make the rounds like Speciale skater through the roundabout, as a pair of teenagers Italy derided the approval from the side of the road.

Ferrari also devotes attention to the sound of the engine, which took turns stroking Speciale and assaults Your eardrums like eight tenor Italy after lungful shabu blue Walter White. Sound-off carpets thrown out in favor of a thin sheet of composite, carbon fiber intake system improves both the sound quality and engine performance. Cabin hard, ride stiff enough, even in the rare moments when I'm glad only the burbling along the autostrada Italy. If you dare, top speed of 202 mph, unchanged from Italy.

For all the technology, all the digital zero and flow through the blood vessels, which oozes charm like Speciale 458 gigolo of the Mediterranean. The Ferrari feels not like an exercise technique is cool, but a living, breathing thing, full of soul and sensation.

There may be a quicker sports car. There are of course more expensive sports cars, including LaFerrari on the horizon at about four times the price Speciale. Corvette Stingray has the possibility of undefeated for the roughly $ 65,000 price, but fanboys can stop there: The Vette was not in the same universe as this Ferrari in terms of exterior and interior design, technology, voice and emotional performance. Certainly, from the perspective of everyday finance, Ferrari may not be worth more than four times the price of the Corvette. Now, ask people who actually can afford Speciale does he trade for four Corvettes, or eight Mustang. Supercars have their own laws of mathematics, where the two-plus-two is not the same with Ford.


In a few weeks, I would encourage almost $ 1 million Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid, and maybe I'll change my mind. But at the moment, 458 Speciale strikes me as the best sports car in the world. There is nothing that I have driven such a bravura performance, combining characters, sound and technology, and wrap it in such exotic, desired package-complete with a bow quite blue-white.