Amidst all the personnel changes at Scuderia Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo was at the Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil the hardcore version of the 458 Italia.
Taking the “less for more” approach, the 458 Speciale follows in the same footsteps as the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia.
In many ways Ferrari have perfected the track day car formula and the Speciale is their most refined example yet. As with its predecessors, war paint adorns the exterior in the form of quite massive, blue and white stripes – the colors pay homage to Ferrari’s North American Racing Team.
Aero upgrades can be seen throughout the exterior of the Speciale. Some have criticized Ferrari for tampering with the standard car’s near perfect looks, however nothing is done without a purpose.
Active aero has become a popular trend with recent super cars and the Speciale is no exception. Adjustable flaps can be found on the front bumper and rear diffuser, channeling air under the car and keeping it glued to the road.
The fit and finish inside is a significant improvement over hardcore Ferrari’s of the past. The Challenge Stradale was literally a race car for the road, the Speciale is arguably something you could live with everyday.
The 4.5L V8 revs to 9000 rpm and produces 605 hp, a 35 hp bump over the standard car. This means 0-60 in 3 seconds and an argument over why you’d ever spend the extra money on an Enzo.
While other manufacturers are busy slapping turbos and hybrid systems onto their cars, Ferrari are sticking to the recipe that’s always worked for them. The Speciale is the perfect blend of new and old. The active aero infuses current racing technology with good old Ferrari magic and it all comes together quite beautifully.
One area of concern is with Ferrari’s branding department. Lazy naming conventions have become something of a trend with the manufacturer and by the end of the year their line up will include, “The Four Seats & Four-Wheel Drive,” “The Special” and “The Ferrari”. Surely the pride of Italy could do better?
Video courtesy of Ferrari.