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How do you improve upon perfection? This is the challenge Ferrari engineers achieved with the unveiling of the new Ferrari 458 Speciale at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Whilst according to Ferrari's Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, the 458 Italia and convertible 458 Spider continue to be in strong demand, there has been much excitement around the latest Ferrari to hit the road.
Often, when a new edition is launched, we feel we are being sold a repackaged version of an already familiar product, but this is not the case with the Ferrari 458 Speciale - you might notice the aerodynamic nose fins, or the blue and white racing stripes - but there is much more to the Ferrari 458 Speciale than first meets the eye.
Car Magazine declared the 458 Speciale to be "the ultimate V8 Supercar" and "the greatest Ferrari ever made". So what exactly have Ferrari done to prompt such accolades? In this latest edition, Ferrari collaborated with Pininfarina to improve aerodynamics.
Employing aircraft technology, an active aerodynamic horizontal flap opens when the car hits 220km, helping to reduce drag and improve downforce. Ferrari have also achieved quicker reaction times, advanced the chassis build and utilized a more powerful engine, improving the weight-to-power ratio to an unbelievable 2.13 kg/cv.
Innovative racetrack technology, such as Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires and a new Side Slip Control System (SSC) - a unique real time algorithm that measures the Speciale's slip angle and redistributes torque accordingly –benefits non-professional drivers by enabling better control of the car at high speeds, whilst also correcting oversteer and understeer.
The cabin is stripped down, sans trimmings, and fitted with a rear Lexan polycarbonate screen, thinner side glass, sports seats and lightweight forged 20in alloy wheels, contributing to an impressive weight reduction of 200kg over the previous Italia.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale features the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 Ferrari engine in Ferrari’s history, producing 597 horsepower at 9000 revolutions per minute, and boasts the quickest steering response time of 0.060 seconds, the highest lateral acceleration time of 1.33 G and the lowest rate of drag coefficiency of any Ferrari on the road. And to top it all off, this mighty machine can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in under 3.4 seconds and keep on going to a top speed of 201mph.
Better looking, more streamlined, quicker and smarter, the Ferrari 458 Speciale truly lives up to its name, and more. The Speciale is more than special - it's exceptional.
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