2013 Frankfurt: Ferrari 458 Speciale is a hardcore 458 Italia [Live Photos]

Article by Christian A., on September 11, 2013

Ferrari fans have been eagerly waiting for the hardcore version of the Ferrari 458 Italia to arrive. And so, the world debut of the Ferrari 458 Speciale at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is truly an exciting event. The Ferrari 458 Speciale is even more impressive than the “standard” 458 Italia as it’s offered with a modified version of the 4.5-liter V8 engine that produces 605 hp @ 9,000 rpm and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque at 6,000 rpm.

Furthermore, the 4.5-liter V8 offers 135 hp/liter. The 458 Italia gives 570 hp and 540 Nm of torque. In comparison, the Ferrari 458 Speciale has an outstanding weight/power ration of only 2.13 kg/hp (dry weight is 1290 kg), enabling it to run from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 3 seconds and to reach 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.1 seconds.

On the Fiorano circuit, it holds a lap time of only 1’23”5. Pininfarina helped develop the Ferrari 458 Speciale. It features front and rear movable aerodynamics that balances downforce and reduces drag. In fact, the 458 Speciale is the most aerodynamically efficient range production car ever built by Ferrari (E index of 1.5).

One of the most innovative systems on the 458 Speciale is to Side Slip angle Control or SSC, making it easier to achieve car control on the limit. The car features Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which were developed specially for the vehicle in an intensive collaboration programme involving many track test and simulator sessions. Ferrari also boasts 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 lineup.

Among the vehicle’s fundamental features are new Ferrari-patented mobile aerodynamic solutions at the front and the rear of the car which guarantee that separate aerodynamic designs can be selected in cornering, where optimal downforce is necessary, and on straights where drag must be lessened to a minimum.

The brand-new 458 Speciale has an astounding downforce (Cl) value of 0.53. Because of the previously mentioned lively aerodynamics, the last does not punish the Cd which is only 0.35.

Of specific note are the ingenious solutions selected at the front of the car, with two vertical folds in the center and the horizontal fold under them. At generally low speeds, the vertical folds are shut, directing air into the radiators to ensure the essential cooling for the engine. However, at speeds in excess of 170 km/h, the folds open, lessening the volume of air flowing into the radiators, hence cutting drag. At speeds of more than 220km/h, the horizontal fold lowers to adjust downforce between the front and rear axles, prompting a 20 percent change in total downforce towards the rear.

The turning vanes at both side of the front bumper decelerates the air flow which heightens downforce, subsequently changing the aerodynamic balance 4 percent over the front. Because of their form, the aerodynamic fins in front of the rear wheels augment downforce very similar to how the front turning vanes do it.

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