The Ferrari 458 Speciale A made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in a limited edition special series of just 499 cars, and with the company’s most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine yet.
This latest spider is a celebration of the 458, a model which, in its various incarnations, has won a plethora of international motoring plaudits, not least three Best Performance Engine awards, as well as delivering many track victories, including a WEC title and wins in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona.
The 458 Speciale A (the A stands for Aperta, which means open in Italian) is powered by a V8 engine that delivers 451kW and a record specific power output of 100kW/litre. Torque stands at 540 Nm at 6,000 rpm. This adds up to a car capable of extraordinary performance (0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat) with CO2 emissions of 275 g/km.
Engine aside, another pivotal factor in the benchmark performance delivered by the 458 Speciale A is its active aerodynamics. Thanks to a Ferrari-patented mechanism, two vertical flaps at the front of the car and one on the underbody open at high speeds to lower drag. At the rear, an original set-up centering around a mobile diffuser augments downforce as required too. The result is that the 458 Spider A is the most efficient Ferrari spider yet built.
Also fundamental are the aerospace-derived materials and technologies adopted in the chassis which is made from 10 aluminium alloys to combine lightness and rigidity, and the retractable hard top (RHT) which deploys or retracts in just 14 seconds. The Speciale A employs latest-generation electronics, specifically Side Slip Angle Control system (SSC) which allows even less expert drivers to exit corners on the limit, delivering a uniquely exhilarating driving experience underscored by the signature uncompromising and seductive Ferrari soundtrack.
For its world premiere, the 458 Speciale A has been given an unusual triple-layer Modena yellow livery in honour of the colour of the eponymous city, as well as a central stripe in Blu NART and Bianco Avus, an homage to Luigi Chinetti’s American racing team which won many endurance classics in Ferraris in the 1960s.
The 458 Speciale A’s Grigio Corsa five-spoke wheels are forged for maximum lightness. The cabin interior has been kept absolutely minimal with extensive use of carbon-fibre for the dash, door panels and central tunnel which, like the treadplates, are in an exclusive blue for the Paris premiere. The 458 Speciale A’s seats are newly designed and feature Alcantara upholstery, contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric.