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Something Speciale from Ferrari

22.11.2013

IF Little Red Riding Hood had an evil stepsister, this would be it, the Ferrari 458 Speciale.

First seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the newest steed in the 458 stable is now available to order in South Africa. Autodealer has driven the 458 before and it certainly took us to motoring nirvana. But what this new model promises to offer is more ‘speciale.’

Sadly, we didn’t get to drive the newbie, but if looks could kill! The striking livery and revised body design are the immediate standout features on this Ferrari. But a press of the start button will send your knees shivering with excitement, because the Speciale has a more powerful naturally aspirated mid-mounted V8 engine that spews out 445kW and 540Nm and plays one hell of a symphony when hitting the loud pedal to the floor.

Now we at Autodealer are fans of the flashy Italians, particularly when they throw 0-100km/h figures of 3.0 seconds in our faces and offering a top speed of 325km/h. Thankfully, the engineers at Maranello added some trick bits to this prancing horse to help tame it, including an array of technological innovations that make it a thoroughly unique model designed for owners looking for an even more focused sports car that offers extreme driving emotions. The innovations span the entire car and include Ferrari patents.

What are these enhancements, I hear you ask? Try Side Slip Angle Control (SSC), a world first. Thanks to a sophisticated new algorithm - which computes lateral acceleration, yaw and steering-wheel angles and speed - SSC instantaneously calculates the car’s side-slip angle, compares it with reference data and then allow smooth, controllable power oversteer by optimising both torque management via F1-Trac traction control and the E-Diff electronic differential. In simple English, it allows you to drift the car to its optimum and if the system detects that you’re overdoing it and  going to lose the back-end, it steps in and saves you.

Another one of the car’s chief characteristics is the new Ferrari-patented mobile aerodynamic solutions at the front and rear of the car, which ensure that different aerodynamic configurations can be adopted while cornering - where maximum downforce is essential - and on straights where  drag must be reduced to a minimum. It’s a little-weight model with a steady diet of fossil fuels. In fact, the claimed fuel-consumption figure is 11.8 litres/100km (we doubt it will ever get there), but more impressive is its body weight of just 1 290kg.

With a stripped-down approach, the cockpit is distinctly racing inspired. Lightweight exclusive materials such as Alcantara and carbon fibre dominate. The 458 Speciale exhibits flair, power and performance. Should we expect anything less from the halo model of the Ferrari 458 range?

The Ferrari 458 Speciale will retail in South Africa for R4.65 million and will have a limited production run and believe it or not, there is already quite a waiting list.

Article written by Stuart Moir
22.11.2013
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