The Ferrari 458 Speciale has been one of the most talked about luxury cars in recent months and it shouldn’t be too long before we see one in the Romans International showroom. Offering a super-tuned hardcore derivative of the 458 Italia and doing what the 430 Scuderia did for the F430, the Speciale is without a doubt one of the most anticipated cars of the year.
Priced at £208,000 when it goes on sale at the beginning of 2014, the Speciale is around £30,000 more expensive than the 458 Italia. Already considered as one of the finest models in its class, the question on many people’s minds is how much more car do you get for your money? The answer is a lot, especially if you seek an unadulterated and hair-raising experience behind the wheel.
We begin with the aesthetics, it’s an almost impossible job to improve the looks of the 458 which combines such elegance with style and glamour. The fearsome racing stripes emblazoned along the car’s spine definitely add some extra aggression, while less obvious changes include a new bonnet, helping to accommodate for the larger radiator. The two new flaps which hug the Ferrari logo are pushed open when the car reaches 105mph to increase downforce while also channelling air across the vehicle, an example of the improved aerodynamics which have been implemented. At the back there is a steeper spoiler and a brand new diffuser with three flaps which open at 140mph which cause drag, slamming shut again when you need your downforce in the corners. Journalists highlight an impressive practicality with the Speciale, as despite the wealth of racing aspects, it still offers a sizeable 230litre boot!
Moving inside the car, you will find a cockpit which will make any driver feel like they are lining up for the Le Mans 24 Hour, with carbon fibre and alcantara trim throughout plus the addition of two lightweight Sabelt racing seats. The upholstery is to a standard you would expect from a Ferrari, a slick design which incorporates a cleverly considered dashboard as well as a host of LCD displays but stripped out as you would expect for this hardcore variant.
Pressing the steering wheel mounted start button will ignite the roaring 4.5L naturally aspirated V8, another aspect that’s sure to leave motoring enthusiasts hot under the collar is the engine, adding a few minor tweaks to the original to offer an ethereal roar when you put your foot down. It has been tuned to perfection, with shorter inlet tracks, lighter pistons, a new crankshaft, higher valve lift and raising the 597bhp engine to max out at 9000rpm. The resulting noise has been acclaimed as one of the finest sounds you’ve heard all year. The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission has been tuned to offer insanely responsive commands from the gearshift paddles which glide out from behind the steering wheel.
Journalists across the board have praised the outstanding handling offered in the 458 Speciale, an aspect which you will soon realise after getting over the heavenly V8-inpsired symphony. With the Ferrari boffins combining high-end aerodynamics, tweaks to the adapted dampers and bespoke tyres from the guys at Michelin, the result is an insane cocktail that will see drivers generating as much 1.33g through the hard corners. Reviews describe the steering as razor-sharp and direct, letting the driver guide the car with laser-guided accuracy – another of the catalogue of compliments the Speciale has received. Despite the great words on handling, Ferrari’s innovative Side Slip Angle Control systems still allow people to kick the back out slightly before the stability control takes over.
With 5-Star reviews from Evo, Autocar, Auto Express and Car Magazine it’s clear that the 458 Speciale will be one of the best cars in 2014 and one of the best performance cars ever built. Ferrari call it the fastest, most advanced, but also the most fun to drive mid-engined V8 sports car they’ve ever created; it’s clear that with the host of reviews these claims are completely justified.
If you are interested in buying a Ferrari 458 Speciale then please get in touch with Romans International, one of the leading independent Ferrari dealers in the UK where it is very likely we can source you a car enabling you to beat the waiting lists of main dealers.