Ferrari has announced that it will showcase a new 458 model at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show next month. The car is called the 458 Speciale, which we assume to mean it’s very special indeed. What makes it special? Apart from the fact that it sports the highest specific power output of any naturally aspirated production car?
Exactly how much power are we talking here? From the existing 4.5-litre V8, Ferrari has managed to squeeze out 445kW at a dizzying 9000rpm, and 540Nm of torque at 6000rpm. That equates to 99kW per litre. Hell, even some turbos could be envious. I mean consider that the 5.5-litre BiTurbo Mercedes-Benz AMG is currently rated up to 79kW/L, and the Audi RS twin turbo 4.0-litre V8 is good for 103kW/L, the Speciale is truly something to behold. So, the 0 – 100km/h sprint time is 3 seconds flat, and 0 – 200km/h (watch out for Wayne Minnaar’s goons though) is 9.1 seconds.
A number of items and applications have made this thing what it is. These include the relatively low dry weight of 1 290kg, the front and rear movable aerodynamics which balance downforce and cut drag, resulting in a 1 minute 23.5 second lap time around Ferrari’s own Fiorano track. That makes it the third-fastest car around there, after the LaFerrari and F12Berlinetta.
Another factor is the so-called Side Slip angle Control system (SSC) which apparently makes it easier to achieve car control on the limit. SSC is always measuring how much the car is slipping and comparing it to what it should be doing instead, then adjusting the difference through F1-Trac traction control and torque distribution via the the E-Diff electronic differential. All this means is that you don’t have to be Fernando Alonso to feel like an F1 driver behind the wheel.
Viglietti Motors, importers of Ferrari and Maserati products to Mzansi, have confirmed the Speciale will make it here. They just don’t have a date yet.