The Ferrari 458 Speciale A makes its world debut at the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris. A limited edition special series of just 499 cars, the new model enhances the sublime pleasure of Ferrari drop-top driving with the blistering performance of the company’s most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine ever.
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, of course, for Aperta) is powered by a V8 engine that delivers a maximum of 605 cv and a record specific power output of 135 cv/l. 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 very low CO2 emissions of just 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 centring around a mobile diffuser augments downforce as required too. The result is that the 458 Spider A is the most efficient Ferrari spider ever 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.
CALIFORNIA T WITH APPLE CARPLAY
The real star on the Grand Tourer front at the Paris Show is the Ferrari California T with CarPlay, the innovative integrated Apple system which provides instant and intuitive voice and touch control: everything from phone calls to map use, messaging to playing music. This extends the Apple system’s integration into the Ferrari range which began with the FF, the first car in the world to offer CarPlay.
TAILOR MADE FF
The upgraded Tailor Made bespoke personalisation area on the stand plays host to an FF in Grigio Abu Dhabi with details in the historic Grigio Ferro Met. The car’s cabin also features luxury materials, such as buttery-soft Frau “Soul Aretha” leather and elegant “Solaro”, a slightly iridescent tailoring fabric. Meticulous care has been lavished on the choice and execution of every one of the many original details aboard, from teak and ash trim accents in the cabin to the lining of the boot in woven leather and textile.
The new 458 Speciale A will be flanked on the stand by the rest of the current range with liveries, colours and details selected to represent the very best of Ferrari tradition and exclusivity. Not least of these are the new arrival’s two sister models: the 458 Speciale in Rosso with a blue and white racing livery and red 3D material cabin trim, and the 458 Spider in classic Rosso Corsa with leather trim. Sticking to the sports car theme, but this time powered by the mid-front V12 engine, the F12berlinetta on the stand is in a Grigio Titanio livery with black cabin trim and carbon-fibre details. On the GT side, the FF is a sleek Nero Stellato with Sabbia interior plus an exclusive panoramic roof. Last but very far from least, the California T is in an elegant Bianco Italia paintwork with Nero Stellato roof and Blu cabin trim.