The quintessential supercar…
The latest chapter in the continuing saga of Prancing Horse passion is the exciting new Ferrari 458 Speciale A spider. The “A” is for Aperta that roughly translates to ‘open’ which is what this car is all about. The pinnacle of V8 powered open supersports cars is available to 499 lucky owners. The ferocious 458 series has attracted world-wide acclaim. It is the most powerful road-going V8 ever to sprint out of Maranello. Its youthful silhouette calls for a sunny day and a nice leafy run. The 458 Speciale A – as with all Ferraris – moves with tremendous verve and élan. It’s a new breed, ferocious and wild…
This Prancing Horse is for the driver that seeks extreme performance. The Ferrari 458 Speciale A was introduced October 2, 2014 at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, France. What better setting than Monte Carlo on the French Riviera. Let’s take a scenic journey in this most spirited Prancing horse…I prefer the stunning views from the mountains of Nice and Menton with a panoramic view at 1,640 ft. above the coastline. You can catch a glimpse of Monaco. Just imagine this…you, your Ferrari 458 Speciale A and the Côte d’Azur. We can drive from St. Tropez to the Belle Époque aura of Cannes – the perfect setting to drop the top. Its retractable hardtop is made from aluminium and it only requires 14 seconds to deploy in either operation.
Its sculpted contemporary architecture is designed to manage the wind. A series of innovative bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. It has a drag coefficient of a mere 1.37 with high downforce (cl: 0.485) and very low drag of (CD: 0.355). Ferrari Centro Stile and the eminent coachbuilder Pininfarina of Italy designed the 458 Speciale A with moveable aerodynamics that balance downforce and cut drag. The increase in its overall downforce begins with the turning vanes on either side of the front bumper plus aerodynamic fins. The front air dam and the hump at the front of the underbody reduces pressure. This extreme open spider delivers an intense driving experience even at low speeds. Ferrari is dedicated to the emotions.
A patented Ferrari system uses two vertical flaps with a horizontal flap below them. At low speeds they remain closed, at speeds of 105+ mph the flaps open reducing air flowing into the radiators reducing drag. A small forward wing directs airflow under the car, re-balancing downforce to favor the rear end at higher speeds. A large rear spoiler creates extra downforce. Active rear flaps raise and lower electronically as needed to maintain optimum aerodynamic poise. This is the same principle as the F1 with DRS (Drag Reduction System).
Even the chassis aids the aerodynamic network. It is made from 10 aluminium alloys to combine strength without adding bulk. All of these unique innovations yield aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics to make it the well established leader in the world of supercar superlatives.
The Prancing Horse retrieves its prodigious power from the Tipo F136 alloy mid-rear mounted naturally aspirated 32-valve 4.5 litre V8 engine. It uses a dry sump system as medium of lubrication, allowing the engine to be installed deeper into the chassis, further increasing stability while lowering the car’s center of gravity. It cranks out 597 hp @ 9,000 rpm with 540 Nm of peak torque @ 6,000 rpm. It redlines @ 9,000 rpm. The engine is mated to the 7-speed dual-clutch automated F1-inspired gearbox with a manual shift provision. The Ferrari 458 Speciale A is absolutely performance oriented. This unit was refined to meet to increased engine torque demands. It delivers immediate response during gear shifts. Both upshifting and downshifting is more prompt than ever.
Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.4 seconds, 0-120 mph in 8.9 seconds, and 0-200 mph in 43.7 seconds…with a top speed of 206 mph. This Prancing Horse kicks up a little dust while doing the ¼ mile @ 134 mph in 11 seconds. The formidable 458 series has won major events such as the 24 Hours de LeMans endurance race, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 hours of Sebring. It has garnered two consecutive awards for “Best Performance Engine of the Year.”
The engine is built at the factory’s in-house facility. They use the same machinery and processes as the F1 team to build complex components – with the extreme structural and dimensional characteristics required – for a naturally aspirated engine capable of cranking 9,000 rpm. Various engine components are redesigned to reduce internal friction. For example, there are new materials for connecting rod bushings and bearings.
The crankshaft was redesigned to enhance lubrication to the main bearings. The carbon-fibre intake plenum and aluminium exhaust components are designed to reduce weight. With the use of “Diamond-Like Carbon” (DLC) for pistons increases fatigue and wear resistance. Friction is an engine’s worst enemy, with its reduction the engine’s life is extended. High-performance engines such as these are automotive masterworks.
This potent V8 engine is specifically designed to accommodate the prolific punch from its increased torque output. Its engineering is a network of complex components and infrastructure required to optimize combustion, while enhancing volumetric and mechanical efficiency across the entire rev-range. The combustion chamber was refined to enhance intake and exhaust phases. The intake features new geometry while the manifolds have shorter inlet ducts. The cylinder heads use a higher valve lift. The new cam profile increases valve lift and reduces average pressure during the pumping cycle.
The 458 Speciale A employs the latest generation electronics. Its Slide Slip Angle Control system (SSC) for added sporting flare, is a sophisticated software that computes lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle, and speed. The SSC computes an instantaneous analysis of vehicle dynamics resulting in smooth, controllable over-steer refining torque management and differential torque distribution between the drive wheels. This ensures maximum vehicle response times. F1-Trac traction control and third generation E-Diff 3 provides maximum stability at all speeds.
The sophisticated Magneto rheological fluid suspension control with frequency analysis and twin solenoids is constantly tuning and calibrating the ride, also aiding its stability. It provides faster response and more body control. The Frequency-Shaped (FRS SCM-E) dampers, upgraded CPU and software modifies the magnetic field every millisecond. Cornering is excellent with faster, sharper, more challenging changes in direction. This unique combination of technical features results in fast response time to inputs from the road, and steering, optimizing the extraordinary Prancing Horse experience.
The braking system for the 458 Speciale A evolved from LaFerrari. The new Extreme Design calipers, HT2 discs made from a higher content silicon, and new front pads cut braking distance 8 percent shorter than the 458 Italia. They are also more durable to facilitate its stellar performance.
The 458 Speciale A rides on specially designed Michelin tires that provide 6 percent more grip than the 458 Italia. The new Pilot Sport Cup2 tires feature a compound which boosts performance. These high-performance tires are mounted as size 245/35 ZR20 J9.0″ fitted to the front axle and size 305/30 ZR20 J11.0” fitted to the rear axle.
Keeping the Prancing Horse’s minimalist approach to supercar cabins, the 458 Speciale A is status quo. Nothing outrageous to interfere with the man/machine interface. The extensive use of carbon-fibre evokes the 21st century look. The newly designed ergonomic seats are trimmed in luxurious Alcantara in an eye-catching 3-D technical fabric with contrasting stitching. The racing inspired atmosphere and its simplicity is highlighted by the steering mounted manettino and the controls clustered around the driver within immediate sight. This concept is further enhanced by the bridge extending over the central tunnel that houses the F1 gearbox controls. All aspects of the cabin network to optimize functionality. The cabin reflects the sophistication typical of all Ferraris.
Prancing Horse Tifosi continues with the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. This exclusive supercar is available to 499 lucky enthusiasts. It inherits all superlatives from the ferocious 458 series of Ferrari’s most potent road-going V8 engine powered models. The 458 series has attracted world-wide acclaim with its sophisticated network of technology augmented by the Tipo F136 alloy, mid-rear mounted V8. This F1-inspired powerplant won two consecutive years for “Best Performance Engine of the Year.” The Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta is another automotive masterwork that clearly proves the fact…the Prancing Horse rules –
Introducing the ferocious 458 series
Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari 458 Spider
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Photos courtesy Ferrari Press Club
1962 Ferrari 250 GT Aerodinamica
Symbol is a continuing series dedicated to the friends of Rolls Royce motorcars, Riva Yachts, and Ferrari supercars. These legends all reflect the good life…
Cheers to the Prancing Horse long may it rule