The spectacularly aerodynamic Pininfarina-designed 458 was Ferrari’s replacement for the F430, and was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009. It was powered by a 4.5 litre V8 engine, producing 562 hp at 9,000 rpm, and featured direct fuel injection, a first for a mid-rear-engined Ferrari.
Electronics included E-Diff, F1-Trac traction control systems and high-performance ABS with Carbon Ceramic discs as standard. The interior featured a steering wheel incorporating many controls normally located on the dashboard or on stalks. The only transmission available was a 7-speed F1-style dual-clutch system.
The even more aerodynamic 458 Speciale, in an unusual red livery with blue and white central stripe and five-spoke wheels available in gold, dark grey or black, was launched in 2013. It is the most powerful naturally-aspirated Ferrari V8 ever – detailed refinements have been carried out on the standard 458 engine in order to optimise combustion, volumetric and mechanical efficiency and boost torque across the entire power curve.
Most of the bodywork panels have been redesigned without modifying either the passenger cell or the signature design features of the 458. Glass thickness has been reduced to cut weight, while the rear windscreen is now a Lexan panel. The composite bumpers have been redesigned and the front bonnet features two deep air outlets to channel away the air exiting the radiator. The rear features a Kamm tail with full-width grille between the tail-lights and twin exhausts.
The racing-inspired cockpit makes extensive use of lightweight materials such as Alcantara and carbon fibre, yet still exudes the sense of craftsmanship and sophistication typical of all Ferrari interiors, thanks to hand-stitching, aluminium tread plates and fluidly sculpted door panels. The Sabelt seats are equipped with carbon fibre shells, ergonomic side bolstering and Alcantara-trimmed shoulder rests.
Front Lifting Kit, Giallo Fly Calipers, Black Twin stripe, Wing Emblems, Full Alcantara interior inclusive of dash with Rosso stitching, Prancing Horse embroidered seats.
Of exemplary racing lineage, the 458 has multiple endurance victories around the globe and everything about this car shouts performance – sculpted to optimise aerodynamics with the very latest in engine, drivetrain and braking technology. All of the paintwork is in excellent order commensurate with age and mileage; that beautifully rich depth attributed to so many Ferrari’s of years gone by.
The body oozes aerodynamic features with adaptive intakes, vents, fins and large scoops channeling air to vital radiators, utilizing it to increase downforce and discarding anything that might slow it down. A functional design masterpiece.
Presented in excellent order this cabin is wild to say the least. Two screens displaying live running characterisitcs, the familiar ‘manettino’ with traction, gearbox and engine map settings along with the extended carbon stalk that house auto, reverse and maximum attack launch mode make for a space odyssey-like setup. The seats are wonderfully supportive with no cosmetic issues to report, whilst surrounding carbon trim on door cards, gearbox tunnel and foot well all retain deep lacquer with no scores or scratches.
A stunning place to be, truly complimentary of the exterior, and an event in itself once installed in the driver’s seat even with the engine off.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Sat in a nest of carbon fibre, this 4.5 litre is an absolute work of art and unique in both form and function. The numbers are breathtaking – 14:1 compression, 9000rpm limit, 600hp and only 3 seconds to 60mph. Crackling loudly into life, those unaware will jump at the sound - a sharp cacophony of unmistakable V8 that settles immediately into a purposeful idle. The 7 speed dual clutch transmission is stunningly fast defining the realms of what’s possible in gear change speed.
The Speciale is the 4th car from Ferrari to have no manual gated option after the other greats, the Enzo, Stradale and Scuderia.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
At just 9.4kg these Speciale wheels are almost 2kg lighter per corner than the ‘cobweb’ examples fitted to the standard Italia, allowing for increased agility and a finer balance.
The wheels are unmarked shod in the venerable Michelin Pilot Sport CUP 2s. Ceramic brakes in Giallo Fly yellow round up the fantastic colour-way of this Speciale.
Supplied new by Ferrari on the 31st October 2014, the car arrived here in the UK in early 2016 and has been converted to UK RHD road regulations ready to be registered into the first UK owners name. All taxes have been paid from new.
The car benefits from a very recent service carried out @ Dick Lovett Swindon and is complete with a full owners pack and the spare keys.
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