At a show where seemingly every manufacturer has shifted focus to green, battery-based technologies, Ferrari is putting the focus on good old muscle at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
In fact, the sleek new Ferrari 458 Speciale can boast the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 the Italian automaker has ever offered, its 4.5-liter engine taking the 2-seater from a standing start to 60 in less than three seconds, it claims. In fact, Ferrari contends that from a horsepower-per-liter standpoint, the Speciale delivers “the highest (power) ever achieved by a road-going naturally aspirated engine” offered by any manufacturer.
The special edition also introduces an industry-first technology that Ferrari has dubbed “slide slip angle control,” or SSC, and which uses a special computer system to achieve maximum traction even while pushing the new model to its limits.
The technology is loosely similar to the torque vectoring systems introduced by makers such as Audi in recent years, but appears to go several steps beyond. Under hard cornering, the computer controller monitors the Ferrari 458 Speciale’s lateral slip, comparing it to a predicted value. If necessary, power can be diverted to the wheels where it’s most needed by adjusting the traction control system or the electronic limited-slip differential.
To give the new model even more sure-footed grip, the Speciale is shod with specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
(For a complete round-up of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Click Here.)
Combine the various factors and Ferrari claims the Speciale also sets another industry best with lateral acceleration reaching a full 1.33 Gs.
But the added horsepower is likely to be what catches everyone’s immediate attention. The stock Ferrari 458, if it can be called such, delivers a mere 562 hp. The Speciale takes that to 597 – though torque holds at 398 pound-feet. That works out, Ferrari emphasizes, to an industry-best 133 hp/liter.
Add the fact that the special edition’s weight also gets a 198-pound haircut, to just 2844 lbs, and that trims the time from 0 to 100 kmh – 62.5 mph for metrically challenged Americans – to just 3.0 seconds. Oh, and top speed, a palindromic 202 mph.
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There are some nice exterior touches as well, thanks to some assistance from the folks at Pininfarina, a hood bulge for the larger heat extractor, among other things, as well as a new split exhaust. Additional active aero functions should further enhance downforce.
Ferrari apparently wants to give potential buyers to take it all in before releasing final pricing.