Currently reading: Ferrari 458 Speciale unveiled in Frankfurt
Lightweight performance version of the 458 Italia is Ferrari's centrepiece at the Frankfurt motor show

This is the Ferrari 458 Speciale, an extreme version of the Ferrari 458 Italia that also points the way to several technical innovations which will be found on all future Ferrari road cars.

The 458 Speciale - which has been unveiled at today's Frankfurt motor show - is described by Ferrari as being “a completely new, uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept.”

Modifications focus on its powertrain, dynamic capabilities and aerodynamics. In particular, the active aerodynamic technology is said to have been developed for use on all future Ferrari road cars.

Power comes from a modified version of the 458’s V8, with 597bhp and 398lb ft of torque it is the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever built by the company. It has a specific output of 133bhp per litre, which Ferrari says is the highest ever achieved by a naturally-aspirated road-going engine. Maximum power is achieved at 9000rpm; maximum torque at 6000rpm.

With a dry weight of 1290kg, the Speciale has an official 0-62mph time of 3.0sec and a 0-124mph time of 9.1sec. Ferrari says it has also lapped its Fiorano test track in 1m 23.5sec – 1.5sec faster than the standard Ferrari 458 Italia and just half a second slower than a Ferrari F12. It has a power-to-weight ratio of 1bhp per 2.13kg. Emissions are rated at 275g/km.

Styling was largely dictated by aerodynamic requirements, according to Ferrari, although Pininfarina was involved in the Speciale’s final look. The most significant changes over the stock car are the moveable aerodynamic flaps on the front and rear, which adapt to balance downforce and reduce drag as required.

Ferrari says these aerodynamic aids give “instant confidence and control at high speeds, natural power oversteer management and precise response to [driver] commands”. 

With the aerodynamic aids in their most streamlined position, Ferrari says the Speciale has the best relationship between downforce and drag for a production car in its history. Ferrari traditionally does not consider its limited edition cars, such as the Enzo and LaFerrari as standard production vehicles. 

The Speciale also has a new electronic system to make it easier to control on the limit, called Side Slip Angle Control, which Ferrari abbreviates to SSC. Using a newly developed algorithm, SSC analyses the Speciale’s slip angle, compares it to a target figure and then optimises torque management via the traction control system and torque distribution between the two wheels.

The Speciale also rides on specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which are said to deliver “a boost in performance” over one lap, plus greater consistency thereafter and all-round wet weather grip. As a result, Ferrari says the Speciale has achieved the highest lateral acceleration g-force ever recorded by any Ferrari, 1.33g.

Back to top

“The Speciale is designed to boost performance and driving emotion to unprecedented levels, yet simultaneously guarantee smooth, effortless control in all kinds of situations,” according to Ferrari’s statement at the car’s launch.

No pricing information has been released yet, but the Ferrari 458 Speciale is likely to cost in the region of £210,000 – up from the standard 458’s £178,526 - based on the price relationship between similar special editions, such as the Ferrari F430 and Ferrari 430 Scuderia.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Voodoo 23 August 2013

Johnny English

Lovely vehicle! BUT what i personally would love to see next time around when this 458 Italia is replaced is a CF tub and perhaps even the body? It's about time that the La F technology and a bit further than even the mighty La Ferrari technology could offer.  How about a V8 TT or V6 TT engine derived from F1? FERS (Ferrari Energy Recover System)


Or why not HERS (Heat Energy Recovery System) ie turbo and exhaust heat etc, would give additional ps. DSG gearboxes, seems to function beautifully in a Porsche GT3 so probably Ferrari is thinking about it . .


There are many ways to attract a woman they say, but to win customers hearts one really how come up with something very special technologies more than it's beautiness!






Jimacometti 20 August 2013

Specific Output

133 per litre is a (claimed) record for a naturally aspirated engine. This is not stated in the report above. The other cars you refer to are turbocharged. 


Laurie_Wisenberg 20 August 2013

Specific Output

Complete bs. 133 not close. New A45 beats this by quite some margin (+/- 170 per litre) and so does the new Golf R (+/- 150 per litre).

I understand Ferarri have a knack for talking up a storm but Autocar should know this is false!

CarDesign 20 August 2013

Specific Output

The F40 had 163/Liter. But they are referring to a naturally aspired engine. Even the Honda S2000 capped at 120. Unless you consider cars with motorcycle engines....

airgith76 21 August 2013

Specific Output

I think you skipped a couple of words in the article.

At approx. 133bhp per litre, the 458 Speciale does indeed have the highest specific output for a Naturally Aspirated road going engine. The cars you mention are forced-induced (Turbo/Supercharging etc).


Jimacometti 21 August 2013

Specific Output

I could have sworn that the article didn't state naturally aspirated when I read it yesterday. However, it is clearly stated now.