The new Ferrari 458 Speciale A, the most powerful open-topped road-going 'spider' model in Maranello's history, has been revealed at the Paris motor show.
The 458 Speciale A – the 'A' stands for 'Aperta', which is Italian for 'open' – is limited to 499 examples, like the flagship LaFerrari hypercar. The 458 Speciale A is described by Ferrari as "a celebration of the dazzling success of the various versions of the 458".
The 4497cc engine has a maximum power output of 597bhp at 9000rpm and maximum torque of 398lb ft at 6000rpm. Equipped with a seven-speed twin-clutch semi-automatic transmission, the 458 Speciale A can accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.0sec – the same as the Ferrari 458 Speciale coupé – and hit 124mph in 9.5sec. Maranello hasn't confirmed an official top speed, but the fixed-head Ferrari 458 Speciale is capable of 202mph.
The 458 Speciale A's dry weight is quoted at 1340kg. Its aluminium retractable hard top, which takes 14 seconds to deploy or retract, helps to keep the weight difference to the 1290kg Speciale coupé to 50kg.
Mirroring the exterior differences between the 'standard' 458 Italia and 458 Spider, the new Speciale A features a number of changes to accommodate the retractable roof and its mechanism. One consequence of the rearranged rear deck is that there is no longer a glass cover over the engine. Instead you get a painted cover with six air vents, plus buttresses aft of the driver and passenger seats.
Ferrari claims the car has achieved a 1min 23.5sec lap time around its Fiorano test track, which is the same as the coupé. CO2 emissions are put at 275g/km on the combined cycle and the car is equipped with the HELE efficiency system.
The 458 Speciale A is also the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. It features front and rear active aerodynamics, a rigid chassis structure comprised of ten aluminium alloys and the Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) system. First introduced on the 458 Speciale coupé, SSC takes control of the limited-slip diff’s operation when the car is switched into Race or TC (traction control off) modes.
The Paris show car was presented in a triple-layer yellow livery with a blue and white central stripe and five-spoke forged wheels.
The interior gets blue carbonfibre – exclusive to this model – on the dash, moulded door panels and central tunnel, as well as the newly designed seats in Alcantara with contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric. A special plaque in the cockpit commemorates the three international 'best performance engine' awards the V8 has won.
There's no official word on price, but the Ferrari 458 Speciale coupé comes in at £208,065, almost £30,000 more than the regular 458. If Maranello were to place a similar premium on the 458 Speciale A compared to the 458 Spider, it could cost in the region of £228,500.
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