It works by effectively predicting what the optimum levels of tyre slip, steering angle, throttle position and engine revs might be at any given point in a corner, and then trimming back the engine revs and opening and closing the E-diff to deliver the most effective cornering posture. It's not predictive; there is no use of GPS tracking for example. Instead, the car monitors what it is doing every couple of milliseconds and then reacts accordingly.
In Race mode it won't allow any slip from the rear tyres whatsoever. But in "CT off" mode it will allow a fair bit of oversteer at the corner exit if it senses that you have the right amount of opposite lock applied, and that not too much throttle is being applied.
Yet at the same time, if you go too far and the car senses that not enough corrective lock is being applied or that the throttle is too far open, it will then trim back the flow of torque, albeit smoothly. It never feels like the car is taking over, however. Most of the time it simply feels like you are catching the slide rather sweetly, and then carrying on up the road.
It won't brake for you on the way into corners or do anything so intrusive as that. It's still entirely up to the driver to get the car to where it needs to be at the apex of any given corner, in other words, but once you reach that point, you can use the system to get on the throttle harder and faster than you otherwise would, without any fear of turning the car around.
You can still turn everything off if you wish to go completely sideways, and ultimately risk spinning the car - but with SSC engaged, Ferrari says the Speciale is actually faster and more thrilling to drive for the vast majority of drivers.
Even those who are as useful as ex-F1 driver Marc Gene reckon the system is "at least as good as me in most corners, especially in fast ones where the electronics can really make a difference."
The 4.5-litre engine in the Speciale is the most potent non-turbo V8 that Ferrari has yet produced, and although it's fundamentally the same as the motor that powers the Italia, it has been heavily massaged nonetheless.
With an incredible 14:1 compression ratio thanks to a range of internal modifications and a rev limit of over 9000rpm, it thumps out not just more power than the regular 458 - in this case a whopping 597bhp - but also more torque, right across the entire rev range.
And that makes it feel quite different in nature to the Italia's engine. It's more urgent in its delivery and a lot more gutsy everywhere; less top end orientated basically. It might be naturally aspirated but it still churns out a decent amount of torque, too - some 398lb ft at 6000rpm.
Ferrari has also shaved 90kg off the 458's overall weight, bringing the Speciale down to 1395kg. Everything from the racing bucket seats to the rear screen glass has been preened to shave kilograms.
There has also been various other upgrades, including the braking system (lifted almost unchanged from the LaFerrari), the gearbox (20 percent quicker upshifts and a scarcely credible 44 per cent quicker downshifts), the tyres (new bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s) and suspension.