Frankfurt Auto Show 2013: Ferrari 458 Speciale
Ferrari has given an official debut to its 458 Speciale at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. It joins the 458 Italia and 458 Spider in the 458 lineup. The Speciale will sell for over 2,38,000 euros (Rs 2.03 crore) in Europe. It is the closest you can get to driving a Ferrari F1 car without having to shell out a million euro.
The Speciale is very clearly derived from the Italia. What sets it apart is the powertrain, aerodynamics and other vehicle dynamics like real-time responsiveness and control. The 458 Speciale is powered by Ferrari's naturally aspirated V8, the 4.5-litre GDI engine that gets a boost to deliver a whooping 607PS and 540Nm of maximum torque.
One of the car's stand-out characteristic is Ferrari's patented mobile aerodynamic elements at the front and the rear which ensure that different aerodynamic configurations can be adopted in cornering, where maximum downforce is required, and on straights, where drag must be reduced to a minimum. These have been conceptualised by the Ferrari Styling Centre along with Pininfarina. Redeigned bumpers, bonnet, tail, grille, exhausts and glasses are other aesthetic changes.
The 458 Speciale sees the introduction of Side Slip Angle Control (SSC). This technology takes into account lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle and speed, to carry out instant analysis of the car's side slip angle. It is then compared with reference data, thereby optimising both torque management (via F1-Trac traction control) and differential torque distribution between the two driven wheels (via the E-Diff electronic differential) for maximum vehicle responsiveness. The Speciale gets Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres which were specifically honed at track tests and simulator sessions along with an advanced race-specced Brembo braking assembly.
Lightweight materials, such as Alcantara and carbon-fibre, are abundant in the racing-inspired cockpit. The red-black contrasting hand-stitching, aluminium triangular-pattern tread plates, grey sills and door panels are typical of Ferrari. The other equipment, buttons and the F1 gearbox are all ergonomically placed and driver-centric.
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