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Ferrari 458 Speciale will take center stage in Frankfurt

By Bob Nagy on August 21, 2013 3:13 PM
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Sporting a sleeker appearance, more power, enhanced vehicle dynamics systems and active aerodynamics, the Ferrari 458 Speciale edition is set to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. This ultra-spec version of the 458 Berlinetta introduces a number of technical advances that Ferrari plans to incorporate into all of its future road-going models in an effort to "boost both performance and driving emotion to unprecedented levels, yet simultaneously guarantee smooth, effortless control in all kinds of situations." That sounds like a tall order, but the Ferrari 458 Speciale appears ready to make good on the promise.

Also: See the other new cars unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Although details are limited, Ferrari says the 458 Speciale is trimmer by nearly 200 pounds and packs the most potent version yet of the Scuderia's award-winning 4.5-liter V8. Upgraded from 562 to 597 horsepower - the greatest pony count of any naturally aspirated Ferrari engine ever -- this mid-mounted monster helps the Speciale streak from 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and redlines at a screaming 9,000 rpm.

Ferrari Styling Centre worked with Pininfarina to oversee aero-optimization of the 458 Speciale's basic body contours as well as develop new front and rear movable elements that effectively balance downforce and reduce drag. Ferrari says the devices make the 458 Speciale the most aerodynamically efficient series-produced car in the marque's storied history.

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To complement its streamlined bodywork, the 458 Speciale also introduces a new Side Slip angle Control system (SSC). It facilitates achieving and maintaining at-the-limit car control by optimizing both torque management via the F1-Trac traction control and torque distribution to the rear wheels through the car's E-Diff electronic differential. Shod with custom-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the 458 Speciale boasts the highest lateral acceleration figure - a mind-bending 1.33g -- of any street car the automaker has ever built. It also managed to chop a full 1.5 seconds off of the lap time of a standard 458 Berlinetta at Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

Production of the new Ferrari 458 Speciale is expected to start later this year. No word yet on pricing or when the car will arrive here in America.

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